Ronald Ralph Turgeon, 82, a longtime Newport resident, died February 21 following a long illness. Ron was born in Concord, NH, on October 12, 1936, the son of Lawrence and Grace (Morgan) Turgeon. He attended Keene State College and Dartmouth College and served in the US Army. An Eagle Scout, he remained active in scouting activities as an adult and enjoyed hiking in the White Mountains and spending time at his family’s lakeside cabin in New Hampshire.
Ron worked for many years in the culinary and hospitality fields, including various positions at Wellesley College and Johnson & Wales University. At Hudson County Community College in New Jersey, he assisted in establishing and operating the culinary arts program. In Newport, he served as a consultant and advisor for the Chanler at Cliff Walk, Sardella’s, The Cheeky Monkey, Tivoli Gardens, and many other restaurants that sought his help in training their waitstaffs. Ron was never at a loss for words and was always ready to advise on Newport restaurants, chefs, and food. He could walk into a restaurant, size it up at a glance, and announce, “It’s all wrong!” He would then proceed to tell the manager just how to fix things–whether they wanted to know or not!
Ron was a longtime parishioner of St. John the Evangelist Church in Newport, where he served on the vestry, as master of ceremonies, and as a crucifer and thurifer. He was also well known in Newport through his numerous community activities, including his leadership in the Japan America Society of Rhode Island, where he was active in the Newport/Shimoda Sister City program. In this capacity, he traveled several times to Japan as a representative of the City of Newport. In addition, he worked arduously to plan the annual five-day Sister City Celebration in Newport, arranging the ceremony in Touro Park and organizing many other activities. He was also active in the Red Cross, the AARP, the Rotary Club, and the Rhode Island and the Newport Hospitality Associations.
Ron was a “man about town” recognized by many for his impeccable taste in clothes and his love of people. He will be sorely missed by his many friends, especially his longtime close friends Tom and Barbara.
A Requiem Mass will be held at St. John the Evangelist Church, 61 Poplar St, Newport, RI on Saturday, April 13, at 11:00a.m. Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America at www.alzfdn.org.