Ronald J. St. Onge Obituary
9 June 2017
Ronald J. St. Onge, who rose to lead one of Connecticut’s top technology law firms, died on June 6, 2017, at his home in Stuart, Florida. He was 86.
His parents moved to Stuart in 1924 but fled within a few years as Florida’s real estate market crashed and the Great Depression gripped the nation. Ron was born Oct. 6, 1930, in Kingsport, Tennessee, where his father Albert found work en route north. After the untimely death of his mother Violet (Franzene) St. Onge in 1936, Ron was raised in Kingsford, Michigan, by his father’s sister Anna Goffinet and her husband John. He attended Kingsford High School where he played baseball and edited the school newspaper’s humor section. Good jokes were among his life-long passions.
After graduating from high school in 1948, Ron put himself through college and law school by working during vacations and serving in the ROTC. Having heard girls were prettier at Michigan State University than other schools, he decided to attend. He graduated in 1953 with a chemistry degree and then joined the Air Force, serving as a lieutenant at the end of the Korean War. He was a radar officer on the Japanese island of Sadoshima for over a year. Experience in both electronics and chemistry later proved invaluable in his law practice.
After returning from overseas, Ron toured the country as an announcer for General Motors’ Motorama, an automobile extravaganza geared to whet public appetite and boost sales with fancy displays of concept cars and other special models. With help from the G.I. bill, he entered the University of Michigan Law School in 1956.
Following graduation in 1959, he joined the law firm of Blair, Spencer & Buckles in Stamford, Connecticut, which specialized in patents, trademarks, copyrights and unfair competition. He practiced with the firm for over 40 years, focusing on intellectual property litigation. He became senior partner in 1966. When he retired, the firm was known as St. Onge, Steward, Johnston & Reens, as it remains today.
He was active in the Connecticut Bar Association and served as president of both the Connecticut Patent Law Association and the Stamford Bar Association. He was also involved in Stamford affairs, heading the city’s park commission, where his efforts led to the city acquiring Mianus River Park and building Terry Conners Ice Rink.
Ron enjoyed golf, tennis and skiing. He was a member of various civic organizations, including the Stamford Rotary Club and the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board. He had a wealth of knowledge about many subjects and a unique sense of humor, which combined to make him a delightful companion and father.
Ron was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers Ray and Jerry. He is survived by his wife Patricia (Hill) St. Onge; his four children: James St. Onge of Birmingham, Michigan, Ronald St. Onge Jr. of New York, New York, Jeffrey St. Onge of Washington, DC, and Sarah St. Onge of Mill Valley, California; his sister Yvonne Metzger of San Rafael, California; as well as his stepchildren: Donald LeBuhn of Mill Valley, California, Gretchen LeBuhn of Corte Madera, California, and Andrew LeBuhn of Jupiter, Florida; grandchildren: Katrin and Genevieve St. Onge of Birmingham, Michigan; Caroline Howell of Mill Valley, California; and his first wife, Julie (Windham) Boardman of New London, New Hampshire.
Service will be held at:
11:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 27, 2017
First Presbyterian Church (Fish Church)
1101 Bedford St, Stamford, CT 06905
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Treasure Coast Hospices – North Address: 1201 SE Indian Street, Stuart, FL 34997 Phone: (772) 403-4500 Website: tchospice.org
Or the University of Michigan Law School: https://www.law.umich.edu/alumniandfriends/giving/Pages/How-to-Make-a-gift.aspx