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RUBADEAU, Ron

RUBADEAU, Ron

Ron Rubadeau sailed his last race on August 3, 2022. His was a full life.

Ron moved around a lot as a kid. As a young boy, he, his scholar dad Duane, and his resourceful mom Lois moved into a leaky post-war aluminum Quonset hut in San Francisco. In the 1950s, he squeezed into the back of a Buick with an expanding brood of siblings, moving to small college towns in Washington, Montana, and Ohio. Along the way, Ron washed down with Kool-Aid his mom’s bologna-and-pickle Wonder Bread sandwiches, read Mad Magazine, and got Cs in grade school. He wore Buddy Holly glasses, wingtip shoes, and a flat-top hairstyle cut by his mom. In the 1960s, the family moved to New York State. Transformed from a gawky teen into a confident, intelligent heartthrob, Ron met and married his college sweetheart, Donna, nodding at her from behind the double bass he played on Saturday nights in dim, smoky jazz clubs. In the early 1970s, Ron and Donna followed the Rubadeau clan to British Columbia, where they put down roots.

Ron built things. He built a career in the education system: as a teacher, assistant coordinator of special education, director of student support services, and finally as the superintendent of schools in the Central Okanagan. He built programs that inspired: school assessment programs and student achievement programs; learn-to-sail and adaptive sailing programs for the Central Okanagan Sailing Association. He built a dynasty of sailors. He built things out of wood: decks and docks, playhouses, rocking horses. He built up networks: of friends and colleagues; of mentees, teachers, and administrators; of coaches and race directors; of musicians.

He built up collections, too: jazz and blues records, then eight-tracks, cassettes, and eventually CDs; one-liners, puns, groaners, bait-and-switch jokes, and zingers; tall tales, all unverifiable pre-Internet; XXL Hawaiian shirts and navy blue shorts; Disney movies and Hollywood musicals on VHS; hundreds of articles and columns scrawled on yellow foolscap; overhead transparencies for low-tech presentations he would enliven with a kazoo, guitar, or banjo; so many local, national, and international awards for sailing, educational leadership, and community service. He got rid of most of the material things. He kept the zingers and the tall tales.

Ron spoke: at podiums, in news studios, in classrooms, on long car trips, at the dinner table. He quizzed listeners and listed off trivia items his children affectionately dubbed “Stupid Amazing Facts.” He asked and answered rhetorical questions. He reminisced: about pods of whales that had swum near his boat and about the low fog of San Francisco. He lamented numbskulls: dingdong pedestrians who ambled down the sidewalk four abreast; dumb*ss analysts who conflated correlation and causation. He expressed admiration: for musicians who nailed hot riffs and bands that were tight; for innovators; for underdogs; for clever witticisms by late-night hosts. He championed the accomplishments of his cherished loved ones, including his wife of 52 years (Donna) and their children (Devin and Julie; Ksan and Jun Hong), his siblings (Tom/Annette, Dave/Karen, Paul/Lin, Jon/Suzie, and Susan/Ron Tindale), and especially his adored grandchildren (Ryan and Tyler), who lit up Gramps’ life.

Ron lazed around sometimes. He nourished a lifelong TV addiction, spending hours on the sofa cozily cocooned in his crocheted blankie. He took long naps and read whodunits in front of televised sports, MeTV, and Turner Classics. He hogged the remote and parroted commercials. He shushed everyone to hear the news. He wolfed down fast food and guzzled enormous bottles of cola.

He also got involved and saw things to fruition. He volunteered his time and his expertise. He rose early and completed to-do lists before 11 AM. He joined his staff for volleyball, softball, and dragon boating. He organized sailing regattas and became an international principal race officer. He earned his doctorate. He passed down skills. He researched and assessed situations, listened to concerns, sought input, deliberated, and made tough decisions. He sat on committees and spearheaded initiatives. He chaired the Kelowna BC Summer Games and led over 22,000 students and staff to a Guinness World Record in simultaneous tree planting. He cut through red tape and instituted education reforms. He rescued stranded boaters and drowning swimmers from a stormy Okanagan Lake. He wore costumes to raucous parties, and he reworked song lyrics, both intentionally and because he couldn’t remember the words. He participated in aquafit classes and crafted beautiful artworks out of stained glass. He scripted musicals. He raked and bagged more than his share of maple leaves. He loaded his beloved bass into the pick-up truck and played in community theatre productions, with choral groups, at the hospital, in care homes, and at Hospice House, where he, too, would eventually reside.

In his 73 years, Ron entertained, exasperated, and enthralled a lot of people. “I yam what I yam,” he would declare, and indeed, he was. He is very sadly missed by his friends and colleagues and painfully mourned by his loving family. We deeply thank the many dedicated and extraordinary medical professionals and volunteers who supported Ron through twelve years of health challenges. The care at Kelowna General Hospital, BC Cancer-Kelowna Centre, and Hospice House was exceptional.

