Ron Comer was a man of integrity. The pastor who spoke at the funeral services had Ron pegged in his description of him, integrity being the first and most important one. He was the same on the outside as he was on the inside. You didn’t have to ask which side he was on, you always knew. Passion was another word used to describe Ron, and it too was very fitting. He had a passion for God, family, hunting, fishing, the outdoors in general, and wildlife law enforcement. He was a consummate professional and always courteous! He had a deep concern for the future of hunting and fishing. Ron spent a great deal of time presenting programs involving hunting, fishing, and shooting. He dedicated 21 years to the sportsmen and women of Oklahoma, hoping to ensure that future generations could enjoy some of the same outdoor experiences he had. Ron was a GREAT man and a GREAT game warden!
Ron was so proud of his children and grandchildren!!!! He loved to share stories of their accomplishments and loved to show off pictures of them all! You could see the love for them anytime they were around or he began to talk about them. Ron shared his love of the outdoors with his family whenever possible too. He just loved to spend time with them, especially outdoors. I remember seeing his face light up at just the mention of his children and grand-children! He had an infectious smile and laugh, he really loved to smile and laugh! Ron also cherished his wife Lisa! She might’ve caused him some heartburn every now and then, but he lit up around her too! I’m sure he never caused her any sleepless nights or heartburn either!!! Ha ha ha…. Yeah right Lisa? I can remember fun times spent at their home, telling stories and laughing at all sorts of tales. It was always fun to hang around with Ron and Lisa, and anyone else in the “family”! There are several images burned into my brain involving Ron, but the one I always see first is his smiling face, grinning from ear to ear! That is one thing I’ll miss in person, but will have forever in my mind!
I’ll always remember Ron’s sense of humor too. He would jump right in and give anyone a hard time that had it coming! It was all in jest though, because he was one hundred percent in support of those around him. One of my favorite quotes from Ron is in reference to anyone that told him a lie in any investigation. Ron would say, “When they lied to me, I wanted to say… This is ugly on my face, not stupid!” I bet many game wardens have felt that same way more than once, I know I have! It still makes me laugh just sitting here thinking about it!
I will share a quote from retired Chief of Law Enforcement for the ODWC, Col. John Streich, in a conversation we had when I became a game warden in 2001. He said, “You need to get your priorities straight right now as you start your career, whatever higher power you worship is the most important, then your family, and somewhere below that is this job.” He continued by saying, “ I’ve never heard anyone that wished their tombstone said, ‘I wish I’d spent more time at work.’, so make sure you get your priorities straight!” I always admired that Ron tried to maintain a good balance in his life. Everyone must find a balance in life, with all things pulling you in different directions (faith, family, work, etc.). You can dedicate yourself to the job, but the job is merely a part of your life, not all of it. I respect Ron for his efforts and ability to find that balance as much as possible! Don’t get me wrong, great game wardens dedicate themselves to protecting and conserving fish and wildlife, but many have paid the price with family/life’s difficulties if they don’t find that balance. Oklahoma Game Wardens are dedicated to the job, but it can “consume” you if you let it. With just over 100 guys and gals protecting Oklahoma’s natural resources, basically just one in every county, with some having two or three, it is hard to keep up. You don’t want to let sportsmen down, you want to catch the poachers, but it is impossible to catch them all and be everywhere at once! Some have tried, and paid the price with family etc., and I can only assume faith too. I believe Ron did about as good a job at keeping a balance in all those things as anyone I know. Ron worked 31 years in law enforcement, twenty one years as a game warden, that’s more than most other law enforcement officers, who are usually eligible to retire after 20 or 25 years! Some game wardens, including my now retired father, routinely work 30 to 40 years as Oklahoma Game Wardens before being able to retire. Balance is important when you work in law enforcement for that many years! Without it, you won’t have much at the end of your career.
Like the pastor at Ron’s funeral services said, Ron didn’t just care about people, he cared for people. He was always thinking about others around him. He would always compliment anyone on a job well done and encouraged anyone when they needed it. You might not always agree with him, but it was hard to argue with him! He was truly one of the best all-around good men anyone could’ve ever known! I spent over 10 years working in Caddo County neighboring him, and still find it hard to believe I won’t get to see him again! I have recently recalled some of Ron’s advice, and also experienced a time or two that I wish I could seek more of his advice. The saying is true…. You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone! Ron was such a wonderful man, I can only hope one day I’m as highly thought of and loved by family, friends, and all as much as Ron was!
We will miss you dearly Ron!!!! Until we meet again……..Thank You!!!!!!!