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Former Galt high school district superintendent Ronald Dameron dies at age 82

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Posted: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 12:00 am

Ronald Franklin Dameron, a former superintendent of the Galt Joint Union High School District who was active in Galt after his retirement, died July 12 after fighting Parkinson’s disease. He was 82.

Dameron was superintendent at Galt High School from 1977 until his retirement in 1985. In recent years, he had been active with the Galt Rotary Club, Galt United Methodist Church and the Galt Area Historical Society. He also conducted a community Easter sunrise service for several years at Galt Community Park.

“Oh lordy, what a marvelous person,” said Eugenia Olson, who knew Dameron well, both as an educator and at the historical society. “This was a very Christian person, a very loving and concerned individual.”

Olson was a long-time educator at Galt High, and served during the time Dameron was superintendent.

“He was a great boss,” Olson said. “He put me over at Estrellita (Continuation) High School. I didn’t think I could do it. He said, ‘Why not?’ He had a way of inspiring you to make you the best you knew how to be.”

Olson said her husband, David, respected Dameron as well. Dameron named David Olson chairman of the Galt High social studies department.

Dameron was born in Turlock and attended school in Hughson. He enjoyed an extensive career in education. He was the first vice principal at Soquel High School in Santa Cruz County and opened Harbor High School in 1968. He was Harbor’s first principal until becoming superintendent of the Galt Joint Union High School District in 1977.

After his retirement in 1985, Dameron and his wife of 61 years, Leona, taught English at colleges for teachers in China for two years.

They organized, raised money and supervised volunteers to build two homes in Galt under the Habitat for Humanity program. They previously led Habitat for Humanity efforts to construct homes in Montana, Alaska and New Mexico.

“He was forever and a day on top of a house to get it ready,” Olson said.

Dameron was also a former president of the Galt Area Historical Society, showing leadership and volunteering for every historical society project, Olson said. He was a docent at the Rae House Museum, a Victorian home that has a wealth of memorabilia from Galt’s early days.

In addition, Dameron was charter president of the Galt Rotary Club in 1984, served on the Galt Planning Commission, was a Galt Area Chamber of Commerce member and served on the board of the Lodi Community Concert Association.

Because he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease, Dameron and his wife moved to a retirement residence in Lodi in 2012.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sons, Dan and Bob Dameron; daughter, Diane Allen; brother, Harvey Kingery; sisters, Ruth DeSando, Joan Lewis and Harriett Marriott; eight grandchildren and one great-grandson.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at Galt United Methodist Church, 571 C St. Memorial contributions may be made to the Parkinson Association of Northern California or the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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