To honour Ron’s memory, in lieu of flowers, a donation in his name to the Okanagan Humane Society or another charity of your choice would be appreciated. At Ron’s request, there will be no public service. Instead, pour yourself a cold one and think of him. Please share your Ron Rubadeau anecdotes by e-mailing them to the family at [email protected]


Condolence Messages
  • Sep 28, 2022
    Life is a brief moment between two miracles, where we are meant to have many luminous moments. Ron had a life of many luminous moments that made a difference and inspired many. My condolences to Donna, Devin, Kashan and families. One of my fondest memories is when he snuck into my office and posted posters of Hobbie cats on my office walls to encourage me to buy my first Catamaran in 1982. - Patricia Dandeneau
  • Sep 12, 2022
    Donna and family. I am so sorry to her about Ron' passing. He was very accomplished, and admired by many. Clearly he will be missed by your family, friends and coworkers. My thoughts are with you.
    Kathy Kriitmaa - Kathy Kriitmaa
  • Sep 07, 2022
    So sad to hear this news Donna. I have fond memories of verbally sparring with Ron for hours over "absolutely nothing" at McWilliams Centre when I worked on his staff. I called him a "big teddy bear" because he was always loving and deeply cared about others. His visionary leadership touched many of us! His passion and commitment to inclusion in this province is his powerful legacy! May all your happy memories of Ron give you some comfort at what I imagine is a very painful time for you. Sending you our love and hugs. Rod & Sharon Johnston - Rod Johnston
  • Aug 24, 2022
    Deepest sympathies,
    Thank you, Ron , for your wonderful contributions to education in our district, and for showing us how to live a completely full life. - John McIntyre
  • Aug 23, 2022
    Donna and Family
    I am so sorry for the pain you and all who know Ron are feeling upon hearing of his death.
    Thank you for the sharing of his life story!
    I was afforded the luxury of spending a few personal moments of time with Ron a couple of times while he was superintendent of SD23. We ended up on the same training sailboat as he hosted lessons for children with special needs. I will always remember as he made such an impression on me with his insightful questions and genuine listening, his storytelling and humor, and especially his ability to teach me, an old dog, the new art and love of sailing! - Sue Patterson
  • Aug 21, 2022
    Dear Donna and Famly,
    I was saddened to hear of Ron's passing. I was blessed to know him as a valued colleague through the BC School Superintendent's Association. Ron was a thoughtful and highly respected leader in education. He cared deeply about success for all students and worked diligently to build a positive relationship with his colleagues in SD23 as well as with the families and broader community. Ron was an incredible mentor for the staff in SD23 and for educators across BC.
    I also have fond memories of Ron as a talented musician who entertained us with jazz tunes at the BCSSA annual conferences.
    I extend sincere condolences to Ron's family and to his treasured friends. Ron leaves a legacy of caring and significant accomplishments which made a huge difference in both the education sector and the broader community. He will certainly be missed.
    Bendina Miller - Bendina Miller
  • Aug 17, 2022
    To Donna and family of Ron Rubadeau. Ron was extraordinary man for all seasons. As a leader of education for all he created peace. This incredible talent in all forms of boating was extraordinary! It was a marvelous experience for me to have worked with Ron. Wherever Ron is now he will make changes! - Eain Lamont
  • Aug 16, 2022
    Dear Donna and all your family,
    Ron was one of those people - I was always glad to know that he was on the planet with me! We usually travelled in different circles (COTA/BCTF and SD 23 admin), but I infinitely admired him for the things that ranked highly in his life: education, music, providing others the opportunity to reach their potential - even sailing (although I didn't get into it), and Donna! I know he was a sensitive, thoughtful and caring man - also brilliant, successful and well-regarded - but the first things always counted for more... I liked that about him too... It was part of his nature to know that talents were meant to share. Good on him that he had so much fun doing that!! Another lesson well taught. - Peggy Salaberry
  • Aug 16, 2022
    My condolences to the whole Rubadeau clan.
    I didn't know Ron well but I'll never forget how he welcomed and supported this freshly graduated University kid, in 1984, from Victoria into the special education program at KLO. He was a first class gentleman and will be greatly missed. - Colin Smith
  • Aug 15, 2022
    Donna, thank you for writing such an interesting and moving description of Ron's life. Composing it must have been a sweet and painful experience. Ron opened my eyes to what really mattered in working with others within the education system. He was a remarkable man and a wise leader. Cathy and I pray for peace and comfort for you and your family during this tough time. Rob Gibbon
    - Rob Gibbon
  • Aug 14, 2022
    Condolences to Donna, Devin, Kashan and family. As others have so articulately stated, Ron was unique, wise and incredibly generous. I learned a great deal from him both professionally and personally. For that, I will always be grateful. Ron will be dearly missed by more than he could ever know.
    Donna Connolly
  • Aug 14, 2022
    Donna & family . . . What a beautiful day write up on Ron’s amazing life! We are saddened for your loss! But a life well lived! Cherish all those special moments & others too that you’ve all shared! Sending our love & prayers your way! Bernie & Ev Monteleone
  • Aug 14, 2022
    My sincere condolences to you and your family, Donna. Ron was a great contributor to the school district and to the community.
    Gloria Pada
  • Aug 14, 2022
    Donna and family
    My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
    Anette Spangler
  • Aug 13, 2022
    Donna, please accept my most sincere condolences on Ron's passing. He was a fine person, a wonderful motivational educational leader and a treasure to his community. He will be sadly missed by many.
