April 14, 1950 – September 14, 2020
How do you sum up the life of a man as big as Ron Maximick? And not just in the physical sense. You see, most things about Ron were larger than life – his smile, his personality, his mustache, his heart, his family and, the biggest of all, the number of people who loved and respected him. Ron passed away from cancer on Monday, September 14th at Port McNeill Hospital with his wife Jane at his side. He left some pretty big shoes to fill, literally and figuratively.
Ron was born on April 14, 1950 in Vancouver. As a child, Ron and his wonderful mother, Jessica (Husband) followed the livelihood of his stepfather, Macklin Helmer, from Burnaby to Kelsey Bay, back to Burnaby, and then to Jeune Landing near Port Alice.
After Macklin’s untimely death, Ron went with his mother and siblings back to Burnaby. Jessica married again, to the shy but hardworking William (Bill) Cameron, whom Ron would know ever after as “Dad”.
Ron played baseball and basketball throughout school, using his height to his advantage on the court. After high school, Ron put himself through night school to earn his Journeyman electrical ticket at BCIT. During his early career in Vancouver, he worked on some of the iconic high rises that still make up Vancouver’s famous cityscape today.
One night when he was about to turn 26, Ron met the small, but feisty, Patricia Walker while out on the town. He soon realized he’d met his match, clearly not in height, but in wit and humour.
In February 1979, Ron landed an electrical job at CFB Comox. His young family, including his wife, Patricia, son Rick and daughter Roni, followed him to the Comox Valley two months later. His family expanded in the early 80s to include daughters Krissy and Katie, both born at St Joseph’s Hospital.
Over the next four decades, Ron was often spotted coaching teams for the Comox Valley Baseball Association (he was also president), out on the golf course with friends (he was proud of his hole-in-one on Hole 12 at Glacier Greens), getting groceries at the Super Valu and in the bleachers a head above the rest to watch his children and grandchildren play sports.
He received Citizen of the Year from the Town of Comox for his dedication to baseball, and simultaneously ‘won’ the hilarious A**hole of the Year trophy from his colleagues at CFB Comox’s Electrical shop ten years in a row (and he was very, very proud of that and kept the glorious middle trophy finger).
Ron and Pat separated in 1996 and subsequently divorced, but continued to share and equally participate in raising their children.
In 1998, Ron met Jane, a bright light with bright eyes who helped heal his heart and soothe his spirit. They married in 2005, splitting their time between Comox and Telegraph Cove.
In 2018, after a life of hard work, Ron was finally able to retire and move with Jane to the friendly community of Port McNeill, where they had two happy years before Ron’s illness, doing home and landscape renovations, and exploring the North Island.
Ron (or “Ronald”, as Jane always called him) was Comox’s Tom Selleck, Jane’s Sam Elliot, and Patricia’s Rhett Butler. He was a father, a grandpa, a husband, a brother, an uncle and a friend.
He was Ron Maximick, and there’s no defining or replacing him. He was lucky to have two big loves in his life, Jane and Pat, as well as the legacy he’s leaving behind in his children and grandchildren.
Ron was predeceased by his mother Jessica Cameron, stepfathers Bill Cameron and Macklin Helmer, and brother Stewart Helmer. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Jane, son Rick, daughters Roni, Krissy and Katie, grandsons Walker and Thomas, granddaughters Rhiannan, Zuri and Everly, brothers Bill Maximick (Rena) and Bruce Helmer (Lisa), sisters Teri Hodgins (Ward) and Carrie Cameron (Dave), former wife Patricia, many nieces and nephews, and many good friends.
We would like to thank the incredible staff at Port McNeill Hospital for going above and beyond for Ron during his stay there.
Given the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, a small private celebration of life will take place in the near future. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the BC Cancer Foundation.
This is a big obituary, but it’s for a great man who’s leaving an immense hole in his family, his friends and the communities where he lived. We love you, Ron. And we’ll always miss you, Dad.