Ronald (“Ronnie,” “Ron”) Charles Lucas checked in with the Lord on the 13th of April and checked out of his earthly body, after 78 years of adventure across the United States and around the world. He began his life in Fresno, California, on the 15th of November in 1943 to Charles and Frances Lucas, joining his older sister Charliene. He and Charliene enjoyed a childhood among many cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Growing tall like many men of his family who also displayed their Lithuanian roots, he was strong and athletic, making his transition to the Air Force during the Vietnam War easy. He began his exploration of the world during his service, spending memorable times in Thailand and Spain when not on the flight line with fighter jets. Upon his return from service he was a schoolteacher, athletics coach, and Ranger in both the Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management. He always sought an active, well-lived life and enjoyed the outdoors.
Ron’s intrepid spirit and creativity lives on in his loving wife Carolyn; his daughter Sarah and her four children; his brother-in-law Said; his niece Sheriene and her family; and his nephew Komron and his family. They are now surrounded by the love and memories of family and friends with whom he hiked to the depths of the Grand Canyon, enjoyed the warmth of campfires in Cedar Grove, and enjoyed the view of Mesa Verde from their ranch nestled between Durango and Cortez. Ron will always be remembered for his loud laugh, love of meeting people, how he thoroughly enjoyed diving into new cultures, and his love for great food – which he always took a great deal of time to enjoy. He was especially appreciative of Carolyn’s culinary masterpieces to include any number of baked goods, and her mastery of the historic breakfast duo of pancakes and sausage. He provided the world several artifacts of his personality through his wood workmanship and his incredible sketches – many works rivalling those of Salvador Dalí. Through his art and his spectacular combination of patience and talent while behind the lens of a camera, he captured his adventures and cemented a connection with the creative legacies of his father and grandfather.
As a husband, Ron was devoted to his wife Carolyn with whom he shared 34 years of exploration through America’s West. After meeting in her home territory of California’s Kings Canyon they embarked on parallel journeys in the Park Service and two retirements’ worth of teaching in Kayenta where Monument Valley and all the natural and cultural majesty of the Navajo Reservation surrounded them. Together they lived for the Lord and sought to share their love of Jesus with everyone they met. As an example of God’s unending and unconditional love they built a family around them and with Ron’s passing, this village carries on as a refuge of strength for Carolyn and a reminder of God’s providence.
As a father, Ron was dedicated to showing Sarah the natural world and all it had to offer. He never hesitated to take her with him on his many adventures through mountains and canyons, scaling steep hillsides, leaping over crevasses, and finding the rarest aspen grove on the rim of the Grand Canyon – untouched by tourists. Ron taught Sarah how to live outside and love it, how to whittle wood and create art when the usual mediums were not around, how to search under rocks on the river bank, looking for interesting creatures after enjoying a water break on a long hike, and how to enjoy the bounty of a well-cooked meal in any setting. His earthly departure leaves Sarah and her four children with memories that remind them to embrace the uniqueness of their individuality, to explore their creative interests, and to experience all that God has created with curious endeavor.
As a brother and uncle, Ron built memories of laughter and warmth.