    Bella and Everett taylor
  • Aug 13, 2022
    Donna and Family, I am so very sorry for your loss. Rita Klimuk
  • Aug 12, 2022
    My deepest condolences to the entire Rubadeau family. I absolutely loved the comment about the overhead transparencies! My favourite memory of an incredible leader who had a creative knack for bringing out the best in those fortunate to work with him. I will treasure always our chance meeting at the Stanley Theatre years after I left the district. Ron never forgot a face. Rest In Peace, Ron You lived a full life and have earned some calm seas. You are missed by so many. MaryAnne Smirle
  • Aug 12, 2022
    Thanks to you, Ron, I will always remember to push as well as pull the door- as well as so much more about children, public education and life! You made a difference in so many ways! Thanks! How lucky we are are to have known you and benefitted from your wisdom, skills and experience!
    John and Kirsti Grain
  • Aug 12, 2022
    An amazing tribute that said it all. Donna and all your family, we are thinking of you at this sad time. Ron will be missed but his legacy will live on in so many ways. No more rough waters now, just smooth sailing.
    Judy and Ken Johnson
  • Aug 12, 2022
    Dear Donna and and family
    Our heartfelt condolences for you at this time. It was an absolute privilege to know Ron and our kids and countless (thousands) of others have truly benefited from learning sailing and life skills at C.O.S.A. Ron was a builder of community and his efforts will stand throughout time. You have our deepest sympathy and unwavering support. Wishing you peace, comfort and lots of love to all of the family at this time.
    All our love from the Littleton Family
  • Aug 12, 2022
    So sorry to hear of Ron's passing. What an interesting and enriched life he led, along side his very kind and compassionate wife. Donna. I know my Mom, Norma, loved having you as neighbors on Long Street. My heartfelt thoughts for you Donna and the family.
    Sue Bradley
  • Aug 12, 2022
    Dear Donna, Devin, Ksan and families. What a wonderful tribute to an amazing man! So many snapshots of interactions with Ron flood my memories. His leadership at administrator meetings developing policies and programs to make kids’ lives better. Beers after staff volleyball. Being on stage with Theatre Kelowna while Ron tried to distract us from behind his bass in the orchestra pit. He impacted the lives of so many people through a wide range of activities. RIP big guy—you will be missed!
    —Brian Chamberlain
  • Aug 12, 2022
    Donna and family I am deeply sorry for your loss. Thank you for the love and support you gave my friend and colleague Ron. In spite of all his health challenges
    with your help he was able to continue to do the things he valued and enjoyed. Ron was an amazing and brilliant man. His contribution to SD#23 and our community will have a lasting impact. I feel so fortunate to have worked with him and to call him my friend.
    XO
    Cathy Lownsbrough
  • Aug 11, 2022
    Donna and family, my heart goes out to you all. Your husband and dad gave us all a chance to succeed as young teachers with big ideas. North Glenmore Elementary was my starting place many years ago and staff parties were always fun with Ron around. I appreciated his humour, metaphors, and deep thought. I thank you too Donna for supporting us new teachers in finding our way around busy classrooms. Keep the memories alive and cherish the small moments moving forward. Take care of one another. Nicole
  • Aug 11, 2022
    A life well lived! Sending my thoughts to all of the family during such a different time. May you hold onto all those precious memories. Kyleen
  • Aug 11, 2022
    Such a lovely tribute to such a special man. Thank you for sharing this with us.
    I will certainly miss his friendly smile and cheeky banter.
    Sending hugs and heartfelt condolences.
    Claire and All Your Friends at PRC. xxx
  • Aug 11, 2022
    Donna & Family,
    Ron certainly had a life well-lived! The picture you selected says it all. We were deeply saddened to learn of his passing, and send our deepest condolences. Ron will be remembered with fondness by those whose lives he has touched.
    Jan Derriksan
    Dennis Norgard
  • Aug 11, 2022
    Sending wishes that the wonderful memories and family circle will carry you through the coming time. Marilyn Foster
  • Aug 11, 2022
    Donna and family
    I am saddened to read of Ron’s passing. He was an amazing person and I always enjoyed his stories when he was at the school. Your tribute to Ron was delightful to read and brought back many memories. Sending my sincere condolences.
    Take care of yourselves and each other.
    Denise Yamabe
  • Aug 11, 2022
    To you Donna, and your extended family - sincerest condolences. Ron was my SD superintendent for his time in that chair, and a coffee friend at the Parkinson Pool over the years. His wit and insight were legion! That twinkle in his eye as he spun a tale, just to see one's reaction was masterful - and often hilarious. He was deep when appropriate, and oh so satirical as well - but always with a chuckle and a smile. :) His breadth of knowledge made him renaissance man in so many theaters - it was astounding. I will miss him. We all will miss. Blessings, Rupert Gruen
  • Aug 10, 2022
    Donna and Rubadeau family,
    My deepest condolences for your loss. Such a wonderful tribute to a man who lived such a full life ! Treasure your memories of him! Darlene Ewings
  • Aug 10, 2022

    Dear Donna and family
    I will cherish the periodic meetings we had during my time at Sandstone.
