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Posted on March 16, 2015 | 2:20 p.m.

Dr. Ron Faoro of Santa Barbara, 1954-2015

Source: Faoro Family

Dr. Ron Faoro

On March 1, 2015, Ron Faoro was taken from us unexpectedly while paragliding in the skies above the foothills of Santa Barbara, CA.

Ron was born on March 19, 1954, in Portland, Oregon, to Erma Inez Faoro (Crema) and Edo Angelo Faoro. He attended Holy Cross Elementary, North Catholic and La Salle High Schools.

Ron earned his bachelors degree from the University of Oregon, and then received his doctorate of veterinary medicine from Washington State University.

Ron ("RJ, Ronnie Jo, Ronaldo") came to Santa Barbara by chance in 1981, and began working as a veterinarian at Adobe Pet Hospital. He later joined St. Francis Pet Clinic, where he became partner and eventually sole owner.

His passion and dedication for the veterinary profession brought more than just his love for animals. He was the one you would call when an animal needed help, because you knew he would not question or hesitate to be there.

He heroically saved both the pets at his clinic as well as the ones awaiting adoption at the shelters throughout Santa Barbara County. For this reason, he was honored as "Local hero" in the S.B. Independent and considered the "Saint" of St. Francis.

He believed strongly in mentoring and encouraged 12 of his former employees to become veterinarians. He believed in recognizing potential in qualified students and his employees, by presenting them opportunities to excel.

Dr. Ron Faoro was also a member of the local veterinary association, the SBVVMA. He served on the House of Delegates, the Board of Governors, and was elected president of the California Veterinary Medical Association in 2006 and president of the California Veterinary Medical Foundation in 2011.

Ron lived a life filled with adventure, intellectual curiosity, had a fierce pride of his Italian heritage and a deep love for the great outdoors.

His passion for paragliding led him to soar in the skies above Santa Barbara, Ojai, the Owens Valley, Southern Oregon, the Great Salt Lake Valley in Utah, and the Dolomites in Northern Italy.

Ron's immense love of nature lead him to take many hiking and backpacking trips throughout his life, including visits to the Grand Canyon, the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island, Yosemite, Zion, Glacier Peak, Mt. Adams, the Sierras , and the Santa Barbara back country, to name just a few.

Recently, Ron began to pursue one of his boyhood dreams of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. He completed the first segment from the border of Mexico to Kennedy Meadows, at the foot of the Sierra mountains early last year.

His plan was to continue the PCT this summer, with his daughter Sierra, by completing the leg across the entire state of Oregon, ending at The Bridge of the Gods on the border of Washington.

An enthusiastic cyclist, Ron enjoyed many multi-day rides throughout his home state of Oregon and rode often in Santa Barbara, and Santa Ynez Valley.

Every Monday night, "Ronaldo" would hustle over to Arnoldi's restaurant for his Italian conversational group. According to his friends he was the heart and soul of this Italian group. He always offered to buy and share food (family style), and buy the "vino" for others.

He and his family recently enjoyed a two-month trip to Italy, where they visited Sicily, Rome, the Amalfi Coast, Tuscany and finally the Veneto region, the land of his ancestors.

Ron's grandparents taught him at an early age how to forage for food. He often came home with mushrooms, clams, berries and any edible green he could find.

Always a fierce competitor and lively debater, Ron enjoyed sharing his intellect, wit and humor. He never did anything halfway. He lived passionately and too fully to ever leave quietly.

Dr. Ron Faoro will be missed by his family, his many friends and by the countless veterinarians he inspired and with whom he shared his love of life.

"We were born before the wind, also younger than the sun. Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic...."

Ron was preceded in death by his father, Edo, and his younger brother, Mark.

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; daughter, Sierra Bianca; mother Erma,; uncle, Julius; sisters Debbie Tolonen (Bruce), Paula Palmer (Ron II); nieces Kirsten (Chris), Sarah (Ian), Megan (Luke), Allie (Brian), Whitney; nephews Ron III, and Matthew, their children; and his pet family, Mickey, Chica-Bonita, Spinner and Tazi.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: the California Veterinary Medical Foundation Ron Faoro DVM Student Scholarship Fund — (http://www.cvmf.net), The Independence Fund towards an all-terrain wheelchair for a wounded veteran in Ron's name ( http://independencefund.org), or to any organization helping to spay and neuter our homeless animal friends.

His family would also like to encourage those who can find it in their hearts, to please consider adopting a furry friend (yes, just one more), from the many that are desperately seeking a family and home. You will be rewarded beyond measure.

All of the above are what reflect his values and ideals.

Please join us in celebrating the remarkable life of an extraordinary man on Sunday, March 22, 2015, at Godric Grove, Elings Park, 10:30 a.m. Reception to follow.

We ask that you please car-pool, as parking will be extremely limited.

The family of Ron Faoro would like to extend their gratitude to the SB County and City Fire Depts., SB County Search and Rescue team, U.S. Forest Service, AMR team, SB County Sheriff's and Coroners Office, Air Operations team, Kerry Maclntosh, ER Nurse, Anne-Marie, and Jason at Welch-Ryce-Haider, UCSB geology hikers and anyone else who may have assisted during this incident.

A special thanks to the Bishop Diego HS staff and community, our guardian angels who have surrounded us at this time, and to all our loving friends and families who have brought us comfort during this difficult time.


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