Dr. Ronald E. Grow, 83, went home to be with his Heavenly Father on Aug. 29, 2019.
Ron loved Jesus and served Him with his whole heart. His life, relationships, and accomplishments were all driven by his love for Christ.
Ron was born to Floyd and Dorothy Grow on July 11, 1936 in Yakima. His sister, Arlee Kay, joined the family seven years later. He loved his baby sister and would protect her and tease her, often at the same time. The family settled and farmed in Grandview after spending the war years in Vancouver.
Ron graduated from Grandview High School, Seattle Pacific College, and the University of Washington School of Dentistry and has remained a faithful Husky fan ever since.
Ron met and married Shirley Edelman while at SPC. He cherished and cared for her for 61 years, as evidenced by his morning Starbucks runs for her every day since his retirement.
They raised their children, Tim, David, and Sarah, in Grandview, after living in Fort Eustis, VA, where he served as U.S. Army Captain in the Dental Corp. from 1961-1963.
Ron was a true “Renaissance Man.” He could do and fix most anything, and if he couldn’t, it was a grand adventure to figure out how. Ron maintained his private plumber’s license throughout the years so that he could save a few bucks on the plumbing in his dental office, the “new church,” his home, and countless rentals and other projects.
Ron grew up riding horses and had many adventures and stories to tell with his friend, Dean Whitney. Ron was also a lifelong musician. He played the trumpet in high school and performed in a trumpet trio while at SPC. He continued to play brass instruments for the Yakima Valley Band into his 80’s and was a strong supporter of the Grandview Band Booster program.
Ron loved to fish and did so throughout his life. He was also very creative, designing many woodworking and jewelry projects for his family. Ron loved to laugh. There are so many memories of knee-slapping stories and jokes, told with tears running and laughing fits; often at the expense of the “punchline.”
Ron was very proud to call Grandview “home” and invested many years of service back into his community. He served on the school board in the 1970’s and on the Port of Grandview Board for over 30 years, recently receiving the honored title of “Commissioner Emeritus.”
Ron enjoyed being a Rotarian, serving as song leader for his club and hosting several exchange students. He was also a Paul Harris Fellow recipient.
Ron loved being a dentist. He practiced in Grandview and served his community for 43 years. “Doc” loved the people he worked with and the many great relationships he had with his patients. Ron helped establish the dental hygiene program at Yakima Valley Community College, teaching dental anatomy and acting as a clinical instructor in the early years. He also served on several mission trips, providing dentistry around the world.
Ron’s avocation was farming. Through the years, he acquired farms around the “home place,” eventually farming 250 acres of concord grapes. At one time, he was farming over 100 acres of Certified Organic Concord grapes, being the first such grower, not only in Washington State, but in the nation. He was a proud National Grape Welch’s member for 48 years, serving on their board of directors for 11 years. He also served as president of the Washington State Grape Society for three years. Ron was a Walter J. Clore Award recipient and he owned his own grape harvesting business since 1971.
As an active and lifelong member of the Grandview Church of the Nazarene, Ron served the local church as a board member, Sunday School teacher, choir director and song leader. He also participated in many “Work and Witness” mission trips throughout the years. In April 2019, Ron received the great honor of being recognized with the Nazarene Distinguished Service Award, for a lifetime of leadership and service to the church.
Our dad deeply loved his family. He was very proud of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was always there to support our games, concerts and recitals. We are greatly blessed to have had such a godly example of a father and grandpa.
Ron is survived by his wife, Shirley; his children, Tim and Gina Grow, David and Bev Grow, and Sarah and Jim Schmahl; his grandchildren, Kevin (Becca), Linsley (Jeff), Lander (Katie), Allison (Michael), Lauren (Tyler), Hannah (Jacob), Emma, Anna, Jaki and Ryan; his great-grandchildren, Ava, Ruby, Marquise, Kinsley, Makenzie, Hudson, Harvey and Griffin. He is also survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Arlee and Art Volz.
We would like to thank Dr. Eric Gamboa and Sashenka, Dr. Juno Choe, Heartlinks Hospice Care, and the wonderful staff of Prosser Sun Terrace for their loving care of our dad.
A celebration of Ron’s life will be at 10 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 7 at the Grandview Church of the Nazarene, 500 North Elm Street.
Memorial contributions may be given to Nazarene Compassionate Ministries or the Grandview Band Booster Club at the time of the service.
Those wishing to sign Ronald’s online memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com
Smith Funeral Home is in care of arrangements.