Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ronald John Hemenway

2010 Tribute to Margaret Ruth Echtermann here
This post is part of a memorial project called Project 2,996
Read more about it here.
JBloggers I"ll Call BailaSuperRaizy and Westbankmama are also participating in this September 11 memorial Project.
A detailed biography courtesy of the Hemenway family is posted at the Arlington Memorial Cemetary website here. I have summarized it below.
Ronald Hemenway was born July 25, 1964 in Cordova, Alaska, the third of Robert and Shirley Hemenway’s seven children. He attended grade school in Fairbanks, Alaska,and attended Wasilla Baptist Christian School in Palmer for four years; he graduated from Wasilla High School in Wasilla, Alaska and attended the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, where he took photography and chemistry classes. The family moved to Atlanta in 1984 seeking warmer weather, and after one year at the University, Ronald followed the family south. He worked and then took an interest in horses and their training which took him to Colorado and then moved to Kansas when the rest of his family moved there.
When Ronald turned 30, he was concerned about not having a degree and one day left his mother a note saying “I’ll be home when I find a job with a career.” He returned home later that evening saying he was joining the Navy.
The decision to join the Navy eventually led him to Italy where he met and married Marinell in March 1977.
Ronald and Marinella’s first child, Stefan, was born on November 6, 1998 and for the first time in his Navy career Ronald was sent out to sea for six months to refurbish the US La Salle. His previous sea duty was no longer than  five weeks. He decided to seek a position that wouldn’t take him from his new family, and went to work at the Pentagon in March 2000 assigned to the Office of the Chief of Navy Operations. Ronald and Marinella’s second child, a daughter, Desiree was born on November 12, 2000.
On September 11, 2001, a Tuesday morning just before 10:00 a.m., a commercial jetliner struck the west side of the Pentagon. Ronald was officially declared missing. On September 17, 2001 a flag was flown over the United States Capitol at the request of Senator Sam Brownback in memory of Petty Officer Ronald J. Hemenway for his dedicated service in the United States Armed Forces. Ronald was honored with others lost at the Pentagon in a Memorial Service attended by President George W. Bush, held on October 11, 2001 at the Pentagon River Parade Field. A Christian Memorial Service in memory of Ronald was held at Hope Lutheran Church in Shawnee, Kansas, on January 12, 2002. The flag that was flown at the Capitol building was presented to the Hemenway family and raised at a ceremony on Bob and Shirley’s property in Shawnee.
In searching around on the Internet I was able to find out that his wife Marinella moved to Kansas where she continues to raise their two lovely children. I was able to track her down on Facebook and she was gracious enough to befriend me there. I have seen pictures of Stefan and Desiree who look like they are growing and prospering in the loving family environment in Kansas. 

I was also able to find some tributes to Ronald Hemenway on various sites and I quote them below:

From the Washington Post here.

Horses were Ronald’s passion. He loved to train and care for them and even had the opportunity to watch the birth of his stallion BarNone, known as ‘Barney.’ Ronald kept his horses at his parents’ home in Kansas. But we shared a dream together, to have a home with land to raise horses and our children. He was looking for property in Virginia when September 11th happened. His parents, Bob and Shirley, still treasure his horses.” -Marinella Hemenway

And from September 11 last year in the Washington Post here.

ET1 Ron Hemenway was the kind of sailor you wanted close at hand when important things needed doing. He was tireless, humorous, and stubbornly creative -- in short, the type of shipmate everyone wanted to know, and should want to be themselves. I am humbled to have known him, and proud to have served with him. The most difficult task of my own career was to stand on a hillside in Arlington and say farewell to this exceptional shipmate. Fair winds always.
Posted by: CAPT David Aland, USN(Ret)
May his memory bring a blessing to us all.  
The 'crest' of Project 2,996


westbankmama said...

Nice job.

Risa Tzohar said...


Anonymous said...

Well written. He will not be forgotten.

Cathy said...

Risa, I am so moved that you reached out to Ronald's widow. Facebook is such an amazing thing. You know- I didn't even think to use it as a resource.

Thank you for remembering him and thank you for working on this project.

Anonymous said...

May his soul be blessed. Thank you for bringing this moving story to our attention.

Frugal Dougal said...

Hi Isramom,

I found your post through Twitter and have linked to it and also used the pics. Hope this is ok (can't find an email address). - FD

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We are therefore moved that you reached over to Ronald's widow. Facebook is definately a fantastic point. You know- Some think in working order like a resource.
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