Ronald's Story

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Ronald Dennis, 64, Hollidaysburg, passed away June 23, 2017, after a courageous battle with Lewey Body Dementia. Born Aug. 7, 1952, he was the son of Jack and Audrey McCahan of Saxton. In addition to his parents, Ron is survived by his wife, Roberta; his son, Matthew (Bree)McCahan; daughter, Megan McCahan, and their mother, Linda McCahan; his stepchildren, Jacob (Mark) Kuhns and Elizabeth (Chris) Pacella; his sister, Deb (Warren) Rourke; his grandchildren, Kacen McCahan and Evan and Madelyn Pacella; nephews, Brady (Amanda) Rourke and Corey (Amanda) Rourke; niece, Amanda Rourke; special cousins, Robert McCahan and Alice Salay; and grandnephews, Brennon, Easton and Jackson Rourke. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, William and Pearl Abbott and Spencer and Georgeanna McCahan. Born and raised in Saxton, Ron was especially proud of his alma mater, Tussey Mountain School District, where he spent his career, first as a teacher and coach and then in the role of principal, federal programs coordinator, assistant superintendent and finally superintendent. During his tenure in administration, Ron was especially proud of the renovation of the Junior Senior High School and the establishment of the Tussey Mountain Educational Foundation. After his retirement from TMSD, Ron served as an adjunct professor at St. Francis University in the Graduate School of Education as well as working as a site supervisor for the Incredible Years grant. In addition to his professional leadership, Ron unselfishly shared his talents by serving on the board of the Tussey Mountain Education Foundation, the Bedford County Sports Hall of Fame, the Saxton Borough Municipal Authority, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime Prevention and the Allegheny Educational Broadcast Council/WPSX Public Television. He also served as the chair of the finance committee of the United Family Services System of Bedford County. Ron attended the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, where he received his B.S. in comprehensive social studies. He continued his postsecondary education at Pennsylvania State University, where he earned a master of education in educational administration, an elementary and secondary principal certification, a superintendent's letter of eligibility and his doctor of education in educational administration. He was a lifelong member of the Stonerstown Church of the Brethren. He also attended the Trinity United Church of Christ for many years. Ron was an accomplished bass guitar player and had a beautiful tenor voice which made him an integral member of many talented bands who entertained many in the Saxton and surrounding area, including The First Edition, Outcast Society the Greasers and most recently, The Strings of Praise. Ron loved Penn State football and was a season ticket holder for many years and faithfully cheered on the Nittany Lions every Saturday. He also loved The Steelers and the Pirates. He was an avid collector of sports memorabilia. Ron loved his family and friends, a good joke and singing karaoke. The family wishes to thank all of the compassionate, committed and loving caregivers who were so good to Ron and his family especially the staff of Home Nursing Agency hospice and the Presbyterian Village of Hollidaysburg. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Tussey Mountain Education Foundation, 199 Front St., Saxton, Pa. 16678, or the Lewey Body Dementia Association. Family and friends may call at Akers Funeral Chapel, 715 Church St., on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m., and on Wednesday from 10 a.m. until the hour of service at the church. Funeral service will be held on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at 11 a.m. at the Stonerstown Church of the Brethren with Pastor Jack Russell, officiating. Burial will be held at Grandview Cemetery. Online condolences may be expressed at www.akersfuneralchapel.com.
Published on June 26, 2017
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