Obituary of Ronald John Ascuena
Ronald John Ascuena found his ‘gift on the other side’ on May 19, 2018. He was 69 years old.
Ron was born on February 2, 1949, in Twin Falls, Idaho to Sarah “Laverne” Ascuena and Paul Ascuena. He was the third of five children born to Paul and Laverne and two more brothers were later born to Laverne. Except for a short time when the family lived in Halfway, Oregon, Ron grew up in Hagerman. He played football, basketball, and ran track. After graduating in 1967, he attended Idaho State University and the College of Southern Idaho.
Although he wanted to join the Army, he was turned down for medical reasons. It was during this time that Ron met Vikki Pepper; they dated for four years before marrying on January 7, 1973. Ron worked with his father-in-law, Rex Pepper, for Galey Construction before attending Boise State. He graduated with a degree in Physical Education and began teaching for the Meridian School District in 1979. Later he became the P.E. and Health Department Chair and coached many sports, but track and cross-country were his loves. Ron and Vikki traveled with her parents and both continued to work in construction during the summers until their daughter, Whitney, was born in 1981.
Ron was a doting father, and nothing was too good for Whitney. Ron was extremely proud of his Basque heritage and took Whitney to her weekly Basque dancing classes. He was even brave enough to let her drive his cherished Corvette to school every year on her birthday. Ron’s doting continued with Whitney’s children, and they have fond memories of their adventures with Papa Ron.
Ron loved hanging out with Cindy’s sons, Tyler and Tanner, often referring to them as his buddies. Papa Ron taught her grandsons how to be peaceful and kind.
Over the years, Hagerman remained a gathering place for Ron and his siblings. Sitting in the shade of their mom’s backyard recounting stories that grew funnier with each telling were some of Ron’s best days. He particularly loved the story about the time he bought an old Cadillac hearse and drove it in the July 24th parade.
Ron was the cross country and track coach at Meridian Junior High School and Centennial High School. He also coached track at Timberline High School and Cross Country at Eagle High School. During his tenure, he helped bring home seven track championships and was the head coach for eight cross-country championships for Centennial High. He was awarded with the Model School for the State of Idaho in Physical Education and Health. He was also awarded Coach of the Year 19 times during his career and is highlighted in the book Legends of the Fall, which is a history of Idaho cross-country.
Ron loved coaching and often reminisced about driving the yellow school bus to the Eagle foothills to have his athletes run “The Ridge.” He was so successful; he coached hundreds of champions in track and field throughout his career. His athletes and students were incredibly special to him. When he wasn’t coaching, he loved officiating track meets for local high schools, Boise State, and NCAA track meets.
Ron met Cindy Currie in 1987. They taught and coached together until he retired from coaching in 2010. After enjoying 22 years together, they married in 2016 in Ron’s favorite vacation spot, Hawaii.
Ron and Cindy were inseparable. They enjoyed traveling for fun and for Cindy’s job. Their favorite trips included Hawaii, especially the Big Island, Dallas for NFL game (Go Steelers!), and mountain biking around Crater Lake and through Glacier National Park. They were avid campers and loved Boise State sports.
Running was Ron’s passion. Even as Ron’s ability to communicate declined, he could always tell you how much he loved running in the foothills. His favorite saying was “the downhill is the gift.”
Ron will be remembered for his incredible smile that could light up any room. He was humble, kind, and generous; he saw potential in every person he met.
Ron is survived by his wife, Cindy, his brother and sister-in-law, Daniel and Debra Ascuena, his brother and sister-in-law, Bruce and Kathy Ascuena, his brothers, Norman and Jeffrey Powell and his sister, Jeri Christiansen. Ron is also survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Whitney Ascuena-Bolt and Peter Bolt, his two stepsons, Tyler and Tanner Currie, and five grandchildren, Ashlyn, Isaac, Aniston, Theodore, and Thomas. Preceding him in death are his parents and his brother, Stephen Ascuena.
The family would like to thank the wonderful nurses and palliative care team at Saint Alphonsus and the home care of Nurse Joe from First Choice Home Health and Amy Dancer from Keystone Health. Normandy and Jeff Powell, thank you for all your help during this trying time.
Ron’s life will be celebrated at Cathedral of the Rockies on June 2, 2018, at 1:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Idaho Alzheimer’s Society or your favorite charity.