Keith & Keith Funeral Home

902 West Yakima Ave, Yakima, WA


Ronald Marion McKitrick

February 11, 1936January 9, 2020

Ronald Marion McKitrick was born in Topeka, Kansas on February 11, 1936 to Marion Stuart McKitrick and Mildred McKitrick. His parents divorced and Ron and his younger sister Marilyn (Sue) were raised by their paternal grandparents, Harry Denton McKitrick and Minnie May McKitrick. In 1942, the family moved to Yakima, where Ron and his sister’s care was shifted to aunt and uncle George & Ethel Gruver. Ron passed away on January 9, 2020 at Cottage in the Meadow surrounded by his loving family.

He grew up on a soft fruit ranch and attended school in Lower Naches in a one room school house for the lower grades, ultimately attending and graduating from Naches High School where he participated in both music (band) and as a pitcher on the school and American Legion baseball teams. He later attended Yakima Valley College and then Washington State University where he graduated with a BS in Pharmacology. Upon his graduation, he began what would become a 40 year career as a Pharmacist at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital in Yakima.

Ron had many pursuits outside of work. He is a renowned botanist, specifically in the area of desert plants and winter hearty cactus. He created and maintained The Hillside Desert Botanical Gardens where he enjoyed sharing his passion as he opened up the Garden to visitors from all over the world. His penchant for art did not stop with the garden, however. Prior to becoming a botanist, he was an accomplished oil painter and pencil artist. In 2005, Ron married Emma Jean Dexter, who introduced him to both Ball Room and Square Dancing. They also enjoyed hiking and cross country skiing for many years.

Ron is survived by his loving wife Jean and his 5 children, Greg, Doug, Bryan, Jