Obituary of Ronald Joseph Arceneaux
Resident of Watsonville
Noted local poet, Ronald Joseph Arceneaux passed away on March 13, 2019 at Watsonville Community Hospital. He was 91. Ron was born in Gonzales, Louisiana on June 19, 1927, the son of Bernadette Bourgeois and Emile Arceneaux. Ron had two siblings, Raphael and Patrick Arceneaux. His family’s roots in Louisiana date back to the 1600’s.
Ron’s life journey was interesting and varied. In 1944 he was drafted into the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany in 1945 close to the end of WWII. In 1952 Ron joined the U.S. Marine Corps and was stationed in Japan during the Korean War.
Ron’s destiny took a different turn. In 1955 he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps. He moved to California and joined the Christian Brothers. The spiritual life was always a big part of Ron’s life journey. Subsequently he graduated from St. Mary’s College in Moraga with a B.A. in English.
Ron moved to Watsonville in 1962. Ron became a lay Catholic after he met the love of his life, Grace Palacio. They were married in 1962 in Watsonville. Ron subsequently obtained several California teaching credentials which enabled him to pursue his life long passion of teaching English. His teaching career spanned 40 years, 20 of which he taught in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District at E.A. Hall Middle School. Ron was always a strong advocate for teacher tenure so that teachers can have independence from the administration in order to pursue academic and political freedom. Ron retired from teaching in 1996.
His wife, Grace, not only supported Ron’s teaching career but also his gift of writing poetry. Ron published several volumes, including Burning Sands, Poems of Faith, The Corralitos Poetry Collection and a collection of haiku.
Ron and Grace were long time members of Holy Eucharist Catholic Community in Corralitos where Ron was a greeter and scriptural reader at the Sunday morning Masses. His enthusiastic and friendly manner drew many worshippers into involvement in this church community.
Ron is survived by his stepson, Leonard Silga and two stepgrandchildren, Sanjaya Silga and Sky Silga and numerous godchildren. He is also survived by a niece, Denette Morvant and many other relatives who reside in Louisiana. His wife, Grace, predeceased Ron in 2005.
A memorial Mass for Ron will be held on Friday, March 29 at 11 a.m. at Holy Eucharist Catholic Community, 527 Corralitos Rd., Corralitos, California. Donations in Ron’s memory may be made to Holy Eucharist Catholic Community.