Ron Mardigian
1958-2007

This page was last updated 2-1-08-
Tributes from Ronnie's Memorial service hae been moved to Tracy's site for Ron.
Please send all future notes and tributes to Tracy Kiles tjkiles@comcast.net .
Thanks!


added 5-5-08- new blog memorial by Cliff Mintz PhD
Letters are at bottom of page from friends and family
More pictures and letters are welcome!
Please send to editor@gildedserpent.com
You can "right click" on these photos and save them to your computer
Another site started by Ron's sister, Tracy, including
more family pictures of Ronnie and a GuestBook,
http://www.ronmardigian.info/

MEMORIAL DATE SET:

"Hi, Linette and George, this is to let you know that the Mill Valley Community Center has confirmed our reservation for Sunday, January 27. We'll set the time at 2:00.Posting this on your page will help us so immensely to get the word out. Another way that you are helping our family so much. Could you mention the easy directions from the 101 Blithedale exit - thanks. Love, Sandra [mom]
Directions from 101- Directions to the Mill Valley Community Center:
Take 101 coming from the north or south to the Blithedale exit in Mill Valley. Go west on Blithedale approximately 1/2 mile. Turn left on Camino Alto which is the first major intersection. Almost immediately, you will turn left into the Mill Valley Community Center parking lot. Parking is plentiful and the large, pale green complex of buildings is in plain site from Blithedale and Camino Alto.

From Tracy, Ron's sister:
Also, my daughter has CF and Ron, more than anyone, was so committed to tracking and assessing medical breakthroughs on her behalf. He kept a file on CF and was just so willing to listen when I would freak or to wait out lab results with me, etc. so the family agrees that CF would be where Ron would want any donations to go. We've put the request as follows on the website and you can too if you want: If you would like to make a donation in Ron's name, we request that you support Cystic Fibrosis Research, Inc. (CFRI).
Please put "In memory of Ron Mardigian" on the memo line and send your donations to
CFRI,
2672 Bayshore Pkwy, Ste. 520,
Mountain View, CA 94043.
Tel. (650) 404-9975.

You can also make an online donation or learn more about CFRI by going to www.cfri.org.
Thank you for your generosity.


These 2 or 3 photos are files that Ronnie sent to me for this page when it was orignally made to show online friends what he looked like. Does anyone know who these ladies are?
[answer below]

Submitted by Ingrid- full photo

Hello,I wanted to thank you for sharing this webpage with everyone. I worked with Ron for the past 4 years directly (6.5 years total at Bio-Rad). Ron was not only my direct manager, but also my mentor and a friend (how unusual is that?!). While our BioEd group was very close to Ron, we still find that there were so many aspects of his life that we did not know about. So many wonderful friends of his that we have not met.

I wanted to let you know that the center top photo on the page is a picture of Ron with some of the BioEd team members. On the left is Bryony Wiseman, on the immediate right is Julie Mathern and then Laurie Usinger. This photo was taken during a BioEd group outing to the AnchorSteam Brewery in 2004. The photo below shows the entire group in the photo including Melissa Woodrow (next to Laurie) and myself, Ingrid Miller.

 

These photos below are from our trip to Maui in July of 2005


Ronnie helping Sophia swim by the powerful waterfall


click for larger photo

George and Ron scouting the waves and wind


I tried to lighten the faces a bit.
Ron and George planning and rigging their sails


click for larger photo

Tired Ronnie taking a break between sessions on the water to listen to Sophia and Michel. He still has his windsurfing harness on.

 


click for larger photo

George, Michel, Sophia, Ron and Laura

Michel's 5th birthday party in Maui
Ron, Tom, George and Sophia

click for enlargement

Ron listens to Michel tell stories about the frog

George's birthday in 95

1993 in Maui
George, Ron
and
Paul

~1995 Ron with Gus

Erika sends this photo and the one below. Taken at Crissy Field in SF. Dec 2002

click for larger photo

Sailor Ron, Maui June 2004

1-2-08 Photos from Ken
I just got off the phone with George. I've attached a few photos of Ron working on the sets at location photo shoots from Sept and Oct. of 2007. We would get into position and 'act' out the parts we would like the students to perform during the photo sessions.

