Ronald John Kolesnik died March 28 of heart failure, in the ICU at St Joe’s in Eureka. He was 69.

Born in Chicago in 1952, he moved as a boy to Los Angeles, where he graduated from San Gabriel High School, and earned an AA degree in economics from Pasadena City College. In his twenties he came north to Fortuna, where he lived the rest of his life.

He worked as a housepainter and handyman; he could fix anything that broke. He was an aficionado of classic rock and roll, passionate about the Beatles and Led Zeppelin; the Point will miss this loyal fan who called in regularly to their shows. He loved challenging people to identify scraps of old rock and roll songs.

He loved sports, especially the Lakers, the Rams and the Dodgers, and he was at his best when he was playing sports and coaching. He coached girls’ softball in Eureka for several seasons, winning a county championship with his 9 to 12 year olds; at Fortuna High, he coached the men’s tennis team to five successful seasons.

He played tennis in the local tournaments, winning several titles. For ten years he organized and ran the Fortuna Rodeo Tennis Tournament, one of the signature events of Rodeo Week. When the high school tennis courts needed resurfacing, he was instrumental in the grassroots effort to raise money to get that done.

He leaves behind his sister Marcia, of San Marino; his brother Robert, of Upland; his daughter, Debora Rose Holland, his beloved grandchildren, Katherine Valerie Dahl and Brayden John Glenn Dahl, all of Fortuna; his stepdaughters Bonnie Holland of Richmond, Va, and Karen Leavens of Fortuna; and a lifetime of memories.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Ronald Kolensik’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.