Cover photo for Ronald Curtis Lycett's Obituary
Ronald Curtis Lycett Profile Photo
1955 Ronald 2024

Ronald Curtis Lycett

July 22, 1955 — May 18, 2024

Grants Pass

Ronald Curtis Lycett was born in Grants Pass, Oregon, to (Sarah) Hazel Lycett and George Edward Lycett on July 22nd, 1955. Born into a large family, he had an older brother from his father's previous marriage, George Lycett (Jr.), and two older brothers from his mother's previous marriage, Richard Volkman and Ernest Volkman. He also had two older siblings by George and Hazel, Donald Lycett and Roger Lycett. Eventually, he would be joined by his youngest brother, Kenneth Lycett.


Ron left Grants Pass High School early and received his GED. In the fall of 1973, he joined the Navy and went to boot camp with his friend Bob Hamblin. Ron served for a few years before returning to Grants Pass where he met and eventually married Cynthia Harelson in 1977. They brought me, Kristen Ann Lycett, into the world on July 7th, 1985. Their marriage ended in 1986.


During his time in Grants Pass, dad worked in a variety of restaurants as a cook including Abby's Pizza, Steve's Pizza, a brief stint at Taco Time, and Charlie W’s.


On November 29th, 1991, his youngest daughter, Veronica Foster was born to Lani Campbell.


In 1993, dad moved to Portland and attended the Western Culinary Institute. He then worked at Terwilliger Plaza Retirement Home in Portland, Oregon as a chef.


In 2001, dad joined his buddy Dennis in moving to Tennessee temporarily. They road tripped across the Southern US in the fall, watching as the twin towers fell from Lordsburg, NM and ending up in New York City a few weeks later to see ground zero. Dad lived in Chattanooga for about 6 months before he returned to Oregon.


When Dad was tired of cooking, he returned home to Grants Pass to care for his aging parents. His hobbies included gardening for a time, and as well as video games. Earlier in adulthood, he was an avid reader of fantasy and Sci-Fi novels. Later in life, he read less and switched to TV shows and movies. In recent years, he returned to watching the Westerns his dad watched when he was young.


During my childhood, time spent with Dad involved reading and visiting the used bookstore in town, fishing at Lake Selmac with dad and his buddies, Bob, Dennis, and Stan, and playing penny poker and NERTS with Dad and Grandma Hazel. Often, a visit to my Dad's meant a house full of family as endless uncles, aunts, and cousins came by. In college, when Dad took up gardening, I would visit and go home loaded up with fresh produce. When Bob’s daughter was in the band at the University of Oregon, Dad and Bob began attending home football games and continued to do so long after she had graduated. I even joined them for a basketball game between Oregon and Oregon State - the only Ducks home game I have ever attended.


It was during one of these football game days in 2015 that dad had a heart attack in the middle of his salad at McGrath's Fish House. Someone was looking out for him that day though and an off duty EMT was on hand at the restaurant to begin CPR before he was taken into surgery at the Oregon Heart and Vascular Institute in Springfield. Dad had several stents placed and stayed for about a week before I was able to drive him back to Grants Pass. 


We went from talking on the phone once a month for several hours, to talking every Sunday for several hours. We talked about movies and TV shows, politics, and our lives. In 2021, after emergency surgery to fix a ruptured bowel due to a tumor, those phone calls became daily. 


Declared cancer free after surgery, Dad still had to recover well enough for the doctors to reverse the ileostomy they had given him during his emergency surgery. That 6 months and few months after that, we were told the cancer was back and he started chemotherapy in November of 2022. The chemo kept the cancer at bay but his oncologist made it clear that it was never going to be curative. After an allergic reaction to the intravenous chemo in the summer of 2023, Dad was switched to a pill based chemo that just didn't work as well. After a week in Hawaii, his bucket list trip, his health took a major downward turn a few days after getting home. His medical care was slow and it took months to get an MRI and PET scan, only to find out the cancer had grown and infiltrated his spine. He was given the option of one last try at chemo but he struggled to feel well enough to start up again. At the end of April, he acknowledged it was time for hospice care and on May 18th, he passed at home under the loving care of his youngest brother, Ken.


Dad was preceded in death by his parents, a sister that he never knew, and brothers Ernie Volkman and Roger Lycett. With our family history of cancer and especially colon cancer, I encourage all our relations to get screened regularly.


We will be planning a Celebration of Life for summer 2024. Dad was able to attend his 50th high school reunion at Indian Mary Park in August of 2023 and he had such a wonderful time. We hope to recreate that for his Celebration of Life in late July 2024.


Please share a memory of Ronald in his Guestbook (below). 
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