The some of the Bio-Ed team members are in the photos. Myself, Dr. Bryony Wiseman, and Ron in the first, Ron, Dr. Melissa Woodrow, myself, Dr. Ingrid Miller-Hermanson in the second, Dr. Deneal Jamison-McClung (UC Davis) and Ron in the third. We enjoyed working these intense long days knowing we able to open the Bio-Ed mission to the world. Take care, Ken


#1- Myself, Dr. Bryony Wiseman, and Ron


#2 - Ron, Dr. Melissa Woodrow, myself, Dr. Ingrid Miller-Hermanson

#3 - Dr. Deneal Jamison-McClung (UC Davis) and Ron


1-2-08- More from Erika
the under water shots are all from Maui 2004. The mtn biking one is from ~1997/1998

Sherri send this-
These pictures are from the Bio-Ed Team Balloon ride in Oct, 2006

The basket picture:
Melissa, Laurie, Kirk, Dom,
Mel, Sherri, Bryony,
Stan, Ron Ess
y



Out in the freezing cold (at 3:30 am I might add!)
Kirk, Ron Essy, Sherri, Laurie. and Ron Mardigian

 

Sent in by Susan Houschins--
Ron is with Sandra (Sandy) Latourelle and Nancy Elwess
the winner of the 2007 Biotechnology Teaching Award sponsored by Bio-Rad.

 

Ken sends more photos-
"Attached are a couple of photos of Ron heli-skiing - Feb. 2006."

 

Kirk Brown from Tracy High sends these photos


Hawaii


Hong Kong

Taiwan

Laura sends more photos-
I've attached a few more pictures. Thank you!! I can't get enough of looking over all the pictures. It reminds me of his great energy and wonderfully silly nature. So nice.


click for larger photo

"Living the Good Life"


"Strummin and Singing Willie Nelson"

"Peace Offering"

1-6-08 Grace sends these photos


Silly Ron playing "Plymouth Rock settler" -- Cape Cod, 2000

below-
Dressed up for a night out at the ballet.
This photo was taken Dec. 30, 1999, exactly 8 years before his passing.

The origin of his email name, Shishkebob

Bryony send this photo- "I wanted to share this picture since it shows two men who had a tremendous impact on Ron's life- Stan Hitomi and Kirk Brown. Stan and Kirk worked tirelessly with Ron to initiate and grow the Bio-Education program, from initial focus groups- where they met 11 years ago, to traveling around the country (& world) presenting workshops carrying live glowing bacteria in their carry-on luggage, to the present where Ron consulted them on all aspects of the program. Their guidance helped Ron to forge his vision of what educational products and training should be and together the three of them started us on this path, a path we will all continue in his legacy. The picture shows Ron, Stan (front), Kirk and myself at the Field Museum in Chicago Fall 2006..." [more below]

1-8-08 Stan sends these photos
"I am providing these pictures to share the special relationship that Ron had with teachers. He brought the same passion he had for windsurfing and mountain biking to his work in education. He took the time to meet and get to know teachers and listen to their experiences and needs. "


file name says "Austin"


file names says "Hawaii"

file name says "Orlando"

"I am sharing with you images of our trips to Asia, to provide teacher professional development. Ron truly believed in teachers and in his role to provide teachers with the tools to do their jobs better. As a teacher it was such a pleasure to work with someone who truly cared about teachers and their needs. Ron’s legacy will continue live in classrooms around the world, as teachers use the materials he created to inform and excite their students about the wonders of science. Our next generation of scientists are being born thanks to the wonderful gifts that Ron had the vision, creativity, and courage to create."


elargement of just the faces

1-9-08- I m Friedel Horneff from BioRad in Munich, Germany. I worked 17 years with Ron. Hi was a great college and came regulary to Munich to push the BioEd program and develop strategies with us.
the 2 attached photos are from our Mid Year Managers Meeting Dinner in Nappa. Yousee Reg Chapra from UK and other European LSG Manager around the table.

