In memory of
Ronald M. Auen
Read More
In memory of
Ronald M. Auen
Ronald M. Auen Ronald Merle Auen was born in Fischer, Ill. on August 24, 1932 to George and Ernestine Auen. He was raised in Lakeview, Iowa until he was seven years old, when his family moved to Pasadena, Calif. Ron passed away on November 7, 2019. Ron dedicated his life to social service and improving the lives of others. He will be remembered as a man who served his community and the world. Ron learned what hard work and accomplishment were at an early age, and with inherent instincts, he went on to try his hands at many ventures, and ultimately led two family foundations that contributed nearly $1 billion to nonprofit organizations throughout the Coachella Valley and beyond. Despite the challenges of growing up in a family of six during the Great Depression, Ron contributed what he could as much as he could. With only a two-bedroom home for the lot of them, Ron's bedroom was a tent in the backyard. Ron lifted himself up by his bootstraps, finding work for himself and his family at a young age. His entrepreneurial spirit and gumption earned him a prime spot at Hollywood and Vine shining shoes as a preteen. Ron found himself in some tight situations on the streets of Los Angeles as a young man, but made what he referred to as a "life-changing" decision, when, without his parents' knowledge, he enlisted in the United States Army as a teen. For nearly five years in the military, his sergeants, lieutenants and captains were his guardians, his teachers and his role models. It was in the Army that Ron earned his GED. He also learned to box and was a champion in his weight division. Never intimidated by hard work, Ron was a proud graduate of the "School of Hard Knocks," taking every opportunity to learn from others. Often, particularly during his early years in construction, he worked without compensation in order to learn various skills. Ron excelled in general contracting and land planning services. From 1961 to 1988, he developed a variety of projects with and for Silver Crest Industry representatives, and was President and Owner of Foremost Land Co., Inc. At one time, considering his natural knack for math, love of creating and building, and aptitude for tinkering in order to understand how things worked, Ron considered becoming an electrical engineer. Ron valued education, and took many courses throughout his life, but did so to learn about what interested him not necessarily to receive college credit. Frequently, one class or workshop would lead to another and then springboard him into a new curiosity or passion. Despite being a life-long learner, Ron never earned a traditional college degree. However, graciously, he accepted an Honorary Bachelor's Degree from Claremont McKenna College and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from California State University San Bernardino. Ron lived life to the fullest. He rode the wave of life, quite literally, as he loved surfing and boating, passions he acquired while living in Hawaii for a stint. Ron also enjoyed swimming, racquetball and boxing. Never letting fear stand in his way, he broke many bones during many an adventure. He loved the beauty of nature and enjoyed seeing its variations in the many parts of the world he visited. Ron had an innate business sense. He connected people and entities to create successful partnerships. When he was asked to head the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation, he accepted the role with admiration for the couple that had founded it with a sense of responsibility to continue their legacy and affect the greater good. During his tenure as President and Chairman of the Board of the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation, Ron created a business plan to safeguard and ensure the foundation's financial and charitable future. To accomplish this, Ron recruited key board members to actively participate with their skills as officers of the foundation. Under Ron's leadership, the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation contributed more than $800 million to charities throughout Southern California and the United States since 1988. In 1992, Ron and his wife, Sherrie, founded the Auen Foundation, which is dedicated to enhancing the overall quality of life of the aging population and raising awareness of the precious-end-of-life stage. Although his day-to-day work was often focused on land planning, real estate and financial investments. He did it all because of his passion for philanthropy and the opportunities that these investments allowed him to then give. Helping others is what kept Ron motivated and inspired. Ron worked nearly every day of his life, rarely slowing down, even throughout his prolonged battle with sarcomatoid mesothelioma. Ron's accomplishments could fill a book. They are documented in countless news articles and awards, but perhaps the most noteworthy accolade is the impact he had on thousands of people's lives. Helping people help themselves is his legacy. His love for humanity and making a difference in the world will continue with his family he leaves behind including his devoted wife Sherrie; children, Debrah Saint George, Lorrie Mortensen, Catharine Reed, Paula Pilato; grandchildren: Julie Ruble, Rebecca Glaze, Mike Mortensen, Jonathon Saint George, Victoria Saint George, Katie Reed, and Sandy Reed; great grandchildren: Gideon Ruble, Kaya Ruble, and Amelia Glaze. Ron was proceeded in death by his parents, George and Ernestine Auen, and his son, Richard Auen. Ron cherished his family and his extended family, which included friends from afar and neighbors that would celebrate holidays together or simply pop over for an informal visit. He also had many dear ones who left before him, which he was looking forward to seeing "on the other side." In his final days, Ron was surrounded by loved ones including his wife of 30 years, Sherrie. Ron and Sherrie had a magical connection that exuded love and compassion for others. The family would like to thank the many healthcare providers, including Dr. Robert Cameron at UCLA Health and Dr. Douglas Jodoin and Dr. Luke Dreisbach at Eisenhower Health, who extended Ron's life by days, then months, and unexpectedly years, so that he could accomplish everything on his "bucket list" including recent visits to Machu Picchu in Peru and Coral Castle in Florida. There will not be a public memorial service. The family would like this time to grieve privately. If you would like to honor Ron, the family suggests supporting your favorite local charity with a gift of time, treasure or talent. Ron believed that everyone had something to contribute and could have a meaningful impact on their community and the causes important to them.
