Ronald “Ron” John Kazda, age 86 passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Thursday August 3, 2023, at Country Villa in Little Chute. Ron was born May 29, 1937, in Shawano to the late John and Lorraine (Wilkenson) Kazda of Leopolis. Ron graduated from Marion High School in 1955. He married his high school sweetheart, Judy Reminger Kazda on June 28, 1958. They were fortunate to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary together early this summer.
At age 16 and for the next 20 years Ron had multiple orchestras including the Ron Kazda band and the Blue Notes. Ron was an excellent trumpet player and instilled the love of playing musical instruments in his 2 daughters.
Ron began his career in radio as an early morning broadcaster at WTCH, 960AM in Shawano. A highlight was meeting John F and Jacqueline Kennedy prior to JFK becoming president. He then found his passion in broadcast engineering where he received his degree from DeVry Institute in Chicago.
Moved to Appleton in 1973 where he designed the new studios for WHBY / WAPL. The new stations won a national award.
Moved to Colorado in 1979 to work for Doubleday Broadcasting. While in Colorado Ron also performed engineering for the Colorado Buffalos, Denver Broncos and various college basketball broadcasts working alongside Wayne Laravee and Bobby Anderson. Ron also learned how to downhill ski while in Colorado.
Moved to Minnesota in 1986 initially working for Parker Communications consulting on stations throughout the US including multiple extended stays in Hawaii where Judy was able to experience the island’s beauty. His favorite job was working for Hubbard Communications where he was Director of Engineering until his retirement in 2002.
Upon retiring Ron and Judy moved to Lake Holcombe where they enjoyed lake life. Moved to Menasha in 2014 and to Country Villa assisted living in 2021.
His passion for all types of hunting started at a very young age. Training his own hunting dogs to hunt raccoons and squirrels were a favorite fall sport. Once the daughters were old enough to walk, Ron would take them trout fishing and squirrel hunting. The man had patience. Gun deer hunting generated many tall tales and one year Ron took second place for the largest deer shot in Leopolis. After Ron and Judy built their lake home, the sons-in-law got Ron back into deer hunting and again he shot some nice deer and spun some more tall tales even after having two strokes. The man loved to hunt.
During their 65 years together, Ron & Judy pulled a camper through the Western and Southern states. They took their camper to Florida for the winter after moving to Lake Holcombe.
A diehard Packer’s fan, you could always find Ron in front of the TV cheering on the team. Ron looked forward to playing cards and various games at family gatherings. Sometimes we needed to remind Ron of the rules because he had creative ways of helping himself win.
Retirement offered Ron the opportunity to pursue two hobbies. Woodworking allowed Ron to create and build beautiful items for the lake house, his family and others. Knowing how much Ron loved to talk, it was only natural for him to obtain his Ham radio license. Ron was then able to talk to people around the world.
For all who knew Ron, you know he was always known for his quick wit and many one-liners including but not limited to: “raining harder than a cow peeing on a flat tin roof”.
Ron will be greatly missed by his wife Judy, daughters Kathy (Greg) Laatsch, Joan (Al) Albrecht, granddaughters, Megan Albrecht, Katy (Adam) Blazer, great granddaughter Riley Blazer and a great grandson to be born in November. He is further survived by brother-in-law Joe Reminger of Shawano and sister-in-law Marge Zillmer of Colorado Springs and many nieces and nephews.
Ron was preceded in death by his parents, 3 sisters, 2 brothers, and a brother-in-law.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund will be established.
The family wants to thank the fourth-floor staff at St. Elizabeth’s hospital, Moments Hospice and all the care givers at Country Villa.
A funeral liturgy for Ron will be held Tuesday August 15, 2023, at 10:30am at St Joseph Catholic Church, 410 W Lawrence Street, Appleton. Friends and family may gather at the church from 8:30am until the start of mass.
"KC9NQD signing off for the last time."