Columbus, Ohio USA
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Ronald E. Fauver (1931-2014)
Maria Galloway pays tribute to a generous and faithful friend
July/August 2014 Issue
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Ron Fauver, 2006 © Gus Brunsman III
I first met Ron Fauver not long after we opened pm gallery in 1980. He would come in on Sundays and look at the artwork. There was a painting by Michael Wassermann that he was pondering for quite awhile. Eventually it sold, but not to Ron. Nonetheless he continued his Sunday visits and introduced himself. For those first months we called him Mr. Fauver, being respectful people. He finally corrected us. “Call me Ron. I was a career Marine and calling me Mister is kind of demeaning.”
Thus began a long friendship. Ron fed us dinner for many years, nearly every night. He would stop in and proclaim “I have a plan.” What kind of plan? I would respond. “A chili plan!” Or perhaps “A curry Plan!” Ron was a wonderful cook. His Real Men Eat Quiche with seafood and cold curried yogurt soup come to mind. He made a killer hot and sour soup.
He also did Sunday brunch, which we ate while listening to the radio. Saturdays we had breakfast at Jean’s Diner. So much of our relationship centered around food, and art.
Ron was a board member at ArtReach Gallery. He took printmaking classes at CCAD and was an avid photographer, documenting every DooDah Parade for as long as he was able.
It wasn’t just art, it was also history. We saw an exhibit of Currier and Ives lithographs at the Riffe Gallery, lovely Americana images on loan from the Ohio Historical Society. The first thing we noticed was how old and unarchival the matting was. As part of Ron’s interest in prints, he had developed a technique for mat cutting. He decided right then that he was going to volunteer at the Historical Society and properly frame their collection. And so he did. He worked there until his health no longer allowed it.
Ron was a romantic. Early in our relationship, he revealed that he had lost his wife. We found out later that he had really just misplaced her when she divorced him. It was that divorce that brought him to Italian Village. He was a sensible man and wanted to live closer to work so he could walk. His first home was in a row house right above 670 with an amazing view of downtown. Then he purchased the rambling brick home that he lived in until the end of his life. The house had been divided into a duplex and had two apartments in the back. The tenants he let stay. He opened up the house, saddened to find the banister was not inside the wall after all, and set about with big plans, most of which never quite happened. Still the house was warm and inviting, full of Ron clutter, like machine parts, antique china, heirloom furniture, books, printing presses, and artwork.
Ron received many awards during his lifetime. Among his favorites was the Martha Walker Garden Club’s Golden Trowel Award in 1989 “For Unwavering Willingness To Water When Even Weeds Are Withering, And For Unswerving Dedication To Beautifying Italian Village.” A month prior to purchasing his home at 60 Hubbard in August of 1982, he had attended the dedication of Italian Village Park and liked the fact that there was this nice little park directly across the street from the house.
Ron was a romantic, but also a warrior. His years as a Marine had made the concept of freedom very precious to him. He was a free thinking Republican. He was a crack shot, but I never saw him carry a gun. He didn’t have to.
Ron was on the hunt for a red-haired girl with freckles. Or, as he would say “close enough.” Nancy was that girl. She welcomed him into her heart and her family and together they shared dreams which came true when Nancy opened the Cookware Sorcerer. Buying trips meant travel, to Chicago, Las Vegas or San Francisco. And that meant eating out, something Ron took very seriously. That and having the right tools, whether it was a restaurant stove or a perfectly sharpened knife, Ron was serious about the art of eating.
Ron was generous and loved theater. He had season tickets to Players Theater and would take a date d’jour plus another couple. For many years that other couple was Michael and me. We saw some amazing productions, thanks to Ron. And, of course, he made the dinner beforehand as well.
Ron had a wonderful sense of humor, but a “hah” was the best you could get out of him most days. It was a wonderful day if you actually got him to laugh. So, of course, that was always one of my goals.
Ron was woven into the fabric of our lives. He witnessed our courthouse wedding and flew himself to Florida for the informal family reenactment, taking photos that are treasured. He loaned us the down payment on our first house. He watched our store if I was sick. He was often mistaken for my father and neither of us minded that.
It pleases me greatly that he lived to see the Garden Theater become the venue for Short North Stage. He saw several performances there and has asked that you make donations in his name to the theater. It will be a lasting legacy of the sort Ron loved the most. Donations can be made online at www.shortnorthstage.org or by mailing a check to PO Box 10689, Columbus OH 43201. There is a place in the online donation process where you can indicate “in memory of Ronald Fauver.”
Ronald E. Fauver was 83 when he passed on June 6, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Nancy Haitz, three sons and one granddaughter.
Ron was the epitome of Always Faithful. To his Country, his state, his school, his loved ones, his community. Semper Fi, Ron. And safe journey on your next great adventure.
© 2014 Short North Gazette, Columbus, Ohio. All rights reserved.
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