Ronald PRINGLE

Ronald Joseph PRINGLE 1953 – 2014. Ron Pringle, who died of liver cancer on January 14, 2014 at age 60, was an Employment and Assistance worker for BC Social Development whose good humour, commitment to fairness and empathy for the less fortunate inspired many colleagues and friends. Born in Winnipeg, MB November 4, 1953 Ron was a cheerful, mischievous child much loved by his aunts Agnes Down of Souris, Catherine (Renie) Mitchell and Mary Pringle of Brandon who cherish the memories of his visits to the Rounthwaite, MB family homestead. Ron and brothers Cliff ord and John moved with parents Donald and Margaret (Teichroeb) to Hope, BC where Ron displayed his musical ability winning honours for his trumpet playing. As a teenager his roguish nature found an outlet with early morning bugle calls at navy cadet camps on Vancouver Island. Life at the Hope farm was not always easy for Ron and one night at age 15 he was forced to throw stones at his faithful Buster to prevent the Border collie from following him to the highway as he hitchhiked to brother Jim then living in Brandon. In Brandon, he attended Neelin High School and worked at youth hostels, restaurants and the Mental Health Centre. With friend Blair Skinner, he explored Western Canada in their British invasion station wagon or Ron’s red VW van. “Get out of town by sunup,” they were once told in a southern Alberta town. Never afraid of work Ron did his time as a grill fan cleaner, pizza cook, Fort McMurray construction, BC bush camps, and the plywood mill in William’s Lake. But with his 1995 Douglas College diploma he found the career he loved as a social welfare worker. An avid supporter of unions as tools to gain fair wages and job protection, Ron acted as shop steward and union representative. He was an active member of the International Woodworkers of America and the BC Government Employees Union. Working at offi ces in New Westminster and Chilliwack Ron was not averse to massaging misguided rules, or by reaching into his own pocket. The desire to help and his union activities often put him at odds with foremen and supervisors. It is a testament to his moral sense and friendly nature that he remained on good terms with those on the other side of issues. Ron loved to travel. His adventurous spirit led him to Italy, Germany, Scotland, Mexico and the US. He loved sharing stories with nephews Aaron, Daniel, Ken, James, and nieces Julie and Adrienne. Diagnosed with liver cancer in the summer of 2012 just before retirement, Ron held on to his innate sense of humour. The disease and chemotherapy caused great challenges including weight gain to his normally slim physique. “A beer belly without the pleasures of the beer,” he remarked. Despite this and painful side effects he kept going, visiting friends and relatives on Vancouver Island. Brother John and Ron braved the crowds to hear Bruce Springsteen and with friends he enjoyed a performance by Heart. Fulfilling a long held dream, Ron and brother Jim went by rail from Vancouver to Brandon where a grand time was had spinning tales with aunts, ousins Doad Pringle, May Makeema, and Jon Drinkwalter. Th is journey gave him much joy and contentment. Impressed with people’s new technology he soon announced: “I just purchased an iPhone and iPad on a 24 month installment plan,” loving the joke. Ron displayed his fierce independence to the end. He accepted help with grace from friends Kim Swedberg, and Kevin and Teena Joiner. His special friend Debbie Fraser and others helped with food, conversation and physical help through the tough times. He had high praise for the cookies he learned to bake with his “special green butter”. Green liqueur helped keep the hounds of pain at bay. He was justifiably proud of beating his “due date” more than once. Friends, co-workers and family gathered January 19 at the Vedder Legion to celebrate his life. Knowing Ron’s extreme dislike of onions, Legion chef placed large onion bulbs throughout the food. Ron would have loved that joke too. Ron will live on at the Fireside in New Westminster and Vedder Legion in Chilliwack with his friends missing his sharp sense of humour. Cremation has taken place, his ashes rest in his treasured German beer stein at the Vedder View Gardens Cemetery. Ashes also mingle with the Vedder River. A commemorative stone will be placed at the Rounthwaite cemetery.