    Please accept my sincerest condolences, Murray Joyce
  • Aug 10, 2022
    Donna and family,
    I never had the pleasure of speaking with Ron but I so enjoyed reading your tribute to him. What a character and what love he clearly had from and for his family. My heart-felt condolences.
    Maegan Church
  • Aug 10, 2022
    Donna and Rubadeau family,
    My deepest condolences for your loss. Such a wonderful tribute to a man who lived such a full life ! Treasure your memories of him! Darlene Ewings
  • Aug 10, 2022
    Dear Donna and Family,
    Ron made a significant contribution to my journey as an Educator in School District 23. Along the way, our paths crossed in my role as a Learning Assistant Teacher, the Severe Behaviour Program (as it was called) and as a Vice Principal. He was a mentor and a friend for many years. I truly respected 99% of his opinions! His empathy, intelligence, leadership style and insights were appreciated. I also participated in a number of the "fun" events and enjoyed his frequent musical contributions.
    Graham also enjoyed his connection with Ron, especially his patience as Graham learned to play Squash!
    How proud you must be of the legacy he left.
    Brenda and Graham
  • Aug 10, 2022
    You were a fantastic big brother - so incredibly proud of everything that you accomplished in your life ?? you will be missed by so many people but you will never be forgotten.The one and only runt of the litter- your sister Susan Tindale
  • Aug 10, 2022
    Dear Donna and family,
    We are saddened by the passing of Ron. The Rubadeau family was very special to us when we attended Geneseo. Such a great family and memories. Keep those memories if the forefront of your minds.
    Ann and Jon McKnight
  • Aug 09, 2022
    Donna. I am so saddened to learn of Ron’s passing. For many years I was his left-hand man and he was my right. We had a great time developing new programs and building new schools for the students of SD23. Somehow, we always magically found the resources we needed. To this day, in my mind, I still hear his rendition of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ as he walked down the hallway of the Bunker. His energy was endless, and he was tough to keep up too. Ron was a strong influence in my career as he was for many others. Sleep well my friend. Larry Paul
  • Aug 09, 2022
    Dear Donna and Family,
    Throughout a career everyone meets a few people that stand out as pivotal to your journey. During my time with SD #23, Ron was certainly one of mine. He trusted in his team completely and you always felt he had your back no matter what. That trust and support made me proud to be a member of his team. I won't forget him. Sincerest condolences to your entire family.
    Eileen Sadlowski
  • Aug 09, 2022
    I am so sorry to hear of Ron's death, Donna. My heart goes out to you and your family.
    Sincerely,
    Jeannette Mergens
  • Aug 09, 2022
    My thoughts are with you - Donna, Devin, Zoe Ksan & family. My heart is heavy after learning about the loss of a very dear friend. What great memories my adult children and I have dating back to the 70's at good old Buckhorn Elementary in Prince George where Ron taught. Then, by coincidence, we both moved to Kelowna and I was lucky enough to work with Ron at McWilliams Center. Again, very fond memories. Only one problem - I never did learn to read his handwriting - or "hieroglyphics" as I told him!! Take care - stay strong and keep all those good memories close to your heart.
    Kerin Mana (Mike, Myles & Ginny)
  • Aug 09, 2022
    Donna and family:
    The number of heartfelt tributes tells so much about what he meant to so many in our school district and community. His caring leadership and mentorship style had a deep impact on those of us fortunate enough to work alongside him. His ingenuity, creativity, generosity, and concern for others is what made him special. One of a kind in our lives, and never forgotten.
    Terry and Hilde Schneider
  • Aug 09, 2022
    Donna and family...so sorry to hear about Ron's passing. He was such a wonderful person and had a huge influence on my career.
    Doug Amundrud
  • Aug 09, 2022
    “O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
    The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
    The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
    While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;”
    Sincere condolences Donna, Devon, K’San & family.
    Paul Durose
  • Aug 09, 2022
    Dear Donna, I am so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you.
    Take Care, Karen Jackson
  • Aug 09, 2022
    Sincerest condolences to Donna and family. Ron was definitely a unique person, and a very talented musician, among his many other talents. I enjoyed working with him in the Black Box shows we did for Theatre Kelowna Society. Only his health issues ever prevented him from performing admirably. He hated practices, and avoided them if he could, but never let me down once the shows started. Gone too soon. RIP old friend. Jeff Samin.
  • Aug 09, 2022
    Dear Donna and family.
    Wishing you peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your hearts. With prayers and sympathy.
    Heather Karabelas
  • Aug 09, 2022
    My condolences to you and your family.
    Judy Barber
  • Aug 09, 2022
    Donna and family
    Thank goodness that young boy from San Francisco decided to make Kelowna home for his family. Ron was respected and respectful, a leader rather than a boss.
    He willingly shared his time,wisdom and humour. I know you will miss him but know his spirit will always be with you.
