March 23, 1919—January 30, 2018

Selmer (Sam) Ronnie passed away peacefully in his sleep on January 30 at Franciscan Hospice House in University Place, Washington.

Sam was born to Anders and Marit Ronnie in Cyrus, Minn., March 23, 1919, one of five children raised by their mother upon the death of Anders from tuberculosis.

After service as a Marine in World War II, he and his wife Jean, also a Marine, raised their family in Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey. From his first job in a county grocery store, he went on to a career as an executive with Eastern Airlines, Air Transport Association, American Aviation Publications, and SITA, marketing some of the first computerized reservation systems to international carriers.

Always the student of life, Sam was forever the insatiable reader, a collector of friends and their stories, an explorer of worldwide cities, and after moving to Longview in 1995, a frequent senior scholar at Lower Columbia College and community events. Besides his abiding support and love for his family, Sam’s passions included history, newspapers and magazines, apple pie, his many friends, and his pottery study and craft.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Amanda Messmer and two brothers, Arthur Ronnie and Melvin (Ernie) Ronnie; and his former wife Jean Shepard Ronnie.

Sam is survived by his sister Sylvia Yarger of Morris, Minn.; his daughters Susan Lewis of Longview and Karen Bonaudi of Renton; five grandchildren, Douglas Green of Seattle, Tanya Brenner (John) of Longview, Ari Lewis (Nicolette DiPietro) of Cherry Hill, NJ, Cameron Green of Bellingham, and James Green (Amanda) of Gilbert, Ariz.; six great grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

To honor Sam’s lifelong love of learning, donations may be made supporting the LCC College Success Fund and designating the Sam Ronnie Memorial Fund online at or Lower Columbia College Foundation, P.O. Box 3010, Longview, WA 98632.

No services are planned.

the life of: Selmer 'Sam' Ronnie
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