Ron Chong


October 28, 2018


Midtowners, Golden Monarchs, Toronto Optimists, Toronto Signals, Optimists Alumni

Ron began his drum corps career marching with the Midtowners. When Midtowners reorganized into Golden Monarchs Ron marched with them for one year. At the end of the 1963 season Ron joined The Toronto Optimists playing lead Soprano. Ron "aged-out" in 1969 but he continued working with the corps by helping instruct the horn line.

From the late '90s up to about 2006 Ron played with Toronto Signals. When the Optimists Alumni was formed Ron joined them, playing with both corps for a few years. Ron left the Optimists Alumni at the end of the 2014 season to care for Josie, his wife; however, his heart was still with the corps and its members.

When the Optimists Alumni went to Indianapolis in August of 2018, Ron came along for the ride and had a wonderful time reconnecting with his friends and with Drum Corps. Shortly after we returned from Indianapolis Ron was diagnosed with cancer. He passed away about 2 months after his diagnosis.

Here are a few comments from some of those who knew Ron:

"Very sad news. Ron was one of 4 music instructors the Optimists had after the end of the '69 season. Ron, along with Ray Roussel, Paul Thompson and Joe Gianna were 'trying out' for the position of horn instructor that year. Paul was eventually selected but Ron and the others all stayed to help and their assistance was invaluable. Ron was passionate in everything he did but nothing more than the Toronto Optimists. A great guy."

"When I first met Ron in 69, knew he was special...learned so much from this great guy."

"This is very sad news. Ron was one of the first members I met when I joined back in the day. Great horn player and a great guy."

"It was both an honour and a priviledge to know and perform with Ron in the Optimists Alumni. We will miss him greatly."

"We have again lost one of our "GREATS" leaving us with anguished hearts and the chore to "MARCH ON" with another large hole in the line."

"Ron, was an honour to have marched with you in the 60s and again with the alumni corps, you will be missed....!! "

"On March on, of the kindest gentleman I have met and a talented musician! Sad to have missed a final farewell."

"Another great person has left us all too soon. Yes, we recall Ron as a passionate and talented young man with the corps. More important to some of us is how he lived, loved and was loved and, clearly, he was one of the best on OR off the field. I remember Ron from almost 50 years ago. How could you possibly forget him? He made a difference and won't be forgotten."

"Ron was a great friend to me during the five years I was with the Toronto 2nd Signals I can remember well Ron playing "The last post" at the church when the Toronto 2nd Signals marched there for the Remembrance Day Service. Condolences and prayers going out to Josie and the family. Ron you will surely be missed by all who have had the privilege to know you. "


...........We Remember!