Obituary of Ronald VanKoughnett
Passed away peacefully at the KW Health Centre of Grand River Hospital, Kitchener, on Saturday, February 2, 2019, at the age of 74.
Best friend and loving husband of Mary Angela VanKoughnett (nee Marr), who celebrated 50 years of marriage in August of 2018. Dear father of Sean (Denise), Shannon (Dave) and Ryan (Elena). Adored by his grandchildren Aimee, Colton, Emma, Duncan, Sam, Carina, Johnny, Annika, Danika and Jackson. Will be lovingly remembered by his siblings Donna Florcyk, Mel (Bonnie) VanKoughnett and brother-in-law Lyle Solinger. Pre-deceased by his parents Daniel and Thelma VanKoughnett; sister Marilyn Solinger; and brother-in-law Gene Florcyk.
Ron will be remembered by his family as a loyal husband, a caring father, a proud poppa, a world-class athlete, and a devoted teacher and coach for the many students he influenced and impacted over three decades as a local high school teacher.
Born in St. Thomas, Ontario, on October 23rd, 1944, as a youth Ron attended Central Elgin Collegiate where he excelled as a football player. He was a member of AKO Windsor (a club football team), and he also spent his summers as a teenager in the Canadian Armed Forces Elgin Regiment, where he attained the rank of Sergeant. Ron received his BA from the University of Windsor, his MA in English from the University of Waterloo, and his teaching credentials from Queen’s University and the University of Western Ontario.
Ron began his teaching career at Glenview Park in Cambridge, but quickly became a staple of the staff at the newly opened Bluevale Collegiate Institute, where he spent the bulk of his teaching career. Ron also taught at Kitchener Collegiate in the 1980s and finished his years as an English teacher at Cameron Heights in the 1990s. As an athlete with a passion for many sports, Ron coached football, cross country and track and field.
In the early 1970s, Ron transitioned from a football player into a formidable marathon runner. In retirement, Ron found his true calling and became a world-class competitor in duathlons. Beginning in 2005, he won the silver medal at the World championships in Australia. While compiling a string of golds in the Canadian championships, Ron’s most outstanding year was 2009, when he took gold at the Worlds in Concord, North Carolina. It was also in 2009 that Ron was awarded the Waterloo Region Athlete of the Year.
Ron lived life to the fullest and embraced adversity not as an obstacle, but as something that can make us stronger. It is with great sadness that we announce his passing, yet he will always remain in our hearts as an inspiration to keep fighting and struggling forward, no matter what impossibilities life may throw in the way.
Friends are invited to share their memories of Ron with his family during memorial visitation at the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King St. S., Waterloo on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 from 6 – 9 p.m. and Wednesday, February 6, 2019 from 3 – 3:45 p.m. The Memorial Service will follow the visitation on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 4 p.m. in the chapel of the funeral home. A reception will immediately follow the service in the Fireside Reception Room of the funeral home.
The VanKoughnett family would like to thank the staff at the Elder Care Unit of the GRH for their compassionate and caring treatment of Ron in his final days. Condolences for the family and donations to the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre may be arranged through the funeral home at www.erbgood.com or 519-745-8445.
171 King Street South
Waterloo, ON N2J 1P7
Erb and Good Funeral Home is proud to serve, but not limited too, the following communities: Kitchener, Waterloo, St. Agatha, St. Clements, St. Jacobs, Conestogo, Baden, Maryhill, Breslau, Wellesley, Ayr, Roseville, Winterbourne, New Dundee, Hawksville, Elmira, Linwood, New Hamburg, Wilmot Centre, Haysville, Plattsville, Cambridge, Preston, Galt, Hespeler, Ariss, Guelph, West Montrose, Aberfoyle, Puslinch, Tavistock and Stratford Ontario