Ron Jiricek: Aug. 16, 1949 – April 10, 2018

May 2018 Posted in Obituary

Ron JiricekI first came to know Ron, and his wife Cindy, in 2005 when they owned a local gym. At that time,
Ron’s idea of taking Cindy our for a big night on the town was to journey a few miles north and invite her to elbow up at a favorite beer bar. Subsequently I introduced them to the wonderful world of Oregon pinot noirs. Always a quick study, Ron decided on the spot that going forward imbibing good red wines was a far better option that continued reliance on his own staple, Bud Light.

Ron, however, had a cautious side. Thus, rather than jumping wholeheartedly into buying somewhat pricey pinot noirs, his first purchase choice was Two Buck Chuck. Cindy soon determined, however, that wine did not befit her palate. Thus, Ron, the consistently accommodating husband, fairly soon agreed to expand his wine horizons, progressively acquiring better reds.

One day he asked me if I could recommend something to pair with the wine he and Cindy would be taking on a trip out of town. Offhandedly, I said “a good chocolate,” not elaborating exactly what I meant. Later I inquired how the pairing had gone. Ron said that neither of them found their wine drinking experience was enhanced. I then asked what kind of chocolate they’d bought. Turns out they’d split a Snickers. Not quite what I had in mind. I thus learned that with Ron you’d do well to speak in reasonably precise terms.

One illustration that Ron ultimately became a willing connoisseur of fine wine occurred one day at Archery Summit Winery. Early on Ron almost put poor Cindy into a catatonic state when suddenly he bought a $100 bottle of pinot noir. Always sensitive to her emotions, and ever able to think on his feet, Ron patiently explained that given that purchase, it meant that the normal $15 tasting fee was waived, thus, really the bottle only cost $85.

The fact that periodically thereafter Cindy would refer to “that $100 bottle” suggested that she’d never actually been fully convinced by his reasoning.

Ron was always a great and accommodating host. Many times when the three of us got together at the Jiricek house he’d be at the stove crafting a batch of his truly mouthwatering Shitake mushroom risotto, while Cindy and I would be salivating in anticipation of its completion, our attention partially directed to consuming some to the Italian cheese studded with truffles we all loved so much. Il Boschetto Al Turtufo. It, like the risotto, pairs beautifully with a good pinot noir. His culinary expertise soon appropriately earned him the moniker Risotto Ron.

The best indication of his very patient demeanor was fully in evidence when no sooner would he have made that dish than I’d start bugging him to make it again. Invariably he’d accommodate my admitted preoccupation, with Cindy hardly a reluctant participant as well.

Here’s to you, Ron. For 13 years you were a terrific friend. We certainly enjoyed an array of memorable experiences. All such will forever be cherished.

– Greg Marlowe

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