Ronald Alan Gast
August 31, 1947 – April 17, 2020
Ronald Gast, age 72 of Emerald, WI passed away peacefully on April 17, 2020 at Our Lady of
Peace Hospice in St.Paul, MN.
Ronnie was born August 31, 1947 (Chinese Year of the Fire Pig) in Amery, WI to
parents Donald and Idell (Holldorf) Gast and was raised in Emerald, WI on the family farm with
five siblings and the Wonder Dog Blackie. Ron will forever be remembered for his fantastic
sense of humor. He possessed a snappy sense of rhythm and uncanny whistling skills. Ron was
the drummer in the family band, The Forest Hilltoppers and later went on to become an award-
winning dancer, with his most notable performance to “Disco Inferno.” As an accomplished
athlete, Ron was a State Championship Wrestler for Glenwood City High School, a catcher for
the Chicago Cubs fantasy team, a professional “I” player in the Emerald Forest, a fierce
racquetball competitor at the East Bank Club in Chicago, and an avid golfer who never let a
good 19 th hole go to waste. He had a passion for entrepreneurship and achieved great success,
beginning his three-decade long business career in the 1970’s with the establishment of his
empire Jewelry World on 63 rd & Halsted (Chicago). He went on to own several jewelry stores
from Chicago to Racine to Milwaukee in the names of JW and Jewelry Wisconsin.
Before it was fashionable, Ron developed various foodie obsessions ranging from
macrobiotic to sushi, foie gras to fine sauternes, and culminated his skills as a bratwurst
connoisseur with his favorite jaunt being the Brat Stop. After his stint as a Sting impersonator,
he spent his final years as a part-time banana exporter and caretaker to his beloved mother
Idell, all while acquiring judo-defense skills. To his children he will forever be remembered for
his relentless dollar bill trick, taking notes on paper plates, and answering the phone “Ron the
Pickle Packer Here!”
Ron made friends everywhere he went and dearly loved his family. He is survived by his
mother Idell, four siblings; Gary (Judy), Gale, Randal (Julie) and Judy (Larry) Costello, four
daughters; Jill, Lori, Georgie and Ava, and 12 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his
father, Don and brother Jimmy.
His ashes will be scattered during private family gatherings.