KERRVILLE, Texas — Ronald Hartford Doss, 77, of Kerrville, Texas, passed away of heart failure at 4:31 a.m. May 27, 2019, at Peterson Regional Medical Center, Kerrville, Texas.
He was born March 6, 1942, at Mennonite Hospital in Bloomington, to Eldon Hartford and Dolores Obeline Doss. Upon graduation of Bloomington High School, he attended Illinois State University for a year before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. While in the Air Force, he was trained in electronics and was stationed in Japan. He enjoyed the Japanese culture and the beauty to the extent he volunteered to remain in Japan for the duration of his service commitment. He acquired many friends while there and learned to speak Japanese. This was also the time that he met his future wife, Yasuko Shimamoto.
It was upon his return home from Japan that his sister, Sherrie, had her first child, Christie, and Ron became an uncle for the first time. When nephews Brett and Don “DJ” were born, he decided that Uncle Ron would become his permanent moniker and he began to introduce himself to everyone as "Uncle Ron." Throughout the remainder of his life, coworkers, family and friends all called him Uncle Ron.
After an honorable discharge from the Air Force, he was employed by Hughes Aircraft in California. During that time, he was sent as a civilian employee onto the U.S. aircraft carrier Enterprise. When a diplomatic crisis arose, the Enterprise was sent to Korean waters, and all civilians had to disembark. He took that opportunity to fly to Japan and reconnect with Yasuko, whom he married before returning home to California. While working full-time at Hughes Aircraft, he earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from California State University, Los Angeles (1972).
Hughes Aircraft then sent Ron to work in Germany as a supervisor/project engineer for automatic test systems which established the German Army standard. He and Yasuko seized this opportunity and traveled Europe, developing a fondness for fine art. Every piece they collected came with a story. Every country visited added yet another story. Family visitations gave him a treasure trove of European vacation stories and thus his storytelling began! It was while living in Germany that Ron also became a true wine connoisseur. He could school you on the best wines and tell you why.
While working for Northrup Grumman, he was a manager of five organizations developing automated test equipment for the electronics division. His was responsible for the development of applications test software (TPSs) for the testing of inertial navigation electronics and the development of system software for a large community of contractors. During this time he acquired his master's degree in business from Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. (1983).
He worked in information technology, RADAR/ECM, inertial navigation, Imaging/MIS Systems, automatic test equipment, infrared systems, low-light level TV, ATE systems/applications software and missile systems.
His employment provided him the opportunity to live in California; Tennessee; Utah; Massachusetts; Virginia; Washington, D.C.; Kansas; and Texas. He also lived in Germany and in Saudi Arabia, learning two additional languages.
He fulfilled his retirement dream of living the peaceful life on tree-filled acreage, amongst all the wildlife he adored, in the hill country of Kerrville, Texas. You would often find him enjoying life on his back patio, surveying the rolling hills behind his home while sipping a glass of red wine and smoking his pipe or maybe one of his favorite Cuban cigars. He lived a full life with a myriad of experiences and his friends and family would sit for hours enjoying his quick wit and storytelling.
His love and passion for animals was boundless. His African gray parrots, Fuji and Charlie, were family members and conversed with so often you could have a conversation with them. The gentleness and love he showed his three Shih Tzus, Chobi, Kandi and Yuki, was something to behold. Consequently, he was adopted by four cats, Blackie, The Captain, Whitey and Nimbus.
Uncle Ron left an indelible mark on all of us and he will be greatly missed.
His wife of 49 years, Yasuko, preceded him in death two years prior. He is survived by sister, Sherrie Gray, California; niece, Christie (Michael) Bartusick, Huntington Beach, Calif.; and two nephews, Brett (Laurie) Trimper, Garden Grove, Calif., and Don "DJ" (Fernanda) Guy, residing in Florianopolis, Brazil. Uncle Ron is also survived by eight grand-nephews and -nieces.