BOARDMAN, Ohio – Ronald A. Chambers; local civic activist and public servant, restaurateur, night club operator and horse enthusiast, died after a four-month battle with cancer on Thursday night, June 1 at the Vibra Long-Term Acute Care Facility; he was 74 years old.
“Ron”, as his friends called him, was born November 1, 1942, the son of Virginia and George Chambers of Canfield, Ohio.
Ron graduated from Canfield High School and attended Bowling Green State University.
As a young man, Ron was an avid equestrian who kept, trained and showed horses. His early love of horses propelled him from cleaning stalls at the Canfield Fairgrounds to serving as Manager of the Youngstown Charity Horse show for three years. He raised over $150,000 for local charities during his tenure as manager. He was awarded the Manager of the Year for three years in a row by the United Professional Horsemen’s Association. He served as Chairman of the Board for the Tri-State Horse Show Association. He was a sought-after equestrian announcer and announced over 30 shows in six states, including events at the Canfield Fair. Ron’s speaking gifts lead him to be called on often to serve as emcee at award shows, banquets and other public functions.
Ron was interested in politics and frequently led the way in civic causes. He was the local director of the Mahoning County John F. Kennedy presidential campaign in the early 1960’s. He was an early protester of the Vietnam conflict. Years later, he was a finalist for the position of President of Amnesty International in the early 1990’s. He served in local government. He was appointed Chairman of the City of Youngstown City Charter Review Commission. His efforts lead to voter approval of 14 out of 16 amendments to the City Charter. He served on the\Board of Directors of the Mahoning County Area task force on AIDS. He received a Certificate of Commendation by Secretary of State Sherrod Brown and received a key to the City of Youngstown, Ohio.
Ron was a restaurateur and nightclub operator. He operated Lewardo’s Restaurant on Market Street. He was the owner and operator of the Joshua’s and Phoebe Fitzgerald’s Night Clubs, also on Market Street. He planned and developed and managed a 1.3 million dollar renovation project on that site. He was a board member and then served as President of the Market Street Merchants Association. He later was the owner and operator of the Chamber Nigh Club in Poland.
In the 1990’s, Ron served as the owner and operator of the Daily Planet News in Cleveland, Ohio. That business was named “Best in Cleveland” by the Cleveland Magazine.
Ron returned to the Canfield area to own and operate Rainbow Lawn Service from 1998-2004.
In retirement, he served as an independent contractor for the Youngstown Vindicator.
Ron was a man who served as a mentor to many young people in the Youngstown area who themselves have found personal and financial success as adults. Ron didn’t talk about himself but kept his conversation and gifts focused on others. Ron leaves us all better than he found us; empowered by his insight, love and compassion.
As much as he loved people, Ron first and foremost loved his dogs. His most recent dog is Dakota, who will sadly be looking for a new and loving home. Finally, Ron was an intrepid Browns fan. Ron leaves in all of us, a void that will not easily be filled.
Ron was preceded in death by his father, George Chambers, who died in 1983 and his mother, Virginia (Chambers) Hull-Klaiman who passed away in 2007.
Ron leaves a brother, Russell (Mary Ann Richutti) of Tennessee; two nephews, Stephen Russell (Solange Guenier) of Colorado and Mark Chambers of Tennessee; a grandniece, Jasmine Gunier-Chambers and many friends.
Family and friends may call at the Lane Funeral Home, Canfield Chapel, on Wednesday, June 7 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. and again one hour prior to the 11:00 a.m. Memorial Service on Thursday, June 8 at the funeral home which will be followed by a procession to the Canfield Village Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, Ron requested that materials tributes take the form of donations to the Mahoning County Animal Humane Society.
Ron’s family would like to recognize the compassionate care provided by the superb staff at Vibra Care; especially nurse practitioners, Heater Mason and Amanda Davis, as well as the loving care of Hallie Flickinger.
To share a memory or to send a condolence, visit www.lanefuneralhomes.com.
A television tribute will air Tuesday, June 6 at the following approximate times:
6:41 a.m. WYTV and 8:41 a.m. MyYTV and 9:58 a.m. on FOX plus two additional spots throughout the day.