    Lynne Deacon
  • Aug 09, 2022
    Dear Donna and Family,
    We were saddened by the news of Ron’s passing and want to send our sincere condolences on your loss. I had many interactions with Ron during our time working in SD 23 and was always impressed by Ron’s work ethic, his dedication to making things better for our students, his ability to keep focussed on the big picture and his ability to do a very difficult job without losing his keen sense of humour. Ron was a true Renaissance Man. We were fortunate to have worked with him!
    Rick and Kathy Shave
  • Aug 09, 2022
    My heartful condolences to the family. I have Ron to thank for the wonderful times at the sailing club and making my work days brighter.
    Sharron Morrison-Gibb
  • Aug 09, 2022
    Dear Donna,
    I hope you and Ron wrote parts of this tribute together as I seem to hear both of your voices as I read it. Witty, charming and enlightening. From my first interview with Ron to my years of joking with the two of you at staff parties, I never lost my admiration for his intelligent solutions to school district concerns and yours for school level ones. I will definitely raise a glass to Ron, and to your continued health and happiness, Donna!
    Pam Sherlock
  • Aug 09, 2022
    Dear Donna and Family,
    I am so sorry to hear of Ron’s passing. What a beautiful tribute you have written to him. May your happy memories now bring you comfort.
    With my deepest condolences,
    Mary Cacchioni
  • Aug 09, 2022
    Julie , Devon and the Rubadeau family
    So sorry to hear of Ron’s passing. My deepest condolences to you all.
    Tracey & Tom
  • Aug 09, 2022
    Donna, Devin, Ksan and families, Ryan & Tyler, though Ron’s impact on our community and so many people was huge, he will be missed most by his family. What an incredible husband, dad (and father-in-law) and grandad he was! Your words are a beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul. I will miss seeing him at the pool! You are very much in our thoughts and prayers at this tender time,
    Cheryl, Dave Bertetic & family
  • Aug 09, 2022
    To the Rubadeau Family
    I am very sad to read of Ron's passing. He was a larger than life man who will be missed by all of us.
    My sincere condolences
    Ann Ganser
  • Aug 09, 2022
    To the Rubadeau family; So sorry to hear of Ron's passing. He was a truely remarkable person who had the ability to empower people, with his big heart, quick mind, and often 'left field' dialogue that would make me smile. Peace and comfort to your family. He will be missed greatly. Sam Carlsson
  • Aug 09, 2022
    He once advised to tell students what mood you were in by putting a 1-5 scale on the board. My students advised they could tell as soon as I entered! He also advised me once that I was “ voted off the island” but never said who voted. Last time I saw him he was ‘manning’ Salvation Army Christmas kettles and I had retired from COTA and teaching. We joked about finally getting real jobs! RIP. Reg Volk
  • Aug 09, 2022
    A verse by Edna St.Vincent Millay describes Ron to a T,! “ My candle burns at both ends;It will not last the night;Butah,my foes and oh ;my friends-It gives a lovely light “Condolences..Doreen Murdoch
  • Aug 09, 2022
    Dear Donna & Family: What a wonderful tribute to Ron. It gives us all a good look at his full and wonderful life. I am so saddened for your loss and send my sincerest condolences to all of you. Special hugs and love to you, Donna. Shirley Wishlove
  • Aug 09, 2022
    To Donna and family. i was saddened to hear of Ron's death. I have many fond memories of Ron and you Donna at many parties and of course with Ron on the B.C Summer Games Committee. Ron gave the best hugs. He will be missed. Beryl Itani
  • Aug 09, 2022
    Donna, I am sorry for your loss. I only knew Ron through SD23, and as this beautiful tribute shows, his reach was much larger. He will be missed by many people. Condolences to you and your family.
    Sarah Murdoch Black
  • Aug 09, 2022
    Donna & family,
    I am saddened to hear of Ron's passing. It was an honor to know Ron and it was a delight to have him in my aqua fitness classes over the years. I enjoyed the morning chats we had and all the trivia he would share with me. I am glad I was there to give him a helping hand whether he wanted it or not. Ron always had something interesting to say - truly inspirational. Jane (from the pool)
  • Aug 09, 2022
    Condolences to you and your family, Donna. I always had the greatest deal of respect for both you and Ron. He was always a smiling, cheery guy who took the time to chat with everyone on school visits. In my opinion, he was the best superintendent the district ever had, showing great leadership during "testy" labor times. RIP Ron.
    Jules and Pat Morris
  • Aug 09, 2022
    Donna and family,
    So sorry to hear of Ron’s passing. What a remarkable man and what a refreshing obituary….a wonderful testament to him. He will be remembered fondly!
    Cherish the good memories.
    Respectfully Loy Pierce
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Dear Donna and Family: My thoughts are with you. You shared a wonderful life together while traveling this amazing journey.
    Most sincerely
    Donna Good
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Dear Donna and family, we are saddened to hear of Ron’s passing. He was a wonderful guy and always made me laugh. I’m honoured to have known him. Thinking of you and sending hugs. Stella & Ken Georgeson
  • Aug 08, 2022
    All our condolences Donna, Devin & Ksan. What beautiful words written about an amazing man. Thinking of you. Brian, Kendra, Chay & Leif
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Donna, Devin, Ksan and families - Saddened to hear of Ron's passing and very sorry for your loss.
