[Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 147 (2001), Part 16]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page 23296]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]

                          HONORING RON WALTERS


                          HON. LYNN C. WOOLSEY

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                      Wednesday, November 28, 2001

  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in order to honor a man in the 
City of Petaluma, where I proudly reside, who embodies the spirit and 
best qualities of that town. He is a man who attracts people through 
his gift of music and humor, and has used his special voice to make 
Petaluma a better place to live. Petalumans would know that I'm talking 
about Ron Walters.
  Ron Walters' was born in Ute, Iowa on Thanksgiving Day in 1932 and 
from the beginning people have been thankful for his giving nature. 
Growing up in the depression, Ron migrated to California in 1936 with 
his parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles in car hauling a homemade 
house trailer filled with all their worldly possessions. After 
graduating from high school in Healdsburg he attended several colleges 
where he excelled in sports, music and drama. Ron graduated from 
Gonzaga University in Washington state where he starred in varsity 
basketball and also set records as the sole representative of the 
University's unofficial track team.
  After graduation, Ron returned to California where he held several 
jobs and met and married Judy Paige and soon was the father of three 
lovely daughters, Leigh, Juli and Erin. Then in October 1963 Ron, who 
was looking for a way to apply his love of music, walked into the KTOB 
radio station in Petaluma and asked for a job, which he thought he 
didn't get. But the next day, the station owner called to ask, ``How 
come you're not a work?'' Ron started work the same day.
  At KTOB, Ron quickly became the ``Voice of Petaluma,'' with a regular 
morning program. He quickly put his humor and homespun sensibilities to 
use. He used his microphone to raise money for efforts including Pop 
Warner Football, the Petaluma Boys Club (which was in dire financial 
straits), medical costs for an injured high school football player and 
many, many other worthy causes. He was a staunch supporter of Petaluma 
beautification projects and played an important role in Petaluma's 
historic preservation efforts which has preserved much of the city's 
Victorian architectural heritage, including his own home.
  Ron not only played music on the radio, he also taught music at 
Sonoma State University and was a performer. He starred in local 
productions of Broadway musicals including acting and singing the role 
of the Professor Harold Hill in the ``Music Man'' three times, a very 
appropriate role for an Iowa boy who lived in a town nicknamed ``River 
City.'' Ron also performed vocal jazz with the Harmoneers and 
Harmonettes and sang with various local bands including those of Ernie 
Walker, Peter Welker, Walt Oster and Bill Sax. Ron was a featured 
performer at Carnegie Hall last year with the jazz group, Take Note, 
and will sing there again next year.
  Ron Walters' voice hasn't disappeared into the airwaves. The lessons 
he taught about civic involvement, philanthropy, and support for youth 
and the arts strongly reverberates in Petaluma and will do so for a 
long time to come.
  Ron Walters always signed off his radio programs saying, ``This is 
Ron Walters saying thanks a heap and don't forget what I told you 
  Mr. Speaker, I would like to say to Ron on behalf of all the people 
his life has touched, ``Thanks a heap, and no, we won't forget.''