Former Hood River resident Ronald Wayne Hanks passed away while visiting family in Abilene, Texas. Ron was born in Littlefield, Texas, on Jan. 17, 1943.
His family moved to the Hood River Valley, in Oregon, in 1947. He attended Dee grade school and Mid Valley Junior High and graduated from Wy’east High School in 1960.
Ron went on to receive his Bachelor of Arts at Reed College in Portland. He received his master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and his Ph.D. from Rice University in Houston, Texas. Ron was awarded fellowships from both the University of Pittsburgh and Rice University.
In 1975 he was awarded a Fulbright-Hays grant to travel to Austria to work on his dissertation on the Austro-Hungarian Army in Italy, 1918. His book, based upon his research and dissertation, was later published in Italy.
After receiving his doctorate, Ron worked for the City of Houston Health Department and later became the city’s registrar of the Bureau of Vital Statistics within that Department. Following his retirement in 2002, he returned to Oregon to be close to family and friends.
Although Ron suffered from a nearly debilitating nerve condition and diabetes, he never lost his cheerful and loving attitude. He will be sorely missed by his many aunts, uncles, cousins and devoted and loving friends.
Ron was preceded in death by his father, John Hanks, in 1982 and his mother, Mary Ann Hanks Monahan, in 2004.
Per Ron’s wishes, a private memorial will be held at Mount Hood in the spring for family and close friends.
Remembrances may be made in his name to the Columbia Gorge Cat Rescue.
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