Passed away peacefully at the Kemptville District Hospital in his 89th year in the morning of January 19, 2020, one month shy of his 23rd wedding anniversary with his loving wife, Mary Diana Uloth (nee Currie). Born to Milton G. Uloth and Alice Uloth (nee O’Hara) in New Harbour, Nova Scotia, Ronald spent his youth helping out at the town’s only store, which his father managed, and fishing the many rivers and ponds nearby. In 1948, Ron moved to live with his sister, Irma, and her husband in Orillia, Ontario, where he attended Orillia and District Collegiate Institute.
Growing up during World War II, young Ron was in awe of the war-planes and caught the aviation bug early. As a teen, he was a keen airplane model-builder and a prize-winning U-Control competitor. Later, he became a private pilot after colour-blindness kept him from flying for the Air Force. His passion for aviation led to some of his most enduring friendships, most importantly with the Shaw family, who became his “second family.” Ron graduated from the University of Detroit in 1959 and worked as an Aeronautical Engineer in Montréal, first at Canadair and later at Air Canada, overseeing their 747 and 767 airliners. Often, dates with first wife-to-be, Sonya O’Brien, involved the two working on his prized Beechcraft Staggerwing airplane (CF-EKA) in one of the Canadair hangars.
Many will remember Ronald for his intense love of aviation, as well as for his roles as a Past President of the Montreal Chapter 266 of the Experimental Aircraft Association and Treasurer of the Ottawa/Rideau Chapter 4928 of the Recreational Aircraft Association. He loved sharing his passion with other pilots, and his garage and basement continually housed airplane parts waiting to be repaired or rebuilt.
Always curious and ready for adventure, Ronald’s passion for knowledge was infectious. Interruptions mid-dinner to consult encyclopedias were common during the Uloth’s lively supper-time discussions, and Ron taught his children to always search for answers and to find wonder in everything. Also common were family trips abroad to explore other countries and cultures. An avid downhill skier, Ronald took his family skiing every weekend in the winter and traveled to British Columbia and Austria in search of fresh snow (and good bratwurst sausages). Ron cherished his Nova Scotian roots, and his family enjoyed yearly summer vacations at his childhood home in New Harbour (despite the two-day drive). Years later, after cancer took Sonya, it was under the evening moon on Tor Bay beach that Ronald proposed to his second wife, Diana. They lived happily at their Kemptville farm with their beloved dogs and travelled the world together until the end. Much-loved for his gentle, caring nature and ever-present sense of humour, Ronald was a role-model and inspiration to everyone who knew him.
Ron will be deeply missed by his three children, David (Chloé), Geoffrey and Holly; his grandchildren, Sacha and Lila; and his step-children, Donald (Clare) and Douglas (Ann) Bowles.
Predeceased by his parents, his sister Irma J. Hatch (Uloth), brother Milton M. Uloth, his “chosen brother” Lawrence Shaw, “second mother” Maggie Shaw, and late wife, Sonya Elaine Uloth (O’Brien). Survived by his much-loved “chosen brothers” Martin (Antoinette) and Gerald (Barbara) Shaw, “chosen sister” June (Bill Phelps), and “chosen sister-in-law” Eleanor. He will be sorely missed by many nieces and nephews.
We treasure the final weeks we had with him and our family would like to thank the dedicated staff at the Ottawa General Hospital and Kemptville District Hospital who cared for him during this time.
A Celebration Of Life was held at the ROYAL CANADIAN LEGION, Branch 212, at 100 Reuben Crescent, Kemptville, on Sunday, January 26th, at 2PM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society, World Vision Canada or Kemptville District Hospital palliative care unit (via donations to ‘KDH Foundation’).