Ronald Page “Frio” Frankel was born September 6, 1944, in Los Angeles, California, to Donald Page and Betty Jane (Jahnke) Frankel. Ron left this life in the presence of his son, Jonathan Page Frankel, on July 9, 2018. Ron had been a Lake Geneva/Fontana resident since July 1958.
With the exception of 1 year in Dayton, Ohio, when he was about 4, Ron was raised in Southern California. His parents were both Midwesterners and longed to return to their roots resulting in the move to The Narrows, Lake Geneva, in 1958. Ron immediately adapted to Wisconsin by enrolling in the Lake Geneva Yacht Club (LGYC) sailing school and becoming a member of the first class to attend all 4 years at the new Badger High School. Ron was a talented athlete. During the winters he enjoyed skiing, and in the summer he sailed competitively developing his life long passion for sailing in general and sailboat racing in particular.
Upon graduating from high school in 1962, Ron entered The University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse. After 2 years he transferred to the University of Denver from which he graduated with a BA in business in 1967. After graduating, Ron was employed by the Ford Motor Company in Michigan until he was drafted by the Army. Ron was honorably discharged in 1969 after serving in the US and for 1 year in Viet Nam.
After separating from the Army, Ron worked at his father's company, headquartered in Walworth Wisconsin. His job included sales and Ron turned out to be a born salesman. He later studied for and got his real estate license after which worked for the Keefe Real Estate association where he was able to expand his wide knowledge of the Lake Geneva area as well as broaden his circle of friends. In recent years he enjoyed and remained busy managing his multi family units in Fontana.
Ron married Barbara L. Jones (Butterfly) on December 28, 1974. Jonathan Page Frankel was born to Ron and Butterfly in February 1980. Barbara was tragically killed in an automobile accident in October 1980. In 1985 Ron married Dorothy Higgins. Though that marriage ended in 1993, Dorothy (now married to Dr. Greg Gerber of Lake Geneva) and Ron remained close, and Dorothy and Greg have played significant rolls in raising and nurturing Jon and his son (Ashton).
Ron captained his own C boat at LGYC sanctioned races during high school. He was also a crew member on Don Quixote, the A scow owned by Ron's father (Don) and Don's best friend. Don Quixote was well known on Lake Geneva and won the One of a Kind regatta in Florida in 1966. Ron was a founder (with Pete Arnold) in 1978 of the Geneva Lake Keelboat Club. Ron was also the proud owner and captain of Woody, a Sonar, that he raced for years at LGYC. Ron was well known for giving away shirts, jackets, hats and other items with "Team Woody" patches.
Ron was able to combine his father's technical savvy with his mother's artistry resulting in a very detail oriented outlook and approach to life. An example is his home which is a large apartment that looks like the inside of a boat complete with portholes, teak floors and varnished mahogany. It was his delight to entertain his friends in his home.
Ron is survived by his son and daughter-in-law (Jonathan and Sarah Klint Frankel) and their son (Ashton), all of Williams Bay; his sister (Nancy Frankel Pierce) of Whitesboro, Texas; and many cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife and her parents (Capt. Russell [U.S. Navy, Retired] and Doris Jones) of Whitewater, Wisconsin.
A celebration of Ron’s life is planned in the fall. Derrick Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Lake Geneva is honored to be serving the Frankel family; to sign the on-line guest registry click Guest Book.