For years, Ron Raykowski correctly answered every trivia question asked of him at Jackson’s Town Square Tavern on Wednesday nights. Early in the morning of April 29th, God asked my dad to play on his trivia team and my dad accepted.
A true wilderness warrior and master of sailing the high seas, he has left us with his insane outdoorsman stories like surviving the Alaskan tundra to track a grizzly or maneuvering grand ships at midnight through high swells in the South Pacific. If you didn’t know my dad directly, next time you challenge that class VI rapid or stare down a hungry lone wolf in the backcountry or are so lost deep in a canyon that you have to rely on the North Star to navigate home, you know your spirits have met. As far as we know, no one caught a fish bigger than that one that got away that one time when no one was with him.
A second generation Polish American, born in Erie, Pennsylvania in 1943, he joined the Navy at 17 to see the world and retired from the US Coast Guard after proudly serving 22 years in the U.S. military.
He arrived in Jackson in 2000 and hated the winters but enjoyed the community. A retiree in Jackson, he held odd jobs around town to connect with the community and save his pennies to take his next trip somewhere across the world.
I know my dad would like to thank everyone who supported him during his long journey with cancer. The support comforted his soul and meant everything to our family.
Many say my dad lived a life most would not dare to lead and anyone that listened to his wild recollections can attest to this. When he wasn’t chasing wildlife or adrenaline, he was tying flies, watching the Oregon Ducks, tending to the garden, teaching himself a foreign language, or brushing up on, you guessed it, trivia.
Anchors aweigh, Dad, and thank you for your good looks, bright brain, sick addiction to adventure, sense of humor and best of all, your big heart.
My dad is survived by me, Lisa of Phoenix, Arizona, his partner of 52 years, my mom, Patricia Truitt, and a lot of people who loved him.
In lieu of flowers, donate to your favorite wildlife, ocean, or nature conservation organization or say no to single-use plastics. #imissyoudad