On the morning of July 7, 2007, with his family nearby, Bill Ronge died peacefully in his home in Bakersfield, Calif., ending a short and valiant battle against a particularly aggressive form of cancer. He was four days shy of his 54th birthday.
Bill originally was hired by TIC - The Industrial Company - 24 years ago in Steamboat Springs as a carpenter/ironworker at the Burgess Creek Culvert on the ski hill. Before assuming his position as western region safety manager, Bill honed his safety skills and interest while working at numerous field projects.
An avid outdoorsman, Bill loved to snow ski, hike, hunt and fish in the mountains of both Colorado and California. His love of nature extended to the ocean environment. He was an accomplished scuba diver, sailor, kayaker and blue-water fisherman. Of all his pursuits, Bill most enjoyed traveling with his family to exotic places such as Hawaii, Mexico and Italy.
As western region safety manager, Bill's career focused on the health, welfare and prevention of injury for employees located in the western United States. He led the company's safety process for more than two decades, caring for a work force that numbered more than 5,000 men and women.
Of his many accomplishments, Bill took great pride in developing and teaching young men and women the value of being an American. He enjoyed studying all elements of history, especially the birth and struggles of America. This passion and his patriotic leadership led to a lifelong dedication to the Boy Scouts of America, with whom he not only became an Eagle Scout, but trained both his sons and saw them follow in his footsteps.
Bill will always be best known for the love of his family and many friends. He could be counted upon to support those around him, and always was a wealth of knowledge, advice and good humor.
Services in celebration of Bill's life were held July 14, 2007, in Bakersfield, Calif. Funeral services are scheduled for 3 p.m. July 15, 2007, at the Calvary Bible Church there. His ashes will be spread across this land that he loved.
Bill is survived by his wife of a quarter century, Susan; his two sons, Chase, 22, and Adam, 20, both born in Steamboat; Bill's mother, Beatrice Ronge, of Jim Thorpe, Penn.; and three sisters, Alice, Tamara, and Amanda, and a brother, Walter, all of Pennsylvania.
Finally, there is a list of friends and family here at TIC that defies belief and recording.
For those who wish to make a memorial donation in Bill's memory, a scholarship fund has been set up by his family with the Boy Scouts of America.
Through this fund, scouts who otherwise might not have been able to afford to do so, will have the opportunity to attend a Boy Scout camp.
Those wishing to contribute to this great cause should make their checks out to Boy Scouts of America, 2417 M St., Bakersfield, CA 93301.
Please make sure to note on the check that it is for the Bill Ronge Memorial Camp Fund.
Bill Ronge was one of those rare TIC family members of whom we say, "If you scratched him, he'd bleed blue." His loss already is felt on so many levels.