LaGrange, Ronald “Ron” Albert

September 4, 1940 – December 26, 2020
at the age of 80 years

Ronald Albert LaGrange was born September 04, 1940 in New Westminster, BC to Albert and Theresa LaGrange and was the eldest of five children. His childhood home was filled with deep faith, music and the love of a large extended family. In 1958, Ron enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force and began what would become a 33-year life of service to his country.  In 1961, while posted in Gimli, Manitoba, Ron met the love of his life, Gail Sveinsson, on a blind date.  He told his friend that night, “That’s the girl I’m going to marry” and so he did, after a brief delay caused by the Cuban Missile Crisis necessitating an emergency posting to Germany.  In May 1963, he flew back to Canada, married Gail and whisked her away for four years to Germany where the first two of their five children were born.  They returned to Canada in 1966 and added another son to the family in 1967, and sadly lost another, Joseph, in 1969. In 1970, Ron became an original member of the ground crew of The Snowbirds, the aerobatic flying team.  In fact, he designed the smoke system used in ‘sky-writing’ that is still in use today.  In 1973, he accepted a commission from the ranks and was posted to Ontario, later followed by Cold Lake, Alberta, where a daughter was added to his family.  He was posted to Comox, BC and then to Winnipeg, Manitoba where he retired after the Gulf War as a Lt.-Colonel.

Ron had a very happy retirement in Tappen, BC where he was chiefly occupied by never-ending renovations.  He loved to design and build and was meticulous in his handiwork.  He and Gail loved to travel, particularly by car, and drove across Canada several times.  Having a son and his family in Prague, they also flew to Europe many times to watch their grandchildren grow and to sample the excellent Czech beer.  They also made a trip to Gail’s ancestral homeland, Iceland, to meet extended family and take in the magnificent landscapes.

Ron was predeceased by his father, Albert, his son, Joseph and his grand-daughter, Renee. Left to mourn his passing are his mother, Theresa, his loving wife of 57 years, Gail, his children: Michelle (Steve) Holmes, Allan (Stepanka) LaGrange, Richard (Wendy) LaGrange and Heather (Fred) Squires and his grandchildren: Shayna, Isaac, Jacob, Kristian, Vanessa, Alyssa, Julianna, Allan and Laura.  Also deeply feeling his loss are his siblings: Fr. George LaGrange, omi, Lorraine (Maurice) Hurtubise, Dianne (Bert) LeChasseur and Mark (Lola) LaGrange, along with many nieces and nephews.

Like his father before him, Ron was an honourable man. He was honest, hard-working and loyal. He loved his family with all that was in him, and he will be profoundly missed. A Memorial Mass will be held at some point in the future when travel and gathering restrictions have been lifted.

8 Comments

  1. My sincerest condolences to Gail and family.

  2. Gail we were so sorry to hear of Ron’s passing. Our hearts go out to you and your family.
    Our prayers are with you.
    With our deepest sympathy and all our love.

  3. Dear Gail. I will cherish the memories of Air Command HQ where I had the privilege of working for LCol Ron LaGrange. Ron was a leader, mentor and good friend. My heart, thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Take care Gail.

  4. GAIL Im so sorry to hear of Ron`s passing, my prayers go out to you. and your family

  5. Dear Gail: Thinking of you and the family at this sad time. Sending our love and prayers. Lawrence and Margaret Filiatrault

  6. Dear Gail, I am sorry to hear of Ron’s passing. I served with Ron on the Original Snowbird teams(71-72) as a pilot flying #5 position(outer left wing). An outstanding gentlemen who cherished his time with the Snowbirds. His work was meticulous and very professional. Gail our thoughts and prayers are with You and Your Family at this most difficult time.

    Rest in Peace Ron.

    Chester& Judy

  7. Sorry to hear of Ron’s passing. You and Ron were good friends to my mom and dad. He was a kind man,someone who stood behind his word,always ready to help. He will be missed and remembered always. Love from Hans,Maureen and Adam.

  8. I first met Ron (and Gail) in the very early 1990’s when I was appointed Commanding Officer of 1787 RCACC (army cadets). As a new CO, Ron was a guiding light in a sea of uncertain waters. His soft voice always was a calming feature and when he walked into my office the air was one of warmth and caring. His guidance was what I needed and immediately respected. His smile would light up the whole room. His interaction with the cadets was respected by all and I believe he enjoyed when I asked him to be the Inspecting Officer at our Annual Inspection. He and Gail joined in at our social events and they were a part of the cadet family.
    Ron was an important part of my life and showed me many ways to be caring and respectful of others.
    Thank you, Ron.
    God Bless you

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