Ronald W. "Ron" Galbreath

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  • "I have known Ron since we were in the first grade together..."
    - Christine Remy
  • "Even though we didn't get to see each other for many years,..."
  • "Ron was my older brother by 2 1/2 years and growing up I..."
    - Karen
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    - Jan Storm
  • "Thanks Jo"
    - Fran Groth
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Obituary


RONALD W. GALBREATH
January 10, 1948 ~ January 21, 2016
"Ron was a very popular and
well-loved teacher/coach."

Ronald William Galbreath, 68, passed away on Thurs., Jan. 21, 2016 in Yakima, WA, with his wife of thirty three years, Angela, by his side. Ron fought a long struggle with Lewy Body Dementia.
He was born on Jan. 10, 1948 in Vancouver, WA to Kenneth and Louise (Dorson) Galbreath. Ron graduated from Battle Ground High School in 1966.
He attended Clark Community College for one year before enlisting in the army where he served in Vietnam.
Ron earned his teaching degree in 1974 at Central Washington University. He taught two years in Granger, WA and thirty years of elementary school in West Valley, retiring in 2007. He taught as a fifth grade teacher at Apple Valley Elementary, then at Ahtanum Valley Elementary as a physical education teacher.
Ron loved his "kids" and was always coming up with field trips, projects, climbing walls, and fun P.E. activities. At recess you would often find him outside throwing the football. He started a Saturday youth basketball program in West Valley which was later taken over by the YMCA. Not only were youngsters able to play basketball, but many young men started their basketball refereeing careers doing youth basketball there.
Ron also coached the West Valley Golf team for over ten years. His teams were always well represented at the state level and won the league championship more than once. His golfers called him "Coach G".
After retiring from the classroom, Ron was able to continue coaching golf until the progression of his disease caused him to retire in 2011. He was respected throughout the Northwest for his team's accomplishments. Sometimes, student's families moved to West Valley just so their son could play for him.
His family was thrilled to learn that a division of the Central Washington Invite tournament was named after him. He organized many tournaments, planned overnight trips for the team, including trips to south Carolina and California, and a retreat at Eagle Crest in Redmond, OR.
Ron met his wife, Angela, at Apple Valley Elementary where they both taught school. In those first years, Ron was busy as an umpire for both softball and baseball. He often hosted his co-umpire families at their home. They also hosted baseball players for the local AA team. As he began his golf coaching career he had to limit umpiring and chose to concentrate on golf. During the off season, he enjoyed refereeing basketball at AAU, high school, and some community college.
Sports were always a huge part of his life. He was an avid Husky, Mariner, and Seahawk fan. He looked forward to attending games and was lucky enough to attend the Rose Bowl to watch the Huskies win the National Championship. Ron was able to continue playing golf as a member of the Elks Golf and Country Club, but his short game became progressively worse. In 2013, he had to give up golf, but stayed active walking in his neighborhood several miles each day.
Ron is survived by his wife, Angela; his stepson, Joel Galbreath (Jessica); four grandchildren, Ben, Caden, Hannah and Paige, all of Yakima, WA; parents, Kenneth and Louise Galbreath, Vancouver, WA; sister, Karen (Martin) Nish of Vancouver, WA; sister, Joyce (Jack) Thompson of Battle Ground, WA; brother, Dan (Mary) Galbreath of Vancouver, WA; and many nieces, nephews, and other relatives.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Yakima Elks Golf and Country Club at 2:00 p.m. on Sat., Feb. 20, 2016.
Memorials can be made in Ron's honor to West Valley Dollars for Scholars or First Tee of Yakima in care of Brookside, P.O. Box 1267, Moxee, WA 98936.
Please sign his guest book at: www.columbian.com/obits.
Published in The Columbian on Jan. 31, 2016
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