1-12-08 from Kirk
I have some more pictures of Ron you might like to post. My name is Kirk Brown. I have worked with Ron for the past 10 years with Stan Hitomi. We are the two teachers that have traveled the world with Ron. We made three trips to China, a trip to Singapore, Korea, Taiwan and countless states. In all of our travels we have many wonderful memories. These three pictures are from last year in Kananaskis Alberta Canada. The one of Stan and Ron hugging the totum was especially good. We will really miss our times with Ron. It didn’t matter if we were traveling, presenting workshops, eating, or just visiting with him, we always had laughs and wonderful adventures. I know we all will miss Ron and feel similar pain. My thoughts, prayers, and best wishes go out to all of Ron’s friends and family.

1-14-08- from Maryam
I finally got these pictures in jpeg, some are really cute, they are all from 1988 at Lake Arrowhead, there is one of us camping at Desolation Wilderness, one of Ron’s favorites spots at that time. Once again thank you for the site. I visit both site at least 3-4 times a day to look at his pictures and read all the notes. His life well lived has truly made an impact both during his life and upon his passing. We should all hope we are so well regarded upon our passing.

x

Ron-Ron en la celebracion del 40th aniversario de el Shoreline Coffee Shope - Magda Y Resendiz

Letters from Friends
1-2-08- I am so sorry to hear about Ronnie. I'm grateful for the many wonderful memories of I have of him, his endless amounts of laughter and silliness, that heart of gold, and his beautiful smile. Do you know where I might be able to get information regarding services, donations, where to send condolences? Thank you. --Erika

1-2-08- Hello, Lynette - I found your memorial page of photos of Ron this morning after I heard the news of his passing. Thanks for putting those photos up. I hope you don't mind if I send the link to some of the people who worked with him here at Bio-Rad. -John C. Ballou

1-2-08- Thank you for updating this site with more photos. Ron was my best friend in the whole world and a not a minute goes by each day that I don’t think of him. He was my sunshine at the start of each day. We spoke each morning on our drive to work to give each other strength and courage and a few laughs and spoke each day on our drive home to wind down, vent and make each other realize that life is good and issues will resolve with time, patience and acceptance, and at least five times in between just to say hi. He had the ability to make me laugh and feel like the most beautiful wonderful human being, and I had the ability to do the same for him; he was my soul mate. As I looked at my call logs, we had 93 calls in the month of December alone. He will live with me forever, and forever he will be my sunshine and happy thought. - Maryam Ghazi

1-2-08- Hi, I was hoping to get a really nice face shot of Ron -- if you have one (largest size you have). A face shot or just a shot that really lets his personality show... I would like to cover Ron and the BioExplorer program in our newsletter and would love to get on hands a great photo of him... Thanks so much in advance......... Tina Cuccia

1-3-08- Hello, I wanted to thank you for sharing this webpage with everyone. I worked with Ron for the past 4 years directly (6.5 years total at Bio-Rad). Ron was not only my direct manager, but also my mentor and a friend (how unusual is that?!). While our BioEd group was very close to Ron, we still find that there were so many aspects of his life that we did not know about. So many wonderful friends of his that we have not met. I wanted to let you know that the center top photo on the page is a picture of Ron with some of the BioEd team members. On the left is Bryony Wiseman, on the immediate right is Julie Mathern and then Laurie Usinger. This photo was taken during a BioEd group outing to the AnchorSteam Brewery in 2004. The photo below shows the entire group in the photo including Melissa Woodrow (next to Laurie) and myself, Ingrid Miller.

