Ronald J. Johnson – Class of 1944

Ronald J. Johnson, a 1944 CID graduate, died early Friday morning, January 10, 1997, due to a heart attack at St. Joseph Hospital in Kirkwood, Missouri. He was 69 years old.

On November 27, 1948, Ron married lovely Rose Marie Kostecki, a 1947 SJI graduate. He is survived by his wife and two sons, Don and Dave.

Ron worked for McDonnell-Douglas Corporation for 33 years before retiring in 1988. He last worked as a plastic mechanic specialist.

Affectionately known as Ron Johnson, coupled with finger spelling of ‘RJ,’ he held many leadership positions in the St. Louis Bell Club since its beginning. Ron and Howard Schwartz, a 1934 CID graduate, co-founded the St. Louis Bell Club in 1947.

Ron led the St. Louis Bell Club to many league, regional, and invitational softball tournaments. His team won the Midwest Athletic Association of the Deaf (MAAD) softball championship in 1981, 1982 and 1984. He was elected as The Manager of the MAAD Softball Tourney in 1984. In those years his team enetered the American Athletic Association of the Deaf (AAAD) softball tournaments. He also served as assistant manager for the women’s team for several years, helping them to win several MAAD softball championships. He helped many deaf ballplayers, boys and girls, overcome their weaknesses. He was not only known as an effective softball coach, he was also generous and kind. He was a ‘father figure’ to many deaf people.

Ron loved to go to Cardinals baseball games as well as both Cardinals and Rams football games. He was very knowledgeable about sports, and everyone loved discussing sports with him.

Ron was an avid camper. He loved the outdoors. He was a ‘natural magnet’ – every time there was a large gathering of deaf campers sitting around the campfire, Ron was always there. He was a very good conversationalist.

Ron loved recalling many stories about his time at CID when he was a boy. He loved CID. He attended all CIDAA reunions.

Ron is missed by us all. He is still very much alive in our memories.