It is with sincere sadness that we announce the passing on February 8, 2023, of Ron McAlister at Rainy River Hospital Long Term Care. Ron was born September 20, 1932, in Toronto, Ontario, to parents John and Florence McAlister. He grew up in the Toronto area.
Until 1991, he worked several business ventures including Silk Flower distributor to local florists. In 1991, Ron and Marilyn decided to pull up stakes and go west. Eventually they found themselves in Rainy River, which they decided was to their liking.
On arriving he met Gary Kilpatrick and together they renovated the house on Second Street, stripping it to the exterior walls, and with new wiring, plumbing, floors, really everything, turned it into a warm and inviting home.
On April 1, 1992, Ron and Gary produced the first Westend Weekly and in January 1993 Ron and Jacquie Dufresne bought out Gary Kilpatrick. Ron became well known and much liked on his advertising sales trips throughout the district, especially in Fort Frances and Emo. Tall in stature, he was easy to spot walking down Scott Street every Monday and Thursday, waving hi to all the people he came to know as friends.
Ron retired in 2005 and he and Marilyn did some traveling before settling down to gardens, reading, and spending time with their beloved dogs. They were both very interested in cut glass and enjoyed producing small projects in their basement craft room. They also enjoyed collecting art, particularly bird prints. They loved watching the birds in their yard and often went on birding expeditions.
Ron developed macular degeneration which caused almost complete blindness and ended many of his favourite activities. He was always an active member of the Rainy River Public Library and was very grateful for their efforts to keep him in large supply of books on CD.
Even with failing eyesight, he was an avid bicycle rider and was often seen on all the trails in and around Baudette as well as country routes around Rainy River. Into his 80’s he would easily put in 10 miles in a day. Ron loved to sing and often performed for the seniors at Rainycrest and in various choirs.
When Marilyn passed he became a lost soul for quite some time. Not able to care for himself, he moved into Rainy River Long Term Care and his beautiful baritone voice could be heard in the halls belting out hymns during Tuesday worship services. His favourite was “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory of the Coming of the Lord.”
As per Ron’s wishes, no service will be held. Donations may be made to Rainy River Public Library C/O Northridge Funeral Home, Box 89, Emo, Ont., P0W1E0.
Arrangements entrusted to Northridge Funeral Home Ltd. Emo, Ontario.