With the terribly sad news of the passing of our neighbor not yet sinking in, it’s hard to express what I feel. During the years, I wrote a few letters about Ron, out of respect and admiration for his character, for the way he was treating the people in town. He was Town of Rochester Councilman for three terms, a total of 12 years dedicated to serving the people who loved him back.
Although neighbors for almost two years and frequently in touch because of our old cars, we had no idea that Ron was a member of the town board. In 2003, when attending our first Caucus, matching a candidate’s profile on a flyer with a gentleman in a business suit in the room, we realized that “our“ Ron was running for re-election! He never told us about his position, didn’t mention to us the Caucus or asked us to vote for him. Do you know of another candidate like this? I don’t!
Still fresh in my mind the standing ovation Ron got, as Councilman, at the Accord Firehouse, when a controversial measure was on the agenda and he represented the people’s point of view. When Carl Chipman, Tavi Cilenti and I started our term on the Town Board, Ron gave us advice on how to stay close to the people and how to save money for the town.
If one would search for the perfect neighbor, that should be Ron. Always there for you when you needed help, never expecting something in return. Just help, straight from the heart, with a bonus: his shining blue eyes and his warm smile.
He rarely needed our help, so we just loved him. From a vacation in Wisconsin we brought him a photo of a historic car covered in blue porcelain tiles; he pinned this image on his shop’s billboard, and seeing it there for many, many years made me happy. I saw him for the last time this past winter. It snowed a lot and I went next door to see if somebody can help with plowing. There he was, same blue eyes, same warm smile, the essence of a good man.
If not for the terrible pandemic crisis, his passing would have brought many of town’s people together, all coming to pay respect to this special man, Ron Santosky. We love you Ron and we’ll always miss you! May you rest in peace…
As published in Blue Stone Press — May 15, 2020 issue (page 18)