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Ronald Rainey

February 13, 1933 August 7, 2019
Ronald  Rainey
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Obituary for Ronald Rainey

Longtime Kenai resident, Mr. Ronald Rainey, 86, died Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at Central Peninsula Hospital.

A celebration of life will be held 3:00 p.m. Saturday, August 17, 2019 at Calvary Baptist Church, 208 Lawton Drive. Pastor Phil Reemtsma will be officiating. Additional services will be held in Buckeye, AZ in Sept.

Ron was born Feb. 13, 1933 in Buckeye, Arizona.
He was a skilled athlete, earning all-state honors as a record setting halfback in football, and lettered 14 times in multiple sports before graduating in 1952. He was also a cowboy, scuba diver, and free diver and pilot, all at an early age.
He graduated from Arizona State University in 1956 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He started his career in 1960, working for the Arizona Public Service Utility Company, from which he retired. While his sons, Les and Kevin were growing up, Ron coached them and others in Pop Warner football for 12 years from the 1970s into the 1980s, earning 8 state championships along the way. Coaching was Ron’s passion.

In 1985, Ron, an avid hunter and fisherman, left Arizona and came to Alaska, a match made in heaven. He went to work for Homer Electric in Kenai, but by 1991, he fulfilled a dream he had long held and opened Ron’s Alaska Lodge, with his wife Elaine, on the Kenai River.

There, he was truly in his element: introducing people from all over the world to the beauty and majesty that is Alaska. His approach was infectious. Sparkling blue eyes and big smile he moved through his guests in constant motion, as if his feet never touched the ground. He was a force of nature, a friendly vortex into which everyone fell. He’d share his stories of caribou hunting, fishing, and close calls with brown bears trying to join him in his float plane. He’d dress you if you weren’t prepared, get the right guide to insure a successful trip. Feed you great food for your body and for your soul. He made everyone feel at home, seemingly effortlessly. He brought that same energy to the Kenai River Sports Fishing Association, an organization dedicated to the preservation of the river and the fish that call it home. He earned many awards for his community work, too numerous to mention.

Ron is gone now, but do not grieve. He lived a full, happy life and left us with these memories. In that sense, he’ll never be gone.

He was preceded in death by his granddaughter, Natalia Rainey; son, Kevin Rainey; brothers, Wes and Mike Rainey.

He is survived by his wife, Elaine Rainey of Kenai; son, Les Rainey of Phoenix, AZ; grandsons, Ronnie Rainey of Texas, Corey Rainey of Oregon, Jack Rainey of Phoenix, AZ and Austin Rainey of Flagstaff, AZ; great grandson, Atlas Rainey of Oregon; Elaine’s Son, Jarod Simmons of Arizona.

Donations may be made to St. Jude’s Hospital in memory of Natalia Rainey or Ron’s Legacy of Love for the Kenai River can be continued be becoming a member of the Kenai River Sport Fishing Association.


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