View Full Obituary ›
Services Provided By
Forest Lawn - Cathedral City
69855 East Ramon Road
Cathedral City, CA 92234
opt299:
opt312: Original
In memory of
Ronald M. Auen
Ronald M. Auen Ronald Merle Auen was born in Fischer, Ill. on August 24, 1932 to George and Ernestine Auen. He was raised in Lakeview, Iowa until he was seven years old, when his family moved to Pasadena, Calif. Ron passed away on November 7, 2019. Ron dedicated his life to social service and improving the lives of others. He will be remembered as a man who served his community and the world. Ron learned what hard work and accomplishment were at an early age, and with inherent instincts, he went on to try his hands at many ventures, and ultimately led two family foundations that contributed nearly $1 billion to nonprofit organizations throughout the Coachella Valley and beyond. Despite the challenges of growing up in a family of six during the Great Depression, Ron contributed what he could as much as he could. With only a two-bedroom home for the lot of them, Ron's bedroom was a tent in the backyard. Ron lifted himself up by his bootstraps, finding work for himself and his family at a young age. His entrepreneurial spirit and gumption earned him a prime spot at Hollywood and Vine shining shoes as a preteen. Ron found himself in some tight situations on the streets of Los Angeles as a young man, but made what he referred to as a "life-changing" decision, when, without his parents' knowledge, he enlisted in the United States Army as a teen. For nearly five years in the military, his sergeants, lieutenants and captains were his guardians, his teachers and his role models. It was in the Army that Ron earned his GED. He also learned to box and was a champion in his weight division. Never intimidated by hard work, Ron was a proud graduate of the "School of Hard Knocks," taking every opportunity to learn from others. Often, particularly during his early years in construction, he worked without compensation in order to learn various skills. Ron excelled in general contracting and land planning services. From 1961 to 1988, he developed a variety of projects with and for Silver Crest Industry representatives, and was President and Owner of Foremost Land Co., Inc. At one time, considering his natural knack for math, love of creating and building, and aptitude for tinkering in order to understand how things worked, Ron considered becoming an electrical engineer. Ron valued education, and took many courses throughout his life, but did so to learn about what interested him not necessarily to receive college credit. Frequently, one class or workshop would lead to another and then springboard him into a new curiosity or passion. Despite being a life-long learner, Ron never earned a traditional college degree. However, graciously, he accepted an Honorary Bachelor's Degree from Claremont McKenna College and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from California State University San Bernardino. Ron lived life to the fullest. He rode the wave of life, quite literally, as he loved surfing and boating, passions he acquired while living in Hawaii for a stint. Ron also enjoyed swimming, racquetball and boxing. Never letting fear stand in his way, he broke many bones during many an adventure. He loved the beauty of nature and enjoyed seeing its variations in the many parts of the world he visited. Ron had an innate business sense. He connected people and entities to create successful partnerships. When he was asked to head the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation, he accepted the role with admiration for the couple that had founded it with a sense of responsibility to continue their legacy and affect the greater good. During his tenure as President and Chairman of the Board of the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation, Ron created a business plan to safeguard and ensure the foundation's financial and charitable future. To accomplish this, Ron recruited key board members to actively participate with their skills as officers of the foundation. Under Ron's leadership, the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation contributed more than $800 million to charities throughout Southern California and the United States since 1988. In 1992, Ron and his wife, Sherrie, founded the Auen Foundation, which is dedicated to enhancing the overall quality of life of the aging population and raising awareness of the precious-end-of-life stage. Although his day-to-day work was often focused on land planning, real estate and financial investments. He did it all because of his passion for philanthropy and the opportunities that these investments allowed him to then give. Helping others is what kept Ron motivated and inspired. Ron worked nearly every day of his life, rarely slowing down, even throughout his prolonged battle with sarcomatoid mesothelioma. Ron's accomplishments could fill a book. They are documented in countless news articles and awards, but perhaps the most noteworthy accolade is the impact he had on thousands of people's lives. Helping people help themselves is his legacy. His love for humanity and making a difference in the world will continue with his family he leaves behind including his devoted wife Sherrie; children, Debrah Saint George, Lorrie Mortensen, Catharine Reed, Paula Pilato; grandchildren: Julie Ruble, Rebecca Glaze, Mike Mortensen, Jonathon Saint George, Victoria Saint George, Katie Reed, and Sandy Reed; great grandchildren: Gideon Ruble, Kaya Ruble, and Amelia Glaze. Ron was proceeded in death by his parents, George and Ernestine Auen, and his son, Richard Auen. Ron cherished his family and his extended family, which included friends from afar and neighbors that would celebrate holidays together or simply pop over for an informal visit. He also had many dear ones who left before him, which he was looking forward to seeing "on the other side." In his final days, Ron was surrounded by loved ones including his wife of 30 years, Sherrie. Ron and Sherrie had a magical connection that exuded love and compassion for others. The family would like to thank the many healthcare providers, including Dr. Robert Cameron at UCLA Health and Dr. Douglas Jodoin and Dr. Luke Dreisbach at Eisenhower Health, who extended Ron's life by days, then months, and unexpectedly years, so that he could accomplish everything on his "bucket list" including recent visits to Machu Picchu in Peru and Coral Castle in Florida. There will not be a public memorial service. The family would like this time to grieve privately. If you would like to honor Ron, the family suggests supporting your favorite local charity with a gift of time, treasure or talent. Ron believed that everyone had something to contribute and could have a meaningful impact on their community and the causes important to them.
View Full Obituary ›
Services Provided By
Forest Lawn - Cathedral City
69855 East Ramon Road
Cathedral City, CA 92234
Sort
100% Money Back Guarantee
Need Help? Have Questions?