We learned recently that Ron Alexander DS’64 died in Reno, Nevada on January 9, 2016 after a brief illness and bout with pneumonia. He was 68 years old. Ron had been a longtime resident of Bishop, California. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Ron was predeceased by his parents, Benjamin & Lydia, and his brother, Kenneth.
Ron came to Deep Springs in the summer of 1964, a time when the college was just entering its ‘modern’ era following the travails of the 1950s and the reorganization of the administration at the guidance of Bob Aird DS’21. He is remembered by his classmate and former TDS Chair Michael Stryker as “unfailingly decent, humble, and humane, virtues not always shared by the rest of us in his class. Over the years he gave a great deal to Deep Springs, despite struggles with his illness that would have paralyzed many. His was, as far as I knew it, a life of service.”
Ron spent three years in the Student Body. Following college, he pursued a career in broadcasting, working as a technician and video editor for several stations in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and, ultimately, in Bishop, where he became a mainstay for Sierra Wave Media. He settled in the Eastern Sierra for good in 2002; it was a place he felt most at home and he often reminded friends that “Inyo” translates to mean “Dwelling Place of the Great Spirit”. His favorite pastimes included hiking with “Togiak”, his beloved Samoyed dog, listening to classical music, and editing/producing short documentary videos. He also regularly volunteered as an administrative assistant for the local office of California Indian Legal Services.
During the past twenty years, Ron served as a diligent observer for alumni gatherings at Deep Springs. He was ever-present in the background to capture most proceedings on camera (and frequently share his wry humor and pointed observations, as well). With countless volunteer hours of video recording, editing, and collating at his own expense, he assembled a record of alumni stories and reflections from scores of gatherings, creating a testimonial archive for the entire college community. He was already planning for the Centennial Celebration in 2017. His presence will be sorely missed, then and beyond.
As Ron related in one of his own letters: “But fortunately the Valley never changes – the same mountains, ridges, rocks and shadows always greet me with a welcoming feeling of being at home again every time I return to their enveloping embrace.”