Green Valley, Ariz. – Ron W. Whiton, long time Swedetown resident, passed away peacefully, just as the sun was rising in Green Valley, Arizona, on August 10, 2022, surrounded by family.
He was born on May 20, 1932, in Evanston, Illinois. Following high school graduation in Evanston, Ron attended Michigan Technological University and graduated with a BA in Mining Engineering.
In June of 1952, he married the love of his life, Helen Kargela, and in June of this year, they celebrated 70 years of marriage.
After his college graduation, Ron joined the US Army and worked at multiple bases before returning to Upper Michigan.
Ron was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Marie (Wishart) Whiton; stepmother, Eve Whiton, and great grandson, Cole Wishart.
Surviving, in addition to his wife Helen, are his sons, Dr Alan Whiton (Monica) of Sevierville TN, Charles Whiton of Denver CO; daughters, Joan Whiton of Calumet, Sharon (Wayne) Olson of Green Valley AZ, Laura (Brian) Foster of Meridian, ID; 11 grandchildren, Ron (Lib-by), Shannon, Wendy, Jasmine (Matt), Philip, Jackelyn, Amanda (Drew), Dana (Lucas), Chelsey (Bret), Nick, Alana (Jamison); 11 great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren.
Growing up in Evanston, Ron started working on the Chicago River as a “dingy boy,” as he called it, bringing people to their vessels in the harbors, and went on to be an elevator lift operator, along with the many hobbies he enjoyed. Ron started his career with Hecla Mine, moving on to Goodman Manufacturing, White Pine Copper Range, Eagle Picher, and lastly, Morrison Knudsen, working in multiple cities, and in Indonesia, up until his retirement. After retirement, Ron’s love of mining led him to become a Director on the Quincy Mine Hoist Association Board. In this capacity, he assisted in the restoration of the mine for public tours by helping to implement the electric tram, as well as aiding in the restoration and development of many exhibits, and the lighting of the shaft house at night.
In 2020, he was recognized by the Board for his contributions as recipient of the Burton H. Byrum Award. Ron also spent many decades in the Copper Country Kiwanis Club. He enjoyed assisting with the design and building of home ramps for those needing accessibility modifications.
As a grandfather, he would foster our love for Lake Superior, the shoreline, and rocks. He would regularly quiz all by ask-ing “What type of rock is this?” He taught us the proper way to cook an egg or pizza, correcting us if we forgot a step. He would appreciate a bowl of mac-n-cheese on the sly. He always made sure we knew that family was important by traveling with Grandma across the US to see us often. We also learned how fun a ride in the van could be, especially on the way to Copper Harbor, and upon arrival hear him announce, “Another safe landing.”
We will never forget his gift and love of telling a great story or a good joke.The family would like to thank Pastor Mike and the staff at Traditions Health for their dedication to assisting us in lovingly caring for Ron until his passing. A memorial service will be held on May 20, 2023, in Calumet.
Memorial donations can be made to the Quincy Mine Hoist Association.