Dr. Benard F. Ronan, Class of 1968, Rest in Peace, Brother...!!!
Ronan, Bernard F. "Bernie", PhD Husband, father, brother, uncle, colleague and friend Dr. Bernie Ronan passed away peacefully Monday evening, March 28, 2016 surrounded by loving family and friends. Bern was born Oct. 18, 1950 in Mesa AZ, the second of nine children to Charles & Bea Ronan. With his bright, mischievous smile, freckled face and red hair, he showed early signs of natural athletic prowess as Little League shortstop and basketball sharpshooter. He attended OLPH elementary school in Scottsdale and managed a Phoenix Gazette afternoon paper route. He attended high school at Regina Cleri in Tucson, AZ and St. John's College in Camarillo, CA. He chose to do his post-graduate studies in theology at the North American College in Rome, Italy for three years and spent one summer working with Mother Theresa's ministry in India. Through each of these stages, he made many friends who remained in regular contact to the end. In 1983 he married his beloved wife, Myra Armendariz, and began his own family. He prided himself on attending nearly all of his children's sporting events for over two decades. They will forever remember him as the finder of lost things, proof-reader of resumes, voting advisor, personal theologian, philosopher, poet, maker of morning coffee, and the only person on earth who could explain their mother to them. His wife loved that each and every day he rushed home from work to be with his family. He was raised to be a man of faith, intelligence, and service and that led him to a long and illustrious career in public service, beginning with Deputy Director of the Arizona Department of Commerce, and Deputy Associate Superintendent of the Arizona Department of Education. He completed his doctorate in public administration from Arizona State University and then joined the Maricopa Community Colleges for the next 25 years, most recently as the Associate Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs overseeing government relations, community outreach, and the Center for Civic Participation. He also served as the Executive Director of Public Policy Services at Mesa Community College and was Acting President of Mesa Community College in 2007-2008. Bernie cared deeply about civic engagement and was a co-founder of The Democracy Commitment, a national organization formed to promote civic and democratic values in community college education. He published numerous works in the field of civic engagement and other policy areas related to higher education, including most recently "Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement: New Directions for Community Colleges, No. 173." He also served on the Board of Directors of the National Issues Forums Institute, and represented Maricopa as a frequent research collaborator with the Kettering Foundation on topics related to public deliberation and civic participation. He is preceded in death by his mother and father, Charlie and Bea Ronan, as well as his in-laws, Gustavo and Maria Armendariz. He is survived by his devoted and loving wife, Myra (nee Armendariz), and their children Carmen, Urshel, Bea, and they raised Martez; his brothers and sisters Emmet (Pris), Anne, Jeanne (David Paige), Dennis (Jana), Tom (Nancy), Pat (Nancy), Terry (Diann), and Kathy (John Curry); Myra's brothers Gus, Victor, Dickie (Nadine) and sister Margie (Carlos Emmerman), and numerous nephews and nieces. Viewing/visitation & Rosary Tues., Apr. 5 at Holy Cross Cemetery Chapel, 9925 W. Thomas Rd., Avondale, AZ. Viewing and visitation from 5-6:30pm. Rosary from 6:30-7:00pm followed by eulogy. Funeral Mass Wed., Apr. 6 at 10:30am at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 6180 W. Utopia Rd, Glendale, AZ 85308. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Bernie's name to Society of St. Vincent de Paul, P.O. Box 13600, Phoenix, AZ 85002.
Published in The Arizona Republic from Apr. 2 to Apr. 3, 2016