Ronald “Ronnie” Faganello peacefully passed away on December 1st, 2021 at Sky Lakes Medical Center surrounded by loving family members. He was 85 years old.
Ron was born on August 20th, 1936 in Chiloquin to parents Angelo Faganello and Eva (Henry) Faganello. He spent his early childhood in Chiloquin where his father worked at the various lumber and box plants that flourished in the area at that time. The family later moved to Klamath Falls to pursue better job opportunities and settled there where the majority of the family still lives today.
Ron graduated from Klamath Union High School in 1954 and while still in high school began his career at Weyerhaeuser Company in Klamath Falls. He spent 37 years of his work history there and retired in 1991. In retirement, he partnered with his family to open Renaldo’s in Campus Square which was the “go to” coffee house and eatery in the early days of the custom coffee revolution.
Ron married the love of his life Lorraine (Clark) Faganello on January 27, 1962 in a double wedding ceremony with younger brother Frank Faganello who married Lorraine’s younger sister Sandy (Clark) Faganello.
Surviving family members include wife Lorraine of 60 years, and two daughters. Tonie (Faganello) Kellom-husband John and two daughters; Lynndsi (Kellom) Ray, husband Link and two sons Carson and Cooper; and daughter Sarah Kellom. Tammy (Faganello) Ahalt - husband Mark and their son Leo. Ron’s surviving brothers - Frank Faganello-wife Sandy (Clark) Faganello, son Jeff-his wife Carroll, daughter Jenine (Faganello) Kerns-her husband Lyndon. Brother, Barry Faganello and extended family member Pete Mongan. Nephew Rodney Clark and his wife Rene, niece Rhonda Welch and her husband Chris. Along with numerous great nieces and nephews.
Those are the facts and statistical details about Ron Faganello and they are important to know. But who the man was to his family and friends is a story that can’t be told within the confines of a few pages of text. We can share some of the memories and significant aspects in the hopes that you can appreciate how important his legacy is to his family and many of those who knew him. This won’t do him justice but it is an attempt to capture some aspects of a life well lived.
Ronnie spent the first six years of his life as an only child in Chiloquin during a time when the “wild west” had been somewhat tamed but in small communities there were still raw reminders of how difficult, demanding and surprisingly rewarding a frontier lifestyle could be. He often commented on how he spent those early years often alone but also taken in by a number of people in the community in ways that helped him be comfortable in his own skin. He learned to be self-reliant, responsible, and serious with a large measure of humor and social ability mixed in. Those traits stayed with him throughout his life and we all benefited and learned from him as a result.
Brother Frank came along in 1942 and Ronnie eagerly took to the job of “big brother”. Frank often characterizes Ron as his best friend in those formative years. They were inseparable co-conspirators supporting each other as they grew. In 1951 brother Barry arrived just in time to get the benefits of two brothers old enough to be past the sibling rivalry stage and young enough to accept a baby brother to throw some attention to.
The age differences between the brothers, the status of parenting skills in those days and the times in which they all grew up created a unique set of circumstances. Ron found himself becoming more of a father figure rather than just the “Oldest Brother” as dad spent most of his time working, providing for a wife and three kids, and worrying about the future. Ronnie rose to the need and I think he relished the responsibility he took on. He was a great mentor, brother, and friend.
Following the double wedding of brothers Ron and Frank to sisters Lorraine and Sandy in 1962 and the subsequent births of Tonie and Tammy to Ron and Lorraine and Jeff, Denise, and Jenny to Frank and Sandy the new era of life began in earnest. There are countless stories of childhood development, near disasters, crowning achievements and all the “stuff” that goes with raising families and keeping them together. Every one of us in the family can relate many different occasions when something meaningful, memorable, and/or life changing happened and was recorded permanently in each of us – the common denominator is Ronnie.
His love of hunting and fishing connected him with a network of people that stretches far beyond the local area. His work life at Weyerhaeuser and all the other pursuits before and after netted him more friends and acquaintances than can possibly be counted. He met people easily and befriended most of them. He was a great mentor in not only outdoor pursuits but with life in general. We are lucky to have had him as long as we did.
Those of us in the family see him as larger than life which I am sure is common in most families. But his stature is well earned in our family as each and every one of us has a number of different stories that demonstrate how well he lived his life and how he helped shape those of us who were in it with him.
It is interesting that he often told me that he regretted not doing more with his life. Always surprised by that comment I reminded him of how many people he has positively affected and how important and rare that has become in today’s society. He would always say something like – “You have to say that because we’re family!” Maybe now he can appreciate the extent of his reach and the value he brought to those he touched. We will miss you Ronnie but you live on in all those who knew you – rest easy my brother you have earned your peace.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ronald "Ronnie" Leo Faganello, please visit our floral store.