Ron Tonander, 78

Ronald Tonander, 78, of Kalamazoo

Ron’s courageous five year battle with cancer ended when he passed away peacefully on December 21st, 2010 at Bronson Hospital where he had been surrounded by family and friends, caring doctors, nurses and staff since December 7. Ron was born in Chicago, IL on March 11, 1932 to Ernest and Estelle (Henry)Tonander. Upon graduation from Maine Township High School, he attended Drake University where he was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha. He later received his bachelor of science degree in 1979, with a major in music and a minor in communications from Western Michigan University. His career as the radio personality, Ron Turner, began in 1950 at WOWO in Des Moines, Iowa and spanned several decades at radio stations including WTAC Flint, MI and WGN Chicago, IL. He became well known in the Kalamazoo area while on WKMI from 1955 to 1959. He also had a Sunday show on WYYY in the early 70’s. In the 70’s to the mid 80’s he worked in sales and promotions including time at WKZO. His career transitioned from radio to print, as Ron and Marilyn owned and published Guide Magazine of Kalamazoo from 1987 – 2003. Ron’s great radio voice returned to the air in the mid 90’s to the present on WAKV with “music to a “T” with R.T.” Ron had been a former member of Zion Lutheran Church and Suburban Kiwanis. For the past 14 years he was an active member at First United Methodist Church in Kalamazoo, where he served as a faithful sound booth technician and was a member of the Communications Team. Surviving Ron are his wife of 40 years, the former Marilyn Schug; his daughters, Ronda (Randy) Kopchinski of Plover, WI; Robyn (Toby) Boyle of Portage, MI; step-sons, Thomas (Sandra) Dailey of Columbia, MO; Steven (Jackalyn) Dailey of Richland, MI; ten grandchildren: Patrick, Matthew, Lindsey, Allison, Courtney, Nathan, Sarah, Camela, Susanna and a special grandson, Ross; seven great grandchildren, Austin, Makenna, Zealand, Elijah, Gracie, Will and Evan. Also surviving is the mother of his daughters, the former Joyce Drummond. A visitation will be held at First United Methodist Church, 212 S. Park St., Kalamazoo on Friday, January 7 from four to six o’clock PM. A celebration of Ron’s life with the Reverends Douglas Vernon and Julie Kline officiating will be on Saturday, January 8th at 11 o’clock AM. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First United Church Memorial Fund. The family would like to express their gratitude to Dr. Keith Bailey and staff and to Dr.Samuel Payne and the West Michigan Cancer Center personnel for their care and comfort given to Ron on his journey.

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