JACOBSON, Ronald “Ron”

Posted: November 2nd, 2023
1935 – 2023
     It is with great sadness that the family of Ronald Alan Jacobson announces his death.  Ron was born November 7, 1935, at Calgary, AB and died October 5, 2023, in Lethbridge, AB just short of his 88th birthday.
     Ron is survived by his loving wife of nearly forty years, Mariette Céline (Dufresne), his son John Jacobson (Debi), stepdaughter Martine Lapierre (Jack Van Rijn), his brother Doran (Annabelle), granddaughter Taylor Lapierre (Carson Van Iderstine), grandsons Jesse Jacobson (Charla), Jared LeBlanc, great-granddaughter Poppy Jacobson, and several nieces and their partners.
     Ron is predeceased by his parents Lilly Louise Flock and John Wesley Jacobson and stepfather Henry Stephen Flock.  Ron was predeceased by his first wife, Sonja (Currie) and their two children Jill and Ronald (November 21, 1981); brother John Kenneth Carl Jacobson and sister Karen Patriquin.
     Ron was educated at Elbow Park, Rideau Park, Central Collegiate Institute and Mount Royal University.  He attended the U of A at Calgary and Edmonton where he graduated with his Bachelor of Law (LLB) in 1959.  He married Sonja Currie in 1958 and moved to Lethbridge a year later to raise three children:  John, Jill and Ronald.  On November 21, 1981 Ron tragically suffered the immeasurable loss of Sonja, Jill and Ronald.  Ron subsequently met Mariette Céline Dufresne through The Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice (CIAJ) where she was Executive Director and they were married on December 14, 1985.  For over forty years Mariette has been a major factor in Ron’s many achievements and the love they shared was like no other.
      Ron’s legal career spanned over 52 years and included numerous highlights including: member of The Law Society of Alberta, Lethbridge and Macleod Bar Associations; the CIAJ and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA).   In August, 1980 Ron was appointed Judge and has served as its Chair of the Education Committee, Vice President and Past President.  During his career Ron continued to work with the CIAJ on many of its educational programmes.  He was particularly proud of presenting to the Alberta Provincial Court Judges a seminar on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982).  In 1989 Ron was President of the Canadian Association of Provincial Court Judges (CAPCJ) representing over 900 provincial and territorial judges from the twelve Canadian jurisdictions.
     In 2001 Ron commenced formal studies in Judicial Dispute Resolution through the National Judicial Institute (NJI) and the Legal Education Society of Alberta (LESA).  Always keen to learn new things, Ron embarked on learning French through the Federal Judges French Language training programme which he completed in 1993.  Having Mariette as a private tutor didn’t hurt, either!  In 2010 Ron was recognized by the Law Society with an award for 50 years of service; a testament to his unrelenting pursuit of service, commitment and dedication to his chosen field.  November 6, 2012 marked Ron’s last day on the bench.
      Ron has also had a life long participation in the Canadian Armed Forces.  In 1959 he joined the Royal Canadian Engineers as a Sapper, transferring to the 18 Field Regiment, Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery a year later.  In 1967 he became Commanding Officer of the 18 Field Regiment until 1970.  From 1977 to 1980 he was Commander of Southern Alberta Militia District with its headquarters in Calgary.  It was during this time he qualified as a Basic Parachutist (1978) and that same year he was recipient of the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD).   In 1993 Ron was honoured by receiving the Canada 125th Anniversary of Confederation Medal.  Ron has been involved in the Royal Canadian Artillery Association (RCAA) serving as its President (1980-81) and on various advisory committees.  He is also past member of the Board of Directors of the Army Cadet League of Alberta.  From 1981-84 Ron was Vice Chair (Prairies) of the Conference of Defence Associations (CDA) and Chair for two successive terms until 1986.
     It was during this time that major steps were taken to create the CDA Institute and Ron was a delegate to Shapex 83 and a member of CIOR (Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers), a non political NATO Reserve Officers’ organization.  In 1987 the CDA appointed Ron to Vice President of the CIOR Executive Committee for Canada for a three year term.  And in 1991, Colonel Jacobson was appointed Colonel Commandant of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery for a three year term.  During his term as ‘father of the Royal Regiment’ Ron met with all regular and reserve artillery units in Canada as well as those serving outside Canada.  This service took him across Canada as well as to England, Germany, Cyprus, Croatia, Bosnia and Norway (particularly close to his heart) usually with Mariette by his side.
     Community service and involvement were also important for Ron.  And he always found the time to give back and serve his community whether through the Rotary Club (he is a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International), as President of the Lethbridge Centennial, Board of Directors for the Army Cadet League, Council Member of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, a founding member of the U of L Pronghorns Hockey, chair of Southminster Church’s 75th Anniversary Committee, chair of Services, Ceremonies and Logistics for the 1975 Winter Games and founding Director of Lethbridge Minor Football.  He was also involved with Southminster Church and served as its 75th Anniversary Committee Chair, as well as member of its Long Range Planning Committee.
     Ron also played a key role in forming the Lethbridge Community College Foundation of which he was Director and from which he retired in 2006.  In 2007 Lethbridge College honoured him with one of its Coal Miner statuettes in recognition of his ‘valuable and outstanding contribution of time, talents and resources for the benefit of the College and service and support to the Foundation and College’.  In 2020 The Lethbridge College named Ron to its Hall of Fame.
     Despite his numerous accomplishments, nothing made Ron prouder than to celebrate those of his grandchildren, Jesse and Taylor.  Whether that meant cheering them on at their sports activities or reading them stories at the cottage or helping serve dinner at Christmas to seniors through his involvement with the Rotary Club.  Ron was a lot things to a lot of people but he meant everything to us.
     Our family would like to say thank you to the wonderful nursing staff and Palliative Care team members at St.-Thérèse and, more recently, St.-Michael’s for the care and love they showed Ron during his time there, especially Drs Waller and Walter.  And to the amazing nursing team and Drs Plotnik and Saleh while he was at CHR.
    A Funeral Service will be held at 1:00 pm, Friday, November 3, 2023 at the LETHBRIDGE MILITARY BARRACKS (VIMY RIDGE ARMOURY), 337 STUBB ROSS ROAD, Lethbridge, Alberta.
     In lieu of flowers friends may, if they wish, make a donation to a charity of their choice or to the Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta (Jacobson Memorials) at cflsa.ca.
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