Ronald Veneski Obituary
November 11, 1937 - April 28, 2017
Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania
Resided in Beaverton, OR
born November 11, 1937, in Scranton, PA to Stanley and Mary (Marinchak) Veneski. Mr. V didn't just teach science - he taught life. He thrived on getting his students moving in the right direction. He looked for opportunities to connect with his students and let them shine - and students loved him for it. Former students often contacted him years after graduation thanking him for not giving up on them.
He came from a family of 5 brothers and sisters and was devoted to his parents. Things were not easy for
the Veneski family and Ron worked hard to get ahead. He joined the Navy out of high school in 1955, and
served as an aviation electrician on a carrier. In order to realize his dream of graduating from college he
worked every job he could.
After receiving his BA in Biology from San Jose State College in 1965, he worked as a registered Public Health Sanitarian and as a communicable disease investigator. It was at the San Jose City Health department that he took a liking to a coworker - Lynne.
While working at the California Public Health Department Ron returned to school at Sacramento State College on the GI Bill and Lynne would often go on class field trips with him. During one of those field trips he said he thought they should get married - they did in 1967. He received his Secondary Teaching Credential in 1970 and his Master of Arts in Biology in 1971.
Ron and Lynne settled in Fairfield, CA, where Ron taught high school. They had a son, David, bought a few acres and added some sheep, chickens and a pony named Prince. Ron said the pony was for David. Lynne says the pony was really for Ron. In search of changing seasons, the Veneskis moved to Vida, Oregon in 1980, where Ron taught middle school and high school science and self-sufficiency classes for the McKenzie School District in Blue River. He retired in 2000 after 30 years in the classroom.
Ron loved to tell stories about growing up in Scranton, PA and about his time in the Navy - traveling to France, Spain, Greece and Italy - the experiences never left him. He also loved to tell jokes - lots of them - some pretty corny. He told his favorite "nacho cheese" joke thousands of times.
Many good memories were made over the years mostly doing family things. Ron and Lynne found joy and satisfaction in spending good times together on field trips while Ron was in school, raising a son, designing and building their home in Eugene. The love of animals was to lead them to raising Alpacas for over 20 years. Long hours were spent together on road trips to Alpaca shows. They found success in the show ring and in loving and caring for these gentle animals. Along the way they made many friends in the Alpaca community. They spent a lot of days in the stands watching David run in UofO track meets. Ron supported Lynne when she decided to add to their Alpaca experience by having their Alpaca's fleece processed into yarn and going to fiber shows to sell it. Life was good.
He was about family. When their son showed both academic and athletic talent, Ron and Lynne moved to Eugene during David's freshman year of high school to give their son the best challenge possible. He always tried to push his son and students to achieve their potential without actually pushing. He encouraged effort and understood the difference between effort and hard work. You can put in the hard work, he'd say, but if you don't put in the effort when the time is right, the hard work is lost.
He valued broken-in Levi's over nice pants. He saw no risk in being nice to people. He told those closest to him that he loved them. He often told David that they were buds forever, and showed it everyday. Last year Mr. and Mrs. V moved to the Portland area to be closer to their son and grandson, Brooks. They wanted to spend time with Brooks as he grew up. He never, ever told his grandson 'no' when he wanted to play. Brooks loved him completely - he says he's sure Grandpa is probably walking Oscar the dog in heaven a lot.
He didn't have a long bucket list but the top item was a trip to Poland. David and he took that trip in October 2014. The joy at being there and realizing his dream shows in every picture taken. He was in awe of the power his visit to Auschwitz had on him and of the history and beauty of the Wielicz Salt Mine and the Country.
For years Ron found joy in writing and found an outlet for his written stories in a Eugene group of amateur writers who publish a monthly magazine and annual anthologies. David and Lynne have only to read those stories to be with him again.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Lynne, his son David and grandson, Brooks, brothers Bob and Joseph and 16 nephews and nieces.
Lynne and David wish to thank all of those who have shared their remembrances and sorrow that he is no longer with us. It is wonderful to be able to see Ron as others saw him.
His funeral service will be held on Friday, May 19th, at 2:00 p.m. at the Major Family Funeral Home, 112 A Street, Springfield. Those who knew and loved him are encouraged to attend. After the funeral service Ron will be cremated and his ashes spread at the Oregon Coast as he requested.
In lieu of flowers a donation to The Nature Conservancy (www.nature.org ), 821 SE 14th Ave., Portland, OR 97214 or Fisher House Foundation (www.fisherhouse.org), 111 Rockville Pike, Suite 420, Rockville, MD 20850 would be gratefully
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Springfield, OR US 97477