    Like others who had the pleasure to work with Ron, I have many fond memories of him putting himself out there to support students and educators in some of the most amazing and inventive ways possible!! Our lives are all richer for having known him - he loved to have fun, and was quick to let you know how he saw things, even if at times, it made things uncomfortable...
    He was generous with his time, talents and advice. He will be missed.
    Rick Oliver
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Dear Donna & Family- I send condolences to you with the loss of Ron.He often accompanied St.Paul’s Choir with his bass.May the many memories you have be treasured & help you during your grief journey.I am sorry for your loss. Donna Fletcher
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Ron was an awesome person, and lived live to the fullest. We certainly enjoyed Ron as a great sailor, coach and judge.
    As per his request,
    Cheers Ron, we say with a cold one, in hand.
    Rick and Jan Weberg
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Donna and family - our sincere condolences on Ron's passing. All the wonderful tributes to him says it all. He will be sorely missed. Ken and Sandy Zangbell
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Such a unique and wonderful soul! You taught us all Ron
    Lynn Popoff
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Dear Donna and Family,
    Your amazing words about Ron made me laugh and cry. He was everything you said and more. I will miss him as I know you all will, but I feel so blessed to have known him for so many years. Thinking of you. Chris Bischoff
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Sending our thoughts and condolences to you Donna and to all your family and loved ones. This obit made me smile; Ron was loved and touched by so many people. May all the beautiful words and memories everyone is sending, wash over you and fall gently into your hearts. Those precious moments have lead to precious memories; there is no doubt he will be remembered well. Cheers to you Ron and Thank You for all the love and life you brought into this world - Diana and Mike Barker
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Donna,
    Ardith and I are so sad to hear of Ron's passing away. I have so many wonderful memories of Ron. He was a cheerleader for me. Whenever I saw him, he would always make me feel better. He was always encouraging, upbeat, positive and happy. I remember him on the staff volleyball court, always smiling, joking around with everyone and having a great time. Ron was instrumental in creating positive changes within the education system. He cared about everyone and it showed on a daily basis. Ron was an amazing leader and an amazing man. I will always be grateful for knowing him.
    Donna, please know that we are thinking about you and we hope you gain strength in knowing how much Ron loved you.
    Laurie Bauer and Ardith Munro
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Thinking of you Donna and Devin (Julia) during this difficult time. He was an amazing man who brought the sunshine and laughter to others. He always knew how make you smile.
    Callie Pasitney
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Donna....just read of Ron’s passing. I am so sorry for your loss. I always loved Ron’s wit and it was such a pleasure to have known him coming into the bookshop over many years. As your lovely obituary said I have poured myself a glass of wine and have toasted him. Pat from The Book Bin!
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Donna and family my sincere condolences on the passing of a great man, a great leader, and a person who encouraged those around him to live life to the fullest. He could map out a plan on a napkin and put it in place with a smile, and to the surprise of no one, it usually worked. The world needs more leaders like Ron. SD23 was a better enterprise because of him. Thinking of you, John Mardall
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Donna and family, I send my sincere condolences knowing your hearts are heavy. It wasn’t long ago I saw you Donna by your husband’s side. He loved his family; that I know for sure. I’m so glad I hugged Ron a little bit longer the last time I saw him. I’m so glad I had over 40 years of friendship with him. What an exceptional, authentic human being. May he be comfortable and at peace. God bless your family.
    Rhonda
  • Aug 08, 2022
    I am deeply saddened having read of Ron's passing.
    He was one of the few people who didn't mind standing in front of news cameras with a mic in his face - no matter how many times he had to do it in one day!
    While I only knew him as the head of the local school district for many years - he was more than professional. His compassion for his community came through every time I met him.
    I hope the community names something in his honour - he deserves it.
    Doris Maria Bregolisse
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Ron was a friend. I an many many others will miss him. David Gunderson
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Donna and family, I think of you every time I drive by Long St, and was profoundly saddened to hear of Rons' passing You and Ron both gave so much to School District 23 , benefitting thousands of students - (you taught my daughter long division). 52 years just isn't enough time, but what a full, rewarding and gratifying partnerships you shared. Your tribute to Ron says it all!
    Big Hugs
    Jan Cooper
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Dearest Donna, Devin, Ksan and all your families! My heart is breaking, how I loved that man. I met the family all way back in the late seventies with shared child care, preschools and friendship and much, much laughter. He saved me when he recognized that I wasn’t an hysterical mother but a fierce advocate for my youngest son. I think he saved us both! Donna, your friendship through the early years has also meant so much. Thank you. My years as a School Trustee was only 'fun' because of 'the Doctor'. So, grieve and cry and remember all of you, it will be difficult but exhilarating. My thoughts are with you. Janis Thompson
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Donna, we were so sorry to learn of Ron's passing. The effects of his work, music and myriad of other activities willl be felt the central Okanagan for many years to come.
