Born April 2, 1948, Ron was a native Californian and a 4-year resident of Twentynine Palms. He was a member (and Chaplain) of the Eagles Aerie #4092 in Twentynine Palms. He began his many visits to Twentynine Palms over 50 years ago, as a child driving up to the valley with his grandparents who homesteaded here in the mid-1950's. A true adventure it was for a young boy to camp out on weekends, cooking over Coleman stoves while "Pops" built the cabins. Ron attended St. Anthony's High School in Long Beach and Cal Poly, Pomona. Working in the aerospace industry as an Engineer and Project Manager, he settled in Orange County in the late 70's to raise his family.
Having met and married Fran in 2000, they made a permanent move to the old homestead in 2001, each taking time from work to establish the Jack Auchterlonie Memorial Equine Sanctuary (J.A.M.E.S.). During Ron's four years at the homestead, numerous horses were rehabilitated and readied for adoption to loving homes or offered a safe haven to live out their lives free from abuse. The horses currently calling J.A.M.E.S. home, came from local areas and as far reaching as Vandenberg AFB. Having established community service and volunteer programs that provide a child, or adult, the opportunity to acquire basic equine care facts and information, as well as an occasional ride, each horse serves a purpose in the learning process. Although unable to attend their October meeting, he was aware and extremely proud of the Basin Wide Foundation's Award of Excellence that was presented to J.A.M.E.S. in 2005.
J.A.M.E.S. and its horses were Ron's passion and it was his wish that the work he began continue in his absence. He would be proud of the expansion and additions that have been made at JAMES since his passing. A tractor has been purchased and is invaluable when it comes to the heavy work. Five acres have been cleared and perimeter fencing installed, allowing the horses to kick up their heels and have a free run. Four additional stalls are up with two more in the process, along with a third turn-out area, increasing to 14, the number of horses that can be cared for. Our current goal is perimeter fencing for 5 additional "training" acres and a round pen to allow community service/volunteer children to work with more than one horse at a time.
The generosity of those who contribute to J.A.M.E.S.' efforts make it possible for us to carry on Ron's wish. There is much left to do, it is always a work in progress, but a labor of love nonetheless!
Our sincere thanks to all of you for your continued support.