On June 10th, 2003, my Dad, the father of the Radon Boats, passed away. This great loss has had a profound impact upon all his friends, family, and the extended Radon family.
This issue is dedicated to my father, Ron Radon Sr., who lived from October 1, 1929 - June 10, 2003
My dad spent most of his early life in Washington State. He was an avid sportsman and worked as a cement finisher along with his brother George and his father Paul. Even at that time, while in his early 20's, he was well-known as an incredibly hard worker.
It was while living in the Puget Sound area in the early 60's that Dad took up scuba diving. He spent most of his spare time on his boat with my brothers and I, diving and fishing. In the mid 60's, he and my mom Velma moved our family, which now included my sister, Polly, to the Santa Barbara area. Soon after the move, he became a commercial abalone diver.
It wasn't long after he started diving commercially that he built his first boat. Ron's ability to bring in huge loads of abalone, even in foul weather, earned him the nickname "Superman". He was so successful in the diving business with his homemade boat that other divers asked him to build them a boat. This was the birth of the first Radon Boat. Thereafter, he continued to dive, but also continued to build boats along with my brothers, Ron and Mike, and myself. In the early 70's my parents moved their boat building operation to Washington State. Ron continued to build boats until the late 70's, at which time he retired.
After retiring, my Mom and Dad moved to Oregon and Dad became a fitness buff. He started out running and bike riding and eventually became proficient at snow skiing and wind surfing. From 1980 to 1999, he and Mom spent half of the year skiing and half wind surfing. My Dad loved both sports.
Unfortunately, his passion for snow skiing would be what ultimately changed his life for the worse. In November of 1999, he had a terrible ski accident that severely affected all parts of his body. In true Ron Radon fashion, he battled back from his injuries with amazing tenacity. With Mom's undying help, he regained his ability to use all of his limbs again, even to the point of being able to drive a car. We all felt that there were very few people who could have come back from this type of injury to the degree that he did, especially at his age. The last couple years of his life were devoted to following the stock market via the Internet, and as usual he jumped into that arena with gusto.
In early June of this year, he became ill and was admitted to the hospital in Roseburg, Oregon. After a small, successful operation, he contracted pneumonia as well as another lung infection and passed away.
I don't feel like the world was ready for my Dad, Ron Radon Sr., to leave. It has been incredibly hard for my family and me to lose him. But I will do my best to continue the legacy he started with the first Radon Boat; I will always strive to uphold his uncompromising quality and amazing vision.
Ron Radon Sr. and Don, at Don's graduation
Ron poses in front of the first diving boat he built
First Radon Built on Santa Barbara St.
First Boat Built in Port Townsend, Washington
Ron and Velma on a Radon 24' in Puget Sound in 1975
Ron on his first 32' Radon
Ron sport diving for lobster, circa 1960
Ron and Don, sometime in the mid-eighties
Ron with his parents, early nineties
Ron and his wife Velma, with the editor in their arms
We'll Miss You Always, Superman