Valley County, IDGenWeb Project

Ronald Klimko

Ron Klimko, formerly of McCall, passed away on Sunday, March 18, 2012, at Brundage Mountain Resort.

There will be a memorial at the McCall Community Congregational Church at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 23.

Ron was born in 1936 in Lena, Wisc., and educated in Wisconsin. He graduated from Milton College in 1959 and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1968.

Subsequently, at the University of Idaho, he taught bassoon, theory and composition, and music history for 32 years until his retirement in January 2000.

During his career at Idaho, he contributed to the world of music in a variety of ways. He played bassoon in the Spokane Symphony for 20 years from 1969 to 1990. He studied in London, England and Paris, France.

He is the author of a well-known book, “Bassoon Performance, Practices, and Teaching in the United States and Canada” (1971, rev. 1992). Since 1982 he was the editor of the The Double Reed, the professional publication of the International Double Reed Society.

Ron was an avid sports enthusiast and participant. His efforts began at Oshkosh High School, in Oshkosh, Wisc., where he was a miler on the track team for three years and lettered in the sport.

Ron returned to running in his 30s, and began competing in fun runs, 10 kilometer runs and marathons. He also began learning to ski and taught his children to ski. In 1995 he took up snowboarding with his son, Chris acting as sometime instructor.

For many years while teaching at University of Idaho, he ran six miles every noon hour with a group of friends, fondly known as Team DeMoura.

He ran many local 5Ks, 10Ks and fun runs. Though seldom a first place winner, he usually placed high in the finishers. He ran Bloomsday in Spokane for over a decade.

A member of Palouse Roadrunners, he helped organize the Snake River Marathon and ran the marathon itself. Over the years he ran 13 marathons, including the Boston Marathon.

Ron was equally enthusiastic about mountain climbing. He climbed a great many of the volcanoes in the Cascade Mountains of Washington and Oregon, including Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, Mt. Shuksan, and Sahale Peak.

In the Tetons of Wyoming, he and his first wife climbed the Grand and Middle Tetons, Teewenot, and Mt. Owen. While in Europe, he climbed Rimpfischhorn, Pollux Peak, Liskalm, and Mt. Blanc in Switzerland.

Of all his climbing treks and tours, his most memorable was a trek to Mt. Everest Base Camp in October 1999, where he reached the summit of 18,600-ft Kala Patar, an altitude personal record.

He began skiing in 1970 and while in Europe skied the French, Swiss, and Austrian Alps. He was an avid back-country skier until age 70, spending a week in May with friends and his sons at the Kokanee Glacier in British Columbia every year for over a decade.

His favorite sport was snowboarding at his beloved Brundage Mountain. His love of the terrain park for snowboarders led him to enter competitions, and he was 2007-08 Idaho State Champion in Superpipe for his age division (Methuselah!).

He and his wife, Kathie retired to McCall in 2003. Ron served as conductor of the McCall Chamber Orchestra from about 2004 to 2010.

In 1963 he married Kathleen Sorenson and they have three sons, Karl “Nick” Klimko of Puyallup, Wash., Chris Klimko of McCall, and Ben Klimko of Seattle; and one daughter, Julie Klimko-Hix of Clarkston, Wash. He left five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

In 1985 he married Kathryn George. He left two stepdaughters, Kim George Marin of Heredia, Costa Rica and Francey George of Seattle.

Contributions in-lieu of flowers may be made to the McCall Music Society.

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