ONEONTA - Dr. Ronald Brzenk (PhD), 68, of Oneonta, passed away Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, at his home, surrounded by his loved ones, following a brief but courageous battle with cancer.
He was born on Jan. 30, 1949, in Jersey City, New Jersey, son of Francis and Anna Brzenk.
Ron was predeceased by the love of his life and the center of his universe, his wife of 46 years, Karen Brzenk.
Ron was a graduate of St. Peter's College in Jersey City, New Jersey. He earned his PhD in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, where he met Karen and started their family.
Upon completion of his graduate work he accepted a professorship of mathematics at Hartwick College in Oneonta where he remained for 41 years until retiring in 2015. Ron was a dedicated professor who was born to and lived to teach. He received many professional accolades along the way which always seemed more important to his family than to the man himself.
He was an active member of St. Mary's Parish in Oneonta, his faith being an important part of his life.
Ron was generous with numerous organizations and charities benefiting those close to him. He intended to spend his retirement lying on his couch in his slippers, watching television, catching up on his reading, visiting his children and grandchildren, but most important to him was sharing this time with his wife who was his incentive for waking each day.
Ron was a dedicated son, brother, husband, father, friend and colleague. He held the weight of the worries of everyone he knew on his shoulders and used his strength to support them often before thinking of himself.
He is survived by his sons, Kevin (Denise) Brzenk and David (Tricia) Brzenk; his grandchildren, Alex, Samantha, Tiffany and Jack Brzenk; his great-grandchild, Kambri Brzenk; his brothers, Frank and Rich Brzenk; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Ron will be dearly missed by more friends than he realized he had. The support he received as a result of the loss of his wife and the onset of his disease was more than humbling to him.
Friends are invited to greet the family from 5 to 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 23, with eulogy to conclude, at Lester P. Grummons Funeral Home, 14 Grand St., Oneonta.
Due to the closure of Saint Mary's Catholic Church for renovations, the Funeral Mass will be held at St. James Episcopal Church at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 24, with the Rev. David Michiewicz officiating.
Burial will take place in Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Emmons.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Ron's memory are asked to be made to St. Mary's Church in Oneonta or Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care.
Online condolences to Ron's family may be made at www.grummonsfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are by the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, Oneonta.
Published on October 16, 2017