On Wednesday, March 10th of 2021, Ronald Duane O’Loane, steadfast husband of Dianna O’Loane and father to two children, passed away at the age of 68. Ron was born on August 6th of 1952, to Eunice Ann Smith and Duane Duncan O’Loane. He was a brother to three sisters, Carol, Patty, and Julie, and will be missed dearly. Over his life, Ron was dedicated to his wife, Dianna, who he married on June 22, 1980. They had two children, Douglas and Jenna. His family will remember Ron for his quiet steadiness, character, and the little things that made him who he was. Ron was a man who got up at the same time every day, went to a job that he cared about to provide for his family, enjoyed a simple bowl of vanilla ice cream with the chocolate drizzle (the kind that turns into a hard shell), and flying those oversized, powered planes on the weekends. He diligently carried out the responsibilities that he carried as a husband and father without ever complaining or faulting in his humor, quiet optimism, or commitment. He will be greatly, greatly missed.
Obituaries, for me, have always had a way of coming across very perfunctory—they are a nod to a life, a life captured in a small snippet of trivialities about when a person was born, when they died, and who they have left behind. While customary, they could never tell you who a person was to any degree approaching satisfaction. So, I’m going to change paths a bit here and speak to you, not as a person writing an obituary, but, as a daughter who will miss her father much more than she could have expressed to him.
My father was like a clock. He rose each day incredibly early, wore the same robe, brought his lunch to work in the same lunch box, and came home at the same time every single day that I can remember. I once asked him if he liked his work, and I remember his eyebrows knitting together for just a moment as he processed my question (it was as if he had never even considered a question like that), smiled a smile that started in his eyes before it reached his mouth and said, “It’s work. That’s it. I’m fortunate to have a job that allows me to support you guys. And….” As if an afterthought, “Yeah, I like it, too”. I remember being floored by his humility and the depth of his response. I never saw it coming when I asked that question—but he was just surprising like that.
I remember when he grumbled about the pigeons that decided to make our home their home as well; but, I wasn’t surprised to learn that he was very adamant about leaving them fresh water on the days when it might be too hot for them.
He surprised me when, for no reason at all, he would come up to me and put his arm around my shoulder and give me a little squeeze. “I love you, kid” with a mist of emotion in his eyes. And, I loved seeing him with my son—a glimpse into the way he likely showed love to my brother and I before we were old enough to remember.
I have the feeling that my dad was like a wide, lazing river—placid and still on the surface, but always moving, moving, moving under the surface. He filled his days with the small things of life—packing a lunch, going to work, tending the yard, inviting us over for a swim when the pool was “finally just perfect”—but, really, it turns out, looking back, that they weren’t small things at all. They were offerings of love done with a steadiness and humility, and, in that way, they weren’t small at all. They were Dad.