Ron's story began on August 17, 1933 when he was born to Reynold and Anna Peduzzi. Ron and his twin brother, Rey, joined their brother Carl (Chief) and their sister Joanne (Sis) at the Peduzzi home in Trafford, Pennsylvania. Ron loved working with his father and his brothers on their model trains and helping out at the family's garage, Reynold's Motor Company, in East Pittsburgh. But Ron loved even more his mother's cooking, especially her renowned nut bread and chicken rice soup. Ron excelled at sports, including football, baseball and basketball. After graduation from Trafford High School in 1951, Ron went on to attend Geneva College. During his time at Geneva, the football team had one of its best records ever and he was honored as a member of the Geneva College All-Time Football Team and the Tri-District College First Football Team. After graduating from Geneva College in 1955, Ron was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps, He served in Korea and retired from the Marine Corps Reserve, after a proud 30-year career, as a full-bird Colonel.
His love of the Corps was rivaled only by his love for Carolyn, his beloved wife of over fifty-three years, and his love for his three beautiful daughters: Mary, Lauren and Anita. Ron and Carolyn never lost the spark after meeting on a blind date in 1965, and his daughters idolized their father. The stories of Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners surrounded by his family and friends could fill volumes. Ron was a lucky man to have Carolyn and his daughters by his side these last few days.
After receiving his Master’s Degree in Education from the University Pittsburgh, Ron went on to become Assistant Principal of Greater Latrobe High School and then served as Principal of his beloved Norwin Knights for 25 wonderful years (1971 to 1996). Ron also received his principal certification from Duquesne University. Ron served as President of the Association of Secondary School Principals, and was the recipient of the Citizen of the Year Award from the Norwin Rotary Club, which honored him for his distinguished service over the years to the community. But, above all else, Ron was a true mentor to so many students and members of the faculty, whether he was teaching math, serving as a coach of the baseball and football teams or while at the helm in the role of Principal. Indeed, the outpouring of support he received these past few months in cards and letters from students and teachers over the years illustrated how much he was loved by--and how much he truly loved--the Norwin community.
After his retirement, Carolyn and Ron traveled the world, spanning Japan, China, Russia, and most of Europe. In one epic adventure, he, Carolyn, along with his siblings and their spouses, drove up to the beautiful mountains of Northern Italy to visit, among other picturesque spots, the Peduzzi family province of Schignano. Ron and Carolyn later moved to the sunny shores of Swansboro, North Carolina where they lived for 16 wonderful years. During that time, Ron honed his life-long love of racquetball by challenging much younger Marines on the courts at Camp Lejeune (and beating them). He also volunteered at a men's shelter and lent his time and considerable wood-working skills to build a camp for children from under-served communities. Ron continued to work in his garage, building beautiful pieces of furniture that proudly adorn Carolyn's and his daughter's homes.
Importantly, Ron's story does not end here--it lives on. Those of us who had the pleasure to know Ron know well how much of a positive influence he had on those around him. He loved life, found joy in the simple things and would give someone the shirt off his back. He was an amazing presence and his legacy will live on in the innumerable lives he touched. Ron was welcomed into Heaven by his loving parents, his older brother Carl and his wife Agnes, his Cousin Cel, Sis' husband Harry, his grand-daughter Janie Margaret Ryan, and countless other family and friends. His receiving line at the Pearly Gates must have been remarkable.
Ron had many wonderful sayings, but one in particular sums him up perfectly: "First class all the way." Ron, you will always be "first class all the way" in our book. You will be truly missed. Semper Fidelis and God Bless.
Family and friends will be received from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday at the James W. Shirley Funeral Home, 176 Clay Pike, North Huntingdon. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Saturday at 10 a.m. in Immaculate Conception Church, Irwin. The funeral procession will proceed thru the Norwin Senior High School Campus at 9:30 a.m. for those students and teachers who would like to say farewell to Mr. Peduzzi. Interment to follow after the mass in Irwin Union Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Camp Lejeune Fisher House for Wounded Warriors, 4 Recovery Way, Camp Lejeune, NC 28547. www.shirleyfuneralhome.com
Originally published July 14, 2021.