    Joan Bubbs and David Crawley
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Our sincerest condolences to you Donna and the rest of your beautiful family. We first met Ron through my dad, Glyn Jones and quickly fell in love with his joie de vivre. We have many fond memories of playing on the district slo pitch team being brought in by dad as “ringers”. Lots of laughs at Mickie’s over pints of cheap beer. We are toasting Ron right now as we camp on Vancouver Island. Big hugs to all of you. Very sincerely, Heather and Rick Serafin
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Hugs to the Rubadeau family. One of us is here because ‘Uncle Ron’ believed that I could have something to contribute to kids with special needs. The other one thanks Ron for believing in the first one & probably having something to do with her being hired! It’s been many years and Ron has been in and out of our lives throughout them.
    We are saddened by the loss of a unique man who could talk with every day people but who could also BS with the best! He will be missed, dearly. He will be in our thoughts and in our hearts. RIP Ron!
    Jane & Don Rampone
  • Aug 08, 2022
    It’s August 8 th and I just drove by Hospice House and there sat a woman who looked like Donna (who I know volunteered there). Still not sure if it was you Donna but it did bring back many memories in my head. For this reason, I was reminded of Donna and Ron, my superintendent for many years when teaching In SD 23. I took a few LA courses from him in the early 80s. So full of life & fun & insight & wisdom!!! Just reading this obituary and saddened.
    May you Rest In Peace Ron and my condolences to the family. Paula Thorburn
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Phil and I wish to add our condolences and shock to hear of Ron’s passing. He was larger than life and will live in our hearts forever. He was a mentor and a true leader and he made education fun and worthwhile and just..well fun! What a gem he was! We loved and admired him greatly. Karen and Phil Lewis.
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Donna:
    We hold you in our hearts and prayers as we celebrate Ron's transformational life - our world is a better place, and heaven might never be the same again.
    Carmel & David Worrall
  • Aug 08, 2022
    So sorry Donna and family for your loss.. may you rest in peace Ron .you will be greatly missed. Gail Lewis
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Fair, strong, skilled and intelligent. Like many others, I owe him a debt of gratitude for his support and honest feedback.
    RIP Superintendent Rubadeau.
    Roly Harvey
  • Aug 08, 2022
    A class act! He was a mentor to many of us... and will be missed. Pat Mulligan
  • Aug 08, 2022
    We are sorry to hear of Ron’s passing. He was so wonderful to us when we moved to Kelowna in 1988 and needed guidance for Trevor’s education. He was so great to our three boys even though they stole some of his shells from his desk. They did return them. Lol. Shelley and Guy Cole
  • Aug 08, 2022
    What a great Obit Donna. What a wonderful life he had.
    I remember Ron telling me I was talked about in your hot tub !!
    Hugs Donna..always remember the fun times you had together
    Fran Stewart
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Being with Ron, whether at play on a diamond or on a court, or taking a class of his at OUC, or listening to his advice with respect to child development, well... it was like being with a big, really smart and funny kid.
    I loved Ron and I am so sorry for your family's loss. No man is an island... RIP my old friend.
    Geoff Weidner
    Victoria, BC
  • Aug 08, 2022
    So saddened to hear of Ron’s passing. Condolences to Donna and family.
    Geraldine and Jack Bush
  • Aug 08, 2022
    My condolences to Donna and the family! Ron was so full of life and made the work day, to say the least, interesting! I sometimes had to think twice whether he was serious or joking. He will be missed by so many!
    Cathy Sullivan
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Donn a and family... my sincere condolences at the passing of a good old sailing buddy. The obit did not mention that he is the leading edge of the founding of COSA ( now COSBA I think ) on Hobson. As the Fleet Captain at KYC at the time, I can recall the dedication Ron put into finding a permanent home for the small boat sailing association. Had the pleasure of crewing for Ron back in the day. He will be missed by the sailing fraternity.. Phil Gunhouse - Rock Creek, BC
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Dear Donna & family,
    I first met Ron as a brand new teacher at a Rutland Elementary staff party and from just that one night of shenanigans, I knew that Ron must have been the life of every party that he ever attended. It was most definitely an unforgettable evening. He was an influential leader in so many ways, and I know that he helped to shape so very many people in a wide range of areas through his work in educational settings, through his various hobbies and musical endeavours etc. I read these amazing words about him with a smile on my face and eyes brimming with tears. I am so sorry for your loss and please know that you are in my thoughts at this difficult time.
    Stefani Oakes
  • Aug 08, 2022
    My condolences to you Donna and all the family. As my boss at the School Board Office, Ron was always kind and thoughtful. In all those years, there was never a dull day! Anyone reading his obit will understand why that was. He made us laugh and encouraged us as much as he worked us hard and challenged us. He was always at least one step ahead of everyone and everything. When Ron retired, we missed him. Marion Stolze
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Donna, Devin, Ksan and family,
    Please accept our sincere condolences to all of you.
    Brenda and Gordon Hunting
  • Aug 08, 2022
    My sincerest condolences to the entire Rubadeau family.
    Ron was truly 'one of a kind', and will long be remembered for so many things in our community - for me, most of my memories of Ron fondly came when he was our school district's Superintendent. To this day, we owe much to this larger-than-life individual who left a lasting impression on people he met.
    Rest in peace, Ron...
    Susan Bauhart
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Deep love and strength sent to the family. Ron had such an impactful impression on me as a teenager and helping to guide me towards the person that I am today. His compassion was mirrored by his no nonsense approach when dealing with us "difficult ones" and I am deeply saddened that the community has lost such an amazing man and truly inspirational human being.
