News Archive

In Remembrance of Ron Daniels

A true friend and gentleman
06/30/2005

Ron Daniels with grandson Tyler Lee The SMTA has lost a good friend, active association member, and a dedicated volunteer. Ron Daniels died unexpectedly on June 4th. I first met Ron over 20 years ago when he was editor of Circuits Assembly magazine, and I was organizing the technical program for the Midwest Electronics Expo. I liked him immediately, and in the years since I only grew to like him more and more.

Some of you knew Ron as an ITM consultant; some knew him from his days with Circuits Assembly magazine, and some from his more recent work with CircuitNet. No matter what the relationship, all of us are asking why such a good man would be taken from us so young. Our sadness is real and profound.

As I read through the many tributes that have been posted to CircuitNet, I kept seeing the following four phrases used to describe my friend, Ron:

A true friend
A man who showed warmth
A gentleman
A great sense of humor

As I reflected upon each of these descriptions, I could only concur...

Ron was a friend to almost everyone in our industry. It did not matter if you were a small guy, a big player, new to the field and inexperienced, or a well respected industry colleague. Ron treated all of us the same. He listened to us. For many he was the "face" of our industry. To some he was a "beer" buddy (did you know he brewed his own beer?). To some he was a traveling companion. He was real, he was genuine and he was ALWAYS there for his friends. Ron's tremendous enthusiasm and friendly manner was ever present. This could be at a tradeshow, at an SMTA chapter meeting, while attending a committee meeting. He was most often seen with a smile on his face and with a kind word for all.

Ron's genuine warmth was evident to all of us who knew him. There was no pretense with Ron. He was always upbeat - always positive. Even at the low point of his professional career I would talk with him, and this positive spirit would come through. He was down to earth. Ron was warm, he was gracious, and he was generous. He had a special way of making all of us better people just by knowing him.
A gentleman. Although Ron grew up in Baltimore, he spent much of his life in Atlanta. Perhaps this helped define him as a "southern gentleman". He was one of our industry's true gentlemen. Ron was just an all-around "nice guy" who made all of us feel very special. He was kind and supportive. He had a kind word for everyone. Ron was honest, he was unbiased, and he truly helped me (as a non-engineer) understand our industry and the technologies that we represent.

Ron's sense of humor was apparent to all who knew him. Who can forget how he would host Circuits Assembly parties dressed as Elvis, or on one occasion as a gorilla! He had the uncanny ability to inject humor into almost any situation. At times you could see just a hint of mischief in his eyes. Some of us at the SMTA will always remember him leading our conga line dance at the association's 20th anniversary celebration last year.

Those of us at the SMTA quickly recognized the special fondness that he had for our association. I asked much of him over the years and he never once turned down a request.

As an editor at Circuits Assembly and at CircuitNet he had the opportunity to promote the SMTA, and promote it he did! We never had much to offer in return other than our friendship. He served our association well. It was Ron's idea to create our Hutchins Educational Grant following the death of Charles Hutchins. He served on various SMTA committees. He launched the Job Center at both the Atlanta Expo and at SMTAI. He served on the SMTA International technical committee and had the responsibility for organizing the substrate sessions. We can only say, "Thank you, Ron, for a job well done!"

On a personal note he was a friend to the entire Stromberg family (Bert, Erik, and Kristin included). We had such fun with Ron and Judy at several Pan Pacific events. All of us valued his friendship in different ways. My email box is filled with messages from Ron. It seems that barely a week went by that we were not in touch. I will miss my good friend.
Ron was, indeed, a family man. He deeply loved his family - wife Judy, mother Virginia, sons Tim (wife Blythe) and Jordan. And those of us who knew him recognized his deep and profound love for his new grandson, Tyler Lee. Never could there have been a prouder Grandpa. Not too long ago he sent me an email telling me he was going to have the best afternoon ever... he was going to spend it with Tyler. The photo above reflects the Grandpa Ron we all knew - this was his favorite photo! The SMTA extends its sincere sympathy to Ron's family.

A good friend of mine, Ralph Savage, captured a thought about Ron, asking, "How do you say goodbye?" He concluded that you don't. Ron's memory will live on and when all of us think of Ron we will smile. I can only agree. We don't say goodbye. We say Godspeed, until we meet again our very dear and special friend! The memories that we each have of Ron will allow him to live on in our hearts forever.

JoAnn Stromberg, SMTA Administrator


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