1-3-08 Hi Lynette, Thank you for putting the pictures of Ron Mardigian up on your web page. I worked for him in the BioEducation program at Bio-Rad Laboratories. He was a good friend and a great visionary who made a difference in the lives of students across the world. We will all miss him terribly.In the top middle picture from left to right are: Bryony Wiseman, Ron, Julie Mathern, and Laurie Usinger, all of Bio-Rad. Erik Wilson, Bio-Rad Laboratories

1-3-08- Ron is with Sandra (Sandy) Latourelle and Nancy Elwess the winner of the 2007 Biotechnology Teaching Award sponsored by Bio-Rad. Susan Houchins

1-3-08 photos at left and below sent by Ken

1-5-08 I first met Ron at a science teachers' conference somewhere. I was typing my personal information into a NIH database. I heard this voice behind me say " Is your home phone number going to be in there so I can have it?" Without turning around I replied “I’m sure my husband would love that." And then turned to see who was there. Instead of being really embarrassed, Ron laughed and introduced himself. We formed an odd friendship at the time because I was doing consulting work for a competitor. Ron joked, cajoled, and harassed me (o.k. he sort of bribed me with free kits!) until I agreed to work for Bio-Rad as a consultant. My trial run took place in Texas where I was told to prep for 40 teachers. Almost 100 showed up. Ron went into, how can I phrase it? - Ron mode*. I told him we'd drop back and punt. He never got over it. Over the next 6 years we developed as close of a friendship as possible since I am in North Carolina. He was wonderful to work for and continued to joke, cajole, and harass me until he hired me full time in the Bio-Ed program in July. It really hurts to think I will never answer the phone again and hear," Hello Sher" (in, of course, as an exaggerated southern drawl as he could muster) or argue over where the gang should go eat. (No wheat please!) His dream for Biotechnology education was mine. He helped me make huge changes in my life that always took me to the next level professionally and I also like to think personally. It is as Kirk said, “What better way to leave this life than to leave a legacy." Love and miss you friend. Sherri
[*ed note- Sherri response to: what is "Ron Mode"? Ron was so particular about what he wanted to happen in workshops.....big turn out, lots of fan fare. If it was not stellar, well, he freaked out! It was kind of funny and the rest of us just sort of went from there. I loved him dearly. He was the reason I abandomed my security of 22 years of teaching and followed him! What a great guy.]

1-5-08- Thanks so much for creating a site where we can visit Ron and enjoy him as we remember him (and thanks to all for sending the pictures). For those of us who worked closely with Ron, he was one of a kind. Our core group here at work all loved Ron- you don't often say that about colleagues, but, with Ron, it's so true. If you connected with him, and respected him for who he truly was, he constantly repaid the love, friendship and gratitude. He was a unique, one of a kind person, who will always be remembered. Work (and life in general) will never be the same. We miss you. Laurie

1-5-08 You can't imagine how much it means to Ron's family to see these photos of Ron's activities and antics, his passions and pursuits, and so many of his beloved friends and collleagues, many of whom we are seeing for the first time. Bless you, Lynette, for creating this wonderful place for us to go to remember. And bless each one of you who is pictured or visits here, for playing a part in his cherished history. Sandra Mardigian, his mom

1-5-08- Dear Editor, I was happy to see your website go up so quickly. I've been a friend and former coworker of Ron's since 1990. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was included in one of the photos on your site "1993 in Maui". I have a few others I could forward if you wish. He will be fondly remembered and missed! Paul Lewis

1-5-08- Thank you for putting this together. I have attached a picture that I think might be what Tina Cuccia is looking for. I don't know how to contact her-- do you have a history that shows her email address? I'll also email one of the people from Bio-Rad. peace. Laura [see below]

1-6-08 ~Ronnie, I feel that you are radiating love, peace, and joy upon all of us.Your molecules are being recycled into the seawater, the sea breeze, the stars, the moon, the snowfall, the rainbows, the mountains, the bike trails, and the flowers in our gardens--everything that nourishes our souls."~ -Grace

1-7-08 I thought I'd share with you a bit about what Ron meant to me. I've attached a letter I wrote to him, to me... I don't know... as I was thinking about him yesterday. Laura