    Shaunna Begley
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Donna and family: An exceptional obituary for an exceptional man. Ron certainly lived his life fully and blessed many with all his talents and obvious love of people. My prayers are with you as you go through this difficult time without him.
    .....Linda Yablonski
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Dear Donna and Family,
    It is with great sadness to hear about the passing of our 'Fearless Leader - Rub-a-Dub'. Ron was a huge part of SD #23. Director of Student Support Services and Superintend. Both were very difficult positions. I had the privilege of working with him in both departments. He was a kind and funny man. I called him a walking encyclopedia! He knew something about everything! He dressed in costumes and sang songs at retirement events. He always called me 'The Kid'. He was encouraging and always said, 'You can do it and don't let anyone talk you out of it!' He was a great mentor. He loved to 'stir the pot' and get the reporters frustrated. I will cherish the great memories he created. He was so proud of that Rocking horse he made. He brought it to the School Board Office! My thoughts and prayers are with the family as we all reflect on the amazing accomplishments he did in his life jouney. From Jody Kirschner
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Donna and family the picture of Ron is so appropriate. So many memories but we had many a laugh about his transparencies and he seemed to have them for every subject. Rest In Peace Ron a life well lived. Rob Melle
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Dear Donna, Devin and Ksan. I am so sorry to hear of Ron's passing. He was a good friend and I enjoyed many BlacK Box performances with him playing the bass. He also played for my Church Choir and would never take any remuneration for anything. I am so sad for all of you because he really was "larger than life" and I know how much he will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    Sincerely, Sylvia Clerke
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Donna, Devin, Ksan and families
    Very rarely does an obituary make you smile but this one sure did. The words were so appropriate and had all kinds of memories coming to mind. Ron was truly one of a kind and lived such a full and wonderful life. I will always remember him as the bass player in so may Theatre Kelowna shows. He had the ability to crack a joke and cut through the tension no matter how tense the situation might have been – and his humour was exactly what was needed. And right up until pre-Covid he was still playing bass for our Christmas concerts at St. Paul’s and sharing his humour with everyone. He was a great School Superintendent and a joy to work with when I was a College employee - always finding the best solution for those involved. The world needs more people like Ron. May all your happy memories and laughs sustain you at this time. Cheers, Ron!!!
    Jayne Brooks
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Donna and family - I laughed out loud more than once, with a tear in my eye, as I read this tribute to an amazing human being. Oh, to live such a life, to touch so many, to be humble. Blessed was I to be one of the many where he gave his music in a back seat kind of way. Donna, I loved to hear of your early years, smoky, dreamy East Coast scene. Thank you for sharing more of Ron in this tribute. I will be one of many who will raise a glass. Thinking of you and of Ron. Kirsten Vinge
  • Aug 08, 2022
    My condolences to Donna and family. Ron was an exceptional educator and I admired him greatly for how he supported my own career. I fondly remember my first meeting with Ron when I came to the school district and how candid and open he was. He never changed - called things as they were. I always admired his passion, compassion, and energy that he gave in all he did. Sailing, theatre, music, volunteering, writer, on and on goes the list. He will be missed! Greg Corry
  • Aug 08, 2022
    What positive reflections of an accomplished soul !
    Dear Donna and family, thinking of you all, sending love, strength and healing
    Thoughts. Colleen Whattam
  • Aug 08, 2022
    To the Rubadeau family. so very sorry for your loss Donna think of you often enjoyed our time at Hospice together. my thoughts are with you God bless. Julie Robbins.
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Donna and family - we have lost an amazingly talented person. My thoughts are with you and wishing you the best.
    Anne Mackay (former colleague SD 23)
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Donna, Devin, Ksan and ther family members. So sorry to learn of Ron's passing. I did, however, know he'd been struggling with his health for a long time, so that battle is over. I knew Ron through theatre, education and various other areas. As a Superintendent, he was so very supportive. Especially with me, as I was going through a very rough time a few years back. He was someone who was always open and willing to have a good talk about whatever. Ron was liked and respected by everyone I knew in the school district.
    RIP, good friend. Sincerely Brian Harms
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Hello Rubadeau family: I did not know Ron but I want to say I wish I had. This wonderful tribute and complete round-up of his life show me why. I feel certain he wrote this obituary himself as no one can really honour a person as well as the person being honoured. This was such a pleasure to read.
    My sincere condolences to you all,
    Jann Harrison
  • Aug 08, 2022
    Donna and family members.
    Saddened to read of Ron's passing. Have known him since his SD23 days. We would have breakfast these past few years at the Brown Bag and as could be expected the conversation was always interesting with Ron's perspective.
    Condolences to all
    David Langton
  • Aug 08, 2022
    My condolences to Donna, Devin, Kashan and families. Ron was one in a million. In the tribute you recounted many of Ron’s amazing accomplishments. I first met Ron through Theatre Kelowna and his work for students throughout the years. He was a strong leader and even sometimes a bit of a loose canyon. He kept us on our toes. He will be greatly missed. Jim Oakes
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