Born on Dec. 27, 1941, in Lovell, Wyoming, to Geraldine Emerson and Elmer E. Blakesley, Ron grew up primarily in Oregon Basin, Wyoming, where he was introduced to playing with radios.
He spent his junior and senior high school years living in Cody, Wyoming, graduating from Cody High School in 1960, and in January 1961 started school at the National Electronics Institute in Denver, Colorado. After graduating and marrying his first wife, Barbara Ashton, he went to work for military contractors specializing in missile systems around the West.
In 1965, Ron joined the Navy, serving as an Electronics (Communications) Technician on the Bryce Canyon, a destroyer tender. After his discharge in 1969, Ron worked for Collins Radio in Orange County, California, then Hathaway in Denver, Colorado, where he met and married his second wife, Terri Gross Kennedy.
In 1972 he went to work for the Army Corp. of Engineers at Dworshak Dam in Orofino, Idaho. He retired from Dworshak in 2000.
Ron loved working with radios and electronics all his life. He enjoyed employment in an industry where he, “could play during the week as well as weekends.” Since retirement, he traveled, hiked to mountain-tops, and enjoyed his hobby, “playing with radios.” He installed a 63-foot tower in his yard and talked to people around the world in English and Morse code. He maintained a mountain–top repeater and traveled to Ham festivals around the West to find “treasures” and connect with friends who shared his passion for radio.
Ron is survived by his partner of 17 years, Sheila Noall of Lewiston, Idaho; two daughters, Pennie (Kirk) Morgan of Cody, Wyoming; Tracy (Kevin) Graffis of Lewiston, Idaho; son, Mike Kennedy of Lewiston, Idaho; six grandchildren and sister Marlene (Mike) Thiel of Powell, Wyoming.
He was preceded in death by his parents; second wife Terri; and son Wade Kennedy.
Per Ron’s wishes, there will be no memorial service and his ashes will be placed at the top of Carter Mountain, Wyoming, near the old radio towers, where he will have a good view and great reception.