1-7-08 I wanted to share this picture [see b&w pic above] since it shows two men who had a tremendous impact on Ron's life- Stan Hitomi and Kirk Brown. Stan and Kirk worked tirelessly with Ron to initiate and grow the Bio-Education program, from initial focus groups- where they met 11 years ago, to traveling around the country (& world) presenting workshops carrying live glowing bacteria in their carry-on luggage, to the present where Ron consulted them on all aspects of the program. Their guidance helped Ron to forge his vision of what educational products and training should be and together the three of them started us on this path, a path we will all continue in his legacy. The picture shows Ron, Stan (front), Kirk and myself at the Field Museum in Chicago Fall 2006. I would also like to say goodbye to my friend and mentor, to a boss who didn't act like one (except when necessary!), and thank you for conversations totally inappropriate to the workplace, for support and guidance and for constantly being there for the last 5 years- I will miss you- Bryony

1-8-08 I wanted to thank you for putting these photos up of Ron. I first met Ron when I started at Bio-Rad in 1990, my first real job just out of school. I had NO idea of what I was doing. Ron was always there with smile and was eager to help me with the countless products I had to learn. He taught me many things through his patience and humor. I remember looking down into the Bio-Rad parking lot in the late afternoons and seeing him "escape" early to hit the waves before the sun went down. Ron was the first person I actually knew to own a Ford Explorer which seemed to ALWAYS have a surf board permanently mounted to the top of it! I use to go down to Crissy Field to watch him criss-cross the bay-amazing. The photos on your site really show that Ron knew the secret to life---balance between family, friends, play and work. You can tell that he loved all passionately. My thoughts are with Ron and his family. Dan Floerke, Singapore

1-8-08 I am providing these pictures to share the special relationship that Ron had with teachers. He brought the same passion he had for windsurfing and mountain biking to his work in education. He took the time to meet and get to know teachers and listen to their experiences and needs. Stan

Thank you so much for hosting this website in memory of Ron. I go to the site each day and look for updates. Ron has been a part of my life for over 10 years, a part that I will greatly miss. I am sharing with you images of our trips to Asia, to provide teacher professional development. Ron truly believed in teachers and in his role to provide teachers with the tools to do their jobs better. As a teacher it was such a pleasure to work with someone who truly cared about teachers and their needs. Ron’s legacy will continue live in classrooms around the world, as teachers use the materials he created to inform and excite their students about the wonders of science. Our next generation of scientists are being born thanks to the wonderful gifts that Ron had the vision, creativity, and courage to create.-
Stan Hitomi

1-8-08 Thank you for managing this website. It's meant so much to so many! I don't have any pictures, but I do have a story.

I’ve known Ron for 20 years. I don’t remember when or where I met him - maybe in the warehouse when I worked there, maybe at a Bio-Rad party, because Ron was the person to be around if you wanted to have a good time. I only know that all my memories of him make me smile. A recurring theme in all these comments is that Ron made people feel special, and this is so true! Whether it was a passing comment in the hall/parking lot, or a meeting about some business matter, it was always so much fun to be with Ron. He was so good at making people feel appreciated, and would whimsically complement people on traits that would go unnoticed by most. He was such a gem!
I used to call him The Bio-Rad Movie Star, not only because he was so good at mugging for the camera, but because everyone who met him wanted to know him better, wanted to be able to tell others that they knew him. One example of this is a time I went on a Sierra Club Birding Hike. There was a teenage girl with her mother that wasn’t too thrilled to be there (it must have been part of a bribe). Everyone else was looking up at the trees, tanager 10:00, grosbeak 2:00, but not his girl; she was dragging her feet and looking at the ground. At some point I mentioned to someone that I worked for Bio-Rad. This girl was about 2 people ahead of me, she stood up straight, became animated, rushed to my side and said, “You work for Bio-Rad! Do you know Ron Mardigian?” I said, “As a matter of fact I do.” She said, “He came to our science class, he’s so cool!” The rest of the walk she was engaging (kept asking questions about Ron, like I said - Movie Star). Ron had a powerful affect on people. He enriched our lives! Leslie

