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Ron Bartlett Obituary

Ronald Willard Bartlett, 94, died May 13, 2023 at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center of complications from surgery.  Ron is survived by son, Paul Bartlett, and granddaughters, Anna Pade, Lydia Bartlett, and Ella Bartlett. 

Ron was born to Willard and Ella Bartlett on December 30, 1928, in Salem, OR where he lived until he went to college at Willamette University earning a degree in Music Education.  

Ron served in the United States Air Force and played the saxophone in the Air Force Band. 

He became a band teacher and served for one year in Madras, Oregon before he began at Hedrick Middle School in Medford, Oregon in 1955, the year the school opened, and served 34 years as their band teacher.  Many current Medford residents have Ron to thank for their introduction to music.  

Known around town as the Saxophone Santa, Ron played the saxophone regularly until just months before his death, when a biking accident inhibited the movement of his left arm.  He was a member of the New Horizon Band at the Santos Center, the German Band, and a member of his church choir.  Ron led the Annual singing of the Messiah at Medford First Christian Church for over 20 years.  He and his wife and partner Gloria were elemental in the beginnings of the Britt Festival and Ron worked as their General Manager for many years.

Ron was a devoted member of Medford First Christian Church, having been baptized there on June 13th, 1965, the week before he and Gloria were married. He attended faithfully, shared his music and his smile readily and was loved by all.  

Ron was passionate about cars. His favorite was the 59 Ford Retractable (two of which became the “Santa-mobile” at Christmas).  He loved fixing all old cars and helping others investigate the problems they were having with their older vehicles.  Later in life he became interested in electric vehicles as well. 

Ron’s spirit of adventure, his giving nature and his care of others will be remembered fondly by so many. 

Donations in honor of Ron may be sent to Medford First Christian Church, 1900 Crater Lake Avenue, Medford, OR 97504, or to Britt Music & Arts Festival, PO Box 1124, Medford, OR 97501.

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