Ronald J. Vauk, 73, of La Crosse, Wis., died on Tuesday October 5, 2021 in his home.
Born October 3, 1948, to Ronald John Vauk Sr. and Mary Geraldine Vauk in LaCrosse,WI. They later divorced. Ron passed after losing his battle with cancer, and wishes to thank all the wonderful health care providers who enabled him to live longer, esp., Harmon, Crosby and Michelle who represent Gunderson in in Tomah, WI.
Ron was preceded in death by parents Ronald and Mary, stepmother Janice, Grandfather John and his wife, Grandma Eva, and Albert.
Ron graduated from Logan H.S. class of 1966. Worked in a meat packing house in Chicago after graduation before returning to La Crosse and UW-L entering the summer session in 1968. Subsequent to that was a stint of work at LaCrosse Rubber Mills, and a brief educational foray at Western Tech.
The best thing that happened to Ron is being drafted during the Vietnam war. However, Ron chose to enter the U.S.Navy, and became a hospital corpsman serving his country proudly during the Vietnam War, and finding a career path in the health care industry. Ron entered Viterbo University nursing program in 1972- graduating in 1976. While he was in school he worked part-time in the ER at Gundersen-Lutheran. He also remained active in the U.S. Naval reserves. He worked as a nurse at the Tomah VAMC for one year awaiting his acceptance to the Nurse Practitioner M.S.N. program at UW-Oshkosh graduating in 1979.
During Ron’s tenure at Gundersen, Ron met a great guy Bill Frank, an Ultrasound Tech at the hospital. Bill was venturing off into the then hardly charted waters of mobile ultrasound, CT, Nuclear Medicine. Bill asked Ron if he would be interested in joining his company and learning diagnostic sonography, so he did.
Ron learned ultrasound from another great guy, Bill Stangl who was most influential in Ron’s mentoring. Ron then proceeded to work for SEE mobile medical imaging, providing services to 13 rural hospital’s in central and western Minnesota. Tragically, Bill and his wife Sharon drowned in a boating accident. The company as Ron knew it was gone. Ron then refocused on his nursing career working at the State Mental Hospital in Willmar, MN for a brief period of years, during which time he prepared himself for the Nurse Practitioner Certification Test. He passed the exam and started working for St. Mary’s Duluth Clinic in one of their outreach clinic’s. He enjoyed the people and work before retiring; but not before attaining an Associate degree in Human Resource Management at Western Technical College.
Ron enjoyed many things in life; riding his Harley, watching the Brewers on the radio with BOB as the announcer, and Packer’s football. Ron’s most happy times were being on the boat “NASTI AND NAUTI” with the love of his life Katherine and Grommit and Zowie Bowie canine family members, and his two wonderful and beautiful daughters, Sarah and Kari who provided memorable experiences and wonderful alone time bonding. He truly loved those girls with an ardent passion. Ron is survived by his brothers, Randy Vauk and John Harnish. He also enjoyed detailing his vehicles, making them shiny and new again.
Ron will miss everyone and hope they have the kind of full filling life he had.
A celebration or Ron’s life will be held at 3:00 PM on Saturday, December 4, 2021, at the Onalaska American Legion Post 336, 731 Sand Lake Road, Onalaska, Wis.