At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Life Story Funeral Home, 752 Munson Ave.,
Traverse City, MI 49686
Judy is planning to purchase a permanent memorial for the Cedar Rod Gun Club.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Happiness for Ron was not difficult to find. He always knew that life should be spent doing the things you enjoy with the people you love, and he did just that. Whether he was traveling with his wife, fishing with his son, or making his grandkids laugh, Ron enjoyed life, and touched the lives of many others while doing so. A loving husband, father, grandfather and friend, Ron will be dearly missed.
The year 1935, when Ron's story began, was a year full of hardships and change; the United States was experiencing the Great Depression in full force, Roosevelt’s New Deal had been launched just a year before, and tensions were brewing in Europe. But in Chicago, Illinois, the year 1935 was exciting and promising for Frank and Lillian (Kudrna) Komarek as they prepared for the birth of a new child. One winter day, on November 13, 1935, they welcomed a handsome baby into their home, a son who they named Ronald.
Ron's older brother, Harold, was 14 years old when Ron was born, so Ron spent much of his childhood on his own. His father worked as a milkman, and his mother kept busy working in an electronics plant while raising their two sons. Tragically, Ron's father died when Ron was just five years old. As Harold had gone into the military at age 18, Ron's mother was forced to raise him on her own. And Ron was not an easy child to raise, either. He was very mischievous, and was often a handful as a kid. He kept busy in the Boy Scouts, until he was 18 years old. He enjoyed the scouts so much that, when he was 17, he and a friend created their own troop as there were no leaders. Ron attended Morton High School, from which he proudly graduated. After graduation, he attended two years at Triton College in River Grove, Illinois in the construction program.
While Ron was still in high school, he met a young woman named Judy. At the time, Ron was a senior, but Judy was a junior. They attended the same teen club, and Ron was confident that Judy was the girl for him. Judy, however, took some convincing on that matter. They eventually started dating, and in the three years of their courtship, Ron won Judy over with his gifts of flowers and jewelry. When he was 21 and Judy was 19, Ron married the girl of his dreams. Ron and Judy exchanged vows on June 1, 1957 at St. Hugh's Catholic Church in Lyons, Illinois.
The happy newlyweds soon decided to start a family. One year after their marriage, they brought home their daughter, Kathrine. Then, two years after that, they welcomed home another daughter, Barbara. When Barbara was 18 months old, they had one more baby, a son named Robert. Ron was a strict father, but he loved having good times with his kids as well. He liked playing "crack the whip", as he tied a rope to a saucer, and onto his motorcycle and flung his kids over the ice, round and round.
Ron supported his family by working in construction. He started out by building fancy stairways, and then moved on to work in commercial construction building multi-million dollar buildings. He was in the Marine Reserves for eight years as well. While working, Ron also served as a volunteer fireman and an EMT for over 17 years. He was on the dive and rescue team, and was in charge of the ambulances. Ron's family was always proud of him for his volunteer work with the fire department, and the role was a big part of Ron's life as well. He retired from FCL Construction in 1998, at which time he and Judy moved to a home in Traverse City.
In his spare time, Ron enjoyed traveling and camping with his family. He especially enjoyed taking trips with Judy, and together they crossed the United States and Seven countries by motorcycle. Ron loved the outdoors, and was always excited to go anywhere with water or mountains. Once, he and Judy had a great adventure visiting his brother, Harold, in Alaska. This was before roads in Alaska had been paved, but Ron and Judy and the children traveled all the way there in a truck and camper anyway. Ron loved fishing with his son, too, and they won the Bass Tournament together. He also hunted deer with Robert in Kentucky for over 20 years, and every year they celebrated their birthdays together during the hunting season.
Ron was a member of the Sportsman Club in Wilmington, Illinois, the Lions Club and the Carpenter's Union. In Traverse City, Ron joined the Cedar Rod and Gun Club, where he loved to shoot trap. There, he was known as "Putz", because he was always slow moving. However he loved to arrive early to open the club up, and always made coffee and donuts for everyone. Ron was also skilled in woodworking, and liked carving faces out of the bark from trees. With a pipe or cigar always in his mouth, Ron was a regular at Nolan's Tobacco in Traverse City as well. When Ron became a grandfather, he was thrilled. He loved his grandkids dearly, and was a fun, silly grandpa with them.
Ron Komarek was always happiest when surrounded by his family and friends. An avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing, Ron had a kind heart and loved his family dearly. A beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend, Ron will be dearly missed and fondly remembered.
Ron died Monday, January 31, 2011 at the Grand Traverse Pavilions after a lengthy illness. Ron is survived by his wife, Judy Komarek, children, Kathy (Tom Steele) Komarek of Traverse City, Barbara (Jay) Chapman of Mc Murray, Pennsylvania and Robert (Deneen) Komarek of St. Charles, Illinois, grandchildren, Alexandra and Alina Chapman and Carly and Mackenzie Komarek. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Harold.
A gathering for family and friends will be held 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm Friday, February 4, 2011 at Life Story Funeral Home, Traverse City. A Funeral Mass will be held 11:00 am Saturday, February 5, 2011 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, where the family will greet family and friends from starting at 10:30 am. Ron will be cremated and burial will be in the Oakwood Catholic Diocesan Cemetery, Traverse City. Ron was not a lover of flowers; please make a Memorial Contributions in his memory to St. Hugh's Catholic Church, 7939 43rd St., Lyons, Illinois 60534, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 720 2nd St., Traverse City, Michigan 49684 or to Judy Komarek for a permanent memorial at the Cedar Rod and Gun Club for Ron. The family chose Life Story Funeral Home, Traverse City to handle the services. Please visit www. lifestorynet.com, where you can archive a photo or memory and sign Ron's online guestbook.