Ronald Irvin Valentino, 76, passed away peacefully at Cuyuna Regional Care Center in Crosby on August 7th, 2019 due to lung cancer complications. He was known for his great sense of humor, being boisterous, and his athletic ability. He enjoyed desert camping, quading, and Havasu water sports with friends and family. Ron was a husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He was born on February 13, 1943 in Aitkin to Reno and Bea (Moritz) Valentino. He graduated from Crosby-Ironton in 1961 where he played basketball and football; setting C-I records. He briefly attended Bemidji State with a football scholarship before marrying the love of his life, Sharon Burgstaler and having his first son, Mark. He worked several jobs in southern California, including being a heavy-duty equipment driver in Eagle Mountain before settling in Indio and working for Granite Construction as a truck driver. There, they had a daughter, Janelle, and another son, Brian. After receiving his gold watch with the Teamsters, he got restless from watching too many episodes of Cops and Barney Miller, and decided to help his son and grandchildren with taking care of the La Quinta baseball fields while Sharon ran the snack bar for a number of years.“The fields and snack bar have not been the same since Ron and Sharon ran it,” remarked many friends. His grandchildren and great grandchildren referred to him as “Papa” and remember him as a joker that made everyone around him laugh.
Ron is survived by his wife of 57 years, Sharon; one son, Mark (Michele) Valentino; one daughter in law, Dusty Valentino; one brother, Richard (Sandra) Valentino; two sisters, Lynn (Donald) Valiquet and LeeAnn (Devon) Russell; five grandchildren, Ray, Brett, Travis, Todd (Sarah), and Jake; and four great grandchildren, Russle, Myles, Mayson and Mady.
Preceding Ron in death are his parents; one son, Brian Valentino; one daughter, Janelle Olson; one brother, Rocky Valentino; and two sisters, Lori Valentino and Lisa Hughes.
We will never forget his tenacity, wit, charm, and undying love and caring for his family.
As he wrote in his high school yearbook:“Greater man than I? Ha, I doubt it!”
There will be a memorial to honor Ron in Crosby next year and will post when we have more information. Condolences can be sent to: The Valentino Family, 81450 Palo Verde Drive NorthIndio, California 92201. Arrangements are with the Koop Funeral Home in Crosby.