Ronald Garner July 24, 1944 ~ April 14, 2023
Ronald Garner was born in Grand Junction, CO, on July 24, 1944. Utahns recognize this as Pioneer Day, but to the Garners, the parades and fireworks were to celebrate Uncle Ron.
Perhaps that’s why he lived most of his life within Utah state boundaries. However, as a child, he spent multiple years in Colorado, growing up with his older brother and best friend Dave, younger brother Corky, and little sister Pam.
The Garner kids grew up during the uranium mining boom and spent most of their time in small mining communities short on resources but abundant in fun.
Much of their childhood was spent playing baseball, mostly grooming little brother “Corky” (James) to eventually play college baseball.
Ron had a big personality with an even bigger voice. If Ron was in the room, on the golf course, or at the ballfield everyone knew it. Those who had the pleasure of spending time with Ron know he didn’t shy away from emotional responses.
Golfers teeing off on the first hole at the Hideout Golf Course might know that Ron three-putted on the fifth hole based on the sounds of frustration echoing through the canyon.
Those on his bowling teams in the 1980s and 1990s at Moab Lanes will tell you a missed spare resulted in a baseball cap being removed from his head. If it was in the tenth frame, that hat might even make it to the floor to be stomped on.
He was hard on himself, but everyone wanted to be around Ron. He was fun and he wore his heart on his sleeve. He was loud but he was kind and generous.
Kids knew him as “the guy that gives out full-size candy bars” on Halloween.
Ron, with his brother Dave, was a lifelong baseball coach. He made no apologies for the collateral damage that occurred at or around the baseball diamond.
In fact, he seemed to enjoy it. Broken glass meant one if his players hit the ball over the fence.
On one occasion, the resident of a home across the street from the Moab baseball complex off Center Street called the police because the front window of his home was shattered.
When the police arrived, Ron simply said (with a big smile), “That’s what happens when you live across from the baseball park.”
On another, his niece Carley hit a softball over the left field fence directly into the windshield of Ron’s oil field coworker. Ron got a kick out of that.
Ron didn’t have children of his own but he was a father to Carley and Doug, his brother David’s kids.
He was also a dad to a few pets throughout the years. A dachshund named Oscar was his favorite. He could often be seen carrying that dog under his arm.
Ron and Dave were a package deal. They did everything together for 77 of the 78 years he had on the planet. Dave passed a year prior to Ron.
They were such a duo, Dave’s only grandson Daron carries their joint namesake (Dave + Ron = Daron).
Life wasn’t the same without his brother, but Ron made the best of his last year on earth. In his definitive months, he looked forward to visits from his nurse, Sheila.
Their conversations kept a smile on his face. He visited National Parks and landmarks within a day’s driving distance of Monticello, UT, his final resting place.
Ron died on Friday, April 14, 2023.