Ronald Beattie, 88, of Langley, passed away on Feb. 19 of natural causes.
Ron was born in Bromborough, England on May 9, 1928. After attending primary school, he went to work in a shipyard at the age of 12 and attended night school to study electronics.
He was an avid amateur photographer and also built and raced motorcycles across Europe in his spare time.
Unsatisfied with his future employment prospects in England, Ron set sail for New Zealand after receiving his certification in electronics. He worked at the Naval Research Lab, and there he made some lifelong friends in his field.
His parents and brother Ken, along with a handful of other relatives, eventually joined him in New Zealand, and some of their descendants are still there, having made it their home. Ronald, however, had a zest for travel and adventure and sought the opportunities that his new occupation promised to provide abroad, so he and the small group of friends set off for the United States, with Ron setting down on the shores of La Jolla, Calif.
It was there Ron was introduced to his wife of 53 years, Gillian Page, a young scientist who had recently sailed from Australia to work at Scripps Institute in La Jolla. A friend set them up on a blind date, which was enormously successful.
Ron and Gillian were married on Feb. 22, 1964, and continued to reside in San Diego. They had three girls, Julie, Susanne and Carolyn.
Ron worked in electronics for the better part of four decades, rising up to chief engineer, and also sought a creative outlet by purchasing a pottery factory in the 1980s, employing a dozen people, including his own children.
Ron’s passion was figuring out how things were made. He designed and helped build the house in Poway where he and Gillian raised their daughters. He loved vintage automobiles, and he bought and fully restored a 1963 Ferrari 250GTE.
Ron continued to pursue his interest in photography, building a darkroom in the garage, and he and Gillian joined the tennis club at Stoneridge Country Club. He was also actively involved in Amateur Ham Radio, making friends from all corners of the world who shared similar interests.
After the girls grew up and left home, Ron and Gillian moved from California to Langley, on Whidbey Island, in Washington. Ron loved the quiet island community of Langley, the cooler climate of the Pacific North West reminded him of his home country, England, and he very much enjoyed their view of the Olympic Mountains from his living room window.
Ron is survived by wife Gillian; his three daughters, Julie Daniels, Susanne Beattie and Carolyn English; two grandsons; five granddaughters; and other family and friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Elsie Beattie, and his older brother Ken.
A private interment will take place at Langley Cemetery. Family and friends are encouraged to share memories and condolences at www.whidbeymemorial.com.