Ronald Ornell Hay Sr. 80, of Belgrade Montana, and former long-term resident of Island Park, Idaho passed away peacefully on July 1, 2021, at Madison Valley Manor in Ennis, Montana.
Ron or “Beaver Hat/Beaver” was born in Richmond California January 7, 1941, to Ruth Captioula Hicks Hay and George M. Hay. The Hay family later settled in Woodville, Idaho. Ron graduated from Shelley High School after which he married Patricia Davies and they had five children. They later divorced. He spent some time working at “The Site,” but found the outdoors more suited to his liking. Ron moved to Island Park and began living off the land. He became very well connected to the people, animals and the unique weather of the Island Park area. His knowledge and skill in the areas of trapping and the art of fly-tying became world-renowned. He could catch the best fish, get his elk, talk a bear away, tell you the weather, and warn you of a hazard.
He had many odd jobs including woodcutter and splitter, land clearer, cabin remodeler at Mack’s Inn, and handyman at the Island Park Condos. He shoveled more snow than most will ever see. He saved and purchased a plot of land near Henry’s Lake and built a cabin from the ground up over several years. In 1992 he married Nancy Bobb of Belgrade Montana. He cherished and loved the friendship and companionship he found with her. In 2004 they welcomed their son Ethan to their family. Beaver cherished the gift of raising Ethan during his senior years. Together he and Nancy experienced all the joys and developmental stages of a growing boy’s life.
Beaver was an avid fisherman and had a love of sharing and teaching others to love the outdoors. He was a caring husband and father. Beaver had a way with people and made friends wherever he went. His experiences in the woods, with hunting and fishing, building and construction, and lending a helping hand to others, gave him many awesome stories to tell.
Ron is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; he enjoyed a special relationship with God the Father and our Savior Jesus Christ. He knew them and testified of their goodness.
Beaver is survived by his wife and best friend Nancy, their son Ethan, and his children Ron O. Hay Jr. (Tunda) of Wapello, Idaho; Lisa (Ralph) Savage, of Arco, Idaho; Jeanette (Dyle) Gulbransen of Woodville, Idaho; David (Wendy) Hay, of Ammon, Idaho; Trish (Doug) Elting of Olathe, Kansas; and his brothers, Robert “Bob” Lee (Margaret) Hay of Billings, Montana and George (Vonda) Hay of Woodville, Idaho. His posterity continues growing and currently includes twenty-two grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren. Now that he has gone to his final home, he would still say to you all “God Bless.”
A graveside service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, August 6, 2021, at the Island Park Cemetery 4562 US 20 Island Park Idaho 83429.
Saturday, August 7, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. there will be a Celebration of Life hosted by the family at 250 Promise Ln Bozman, Mt 59718.