There are simply some people in this world who stand out. They have a wonderful spirit, energy, whatever you want to call it, and you feel it the first time you meet them. That was how Ron Hogeland was and it seemed like every time I heard him speak, I was learning something new or gaining a refreshing perspective. He passed away last week after a very courageous battle with cancer a couple of weeks after his 67th birthday, (that’s just 2 years younger than my dad) and I can’t imagine how much his family must miss him!
I’ll never forget the Christmas before last as our family was raising money for the Salvation Army, who came to take over the bell duty? Ron, fresh from his chemotherapy appointment earlier that day, was there to stand in the cold, to ring the bell and make someone’s Christmas better. That year he beat cancer and he and his beautiful wife got to enjoy their family and take advantage of having the good health that we take for granted.
The cancer came back in a different form this past November and it was fast and aggressive. I didn’t know Ron very well. I was more of an admirer from afar, but I wanted to make something special for the family meal following the funeral on Saturday. I knew he loved vintage sports cars and that he happened to own a few. I decided to honor Ron the best way I knew how and that was through Shelby Cobra cookies.
Time was of the essence and I fashioned a cookie cutter out of an aluminum lasagna pan and it worked great. After decorating the cookies and seeing all those bright red cars lined up, I briefly questioned the appropriateness. Mr. John reassured me that it was a great way to celebrate his life. I know the family felt that way too, because parked at the church at the funeral and later driven to the gravesite was that little red Mustang.
He was a beacon in our ward and he will be greatly missed.