Tourney honours life

A beautiful day on the golf course was one of Ron Opheim’s favourite ways to pass the time.

Rich Dutka

Rich Dutka

A beautiful day on the golf course was one of Ron Opheim’s favourite ways to pass the time.

So it’s only fitting that family, friends and co-workers took part in the Ron Opheim Memorial Golf Tournament Sept. 24 in Parksville to remember him.

“We had 65 golfers and a 120 people for the dinner. It was a great turnout for Ronnie,” said Rich Dutka, who worked with Opheim for 18 years and grew up with him in Nanaimo.

Opheim, who lost his battle with cancer June 15, played and coached hockey in Nanaimo, managed a Shoppers Drug Mart store in Terminal Park and had a 20-year career in the newspaper business with Black Press.

Dutka said Opheim made a lot of friends and contacts over the years, but it was the newspaper advertising business that was tailor-made for him.

“It’s a real people business and Ronnie excelled at Black Press,” he said. “I don’t know that he had an equal who did as well as he did.”

Organizers of the golf tournament tried to make the event as fun as possible, something Opheim would have enjoyed.

“There were tears shed in remembering Ron, but it was a celebration of his life,” said Dutka. “People had fun, it was a great day, a great meal and we were able to raise few bucks.”

The tournament raised $12,295 to help refurbish the garden in Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s palliative care unit.

“When Ron was in palliative care, he would go out there and really enjoy it,” said Dutka. “It reminded him of his garden at home beside the lake.”

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