1-9-08 Hi, I m Friedel Horneff from BioRad in Munich, Germany. I worked 17 years with Ron. Hi was a great college and came regulary to Munich to push the BioEd program and develop strategies with us.
the 2 attached photos are from our Mid Year Managers Meeting Dinner in Nappa. Yousee Reg Chapra from UK and other European LSG Manager around the table. Best Regards, Friedel

1-12-08 from Kirk Brown- I have some more pictures of Ron you might like to post. My name is Kirk Brown. I have worked with Ron for the past 10 years with Stan Hitomi. We are the two teachers that have traveled the world with Ron. We made three trips to China, a trip to Singapore, Korea, Taiwan and countless states. In all of our travels we have many wonderful memories. These three pictures are from last year in Kananaskis Alberta Canada. The one of Stan and Ron hugging the totum was especially good. We will really miss our times with Ron. It didn’t matter if we were traveling, presenting workshops, eating, or just visiting with him, we always had laughs and wonderful adventures. I know we all will miss Ron and feel similar pain. My thoughts, prayers, and best wishes go out to all of Ron’s friends and family.

1-14-08 Maryam- Lynette- I finally got these pictures in jpeg, some are really cute, they are all from 1988 at Lake Arrowhead, there is one of us camping at Desolation Wilderness, one of Ron’s favorites spots at that time. Once again thank you for the site. I visit both site at least 3-4 times a day to look at his pictures and read all the notes. His life well lived has truly made an impact both during his life and upon his passing. We should all hope we are so well regarded upon our passing. Maryam Ghazi

1-15-08 "My brother," Ron would answer when I called--usually to ask a favor. Our bond as biologists, teachers, and Armenians made our first introduction easy. It was at UConn, and Linda Strausbaugh knowingly sat us together for lunch. By the end of dessert Ron had laid the groundwork for sponsoring teacher workshops with us in Storrs, Connecticut; Atlanta, Georgia; and Boise Idaho. On the spot he committed to the first one which brought two graduate students from Boise to UConn, and benefitted 20 teachers.
http://biology.boisestate.edu/hampikian/outreach/uconn05/uconnforensicteachers.htm
http://www.biobus.gsu.edu/workshop/workshop.htm
Greg Hampikian, Ph.D.

1-22-08 My name is Reg Chopra and I work in Bio-Rad Europe. Ron was one of those guys that just swooped in and kinda won you over with his enthusiasm and drive. He helped us get the whole BioEducation effort going over here for which we are grateful. We always had a good banter and he and I even exchanged the odd hair product here and there!! Hope you are at peace up there "dude". Reg

posted- 1-30-08 - January 27, 2008- I was so sad to hear of my old friend Ron’s passing. I got word of it and today’s memorial literally hours ago and so couldn't make it to the gathering...but would like to share a couple thoughts of Ron. I met Ron when he moved next door to us on Marion Ave. in mill valley in the mid-70's. I mainly remember him as someone with nearly constant enthusiasm for life and it's many adventures, pleasures, and humors. We would often go with other friends up to Bolinas ridge in the evenings to just watch the sun set into the pacific and play frisbee on the hills. It was before mountain bikes so we would hike all around the mountain. I remember quite a few wild ski trips from this time also and he taught me many finer points as he was an expert at it. We worked together at the Pelican Inn in Muir Beach in the early 80's and I remember him working with an intensity and an eye for teamwork that he obviously carried throughout his life. We took our separate paths in the mid-80's but always were in touch every few years. He was and remains a great friend and teacher. tony anderson (arcata, CA)

1-31-08 Thank you so much, Lynette, for posting the speeches of George, Tracy, and whoever else you might post later. I still have pangs of regret that I wasn't there. His mom is sending me the program, but this adds a lot, to be able to read the personal tributes. On Sunday, we had an unusual snowfall of about 5 inches in one day. I lit candles in front of my fireplace. At 2 PM I started playing Clapton's "Born In Time" and was starting to cry, and then a friend called and distracted me. I know the snow came from Ronnie. Today I saw a rainbow. He is teaching me one of the hardest lessons of my life now. I hope you guys are doing OK. Love, Grace


click for larger photo
or email for original even larger photo
photo by Laura