Ronald Anthony Omerza was born to Mary (Deyak) and Tony Omerza on August 13, 1940, in Ely, MN. He attended Ely Public Schools where he excelled at baseball and basketball. He graduated from Ely High School in 1959. He attended Ely Junior College and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team. A knee injury during tryouts with the Pirates ended his chance for the big leagues.
On August 26, 1961, he and Barbara Shepel were united in marriage at St. Anthony’s Church in Ely. He graduated from Bemidji State University with a degree in Social Studies.
In 1964 they moved to Baudette, MN, where he accepted a teaching position at Baudette High School, which eventually became Lake of the Woods High School. His love for sports continued as he coached football, baseball, basketball and softball. He fulfilled his dream by taking a baseball and basketball team to the state tournaments.
Early on in his teaching career, he was given the nickname ‘Omer’ by his students, which stayed with him through retirement.
Ronald was active in the Moose Lodge, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, the Junior Class play, and coordinating many proms. He volunteered for many years annually cooking 40+ turkeys for the annual fall supper in Baudette. He was famous for his dressing, a secret family recipe.
Ronald was a beloved teacher and mentor to thousands of students over his 38 years at the school. Ronald passed away peacefully on July 19, 2017, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.
He is survived by his loving wife Barbara. sons Tom (Heidi) Omerza, Tim (Patty) Omerza, and a daughter Jane (Greg) Mosher. Grandchildren Kathleen (Anthony) Recht, Alexandra (Thomas) Graves, Samantha, Elliot, Evan, Gabriella, Eric and Elizabeth. Mother Mary Omerza. Sister Cindy (John) Stene. Nieces and nephews Daniel, Alexandra, Francesca, Roxanna, Mathew, Michael, Suzanne, Rachael and Sherri.
Ron was preceded in death by his father, Tony Omerza, grandparents Matt and Mary (Carr) Deyak, Mary (Poderzay) Omerza, brothers Gary and Danny, and sister, Jean; in-laws Frank and Frances Shepel.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, July 24, at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church at 11:00 a.m. Visitation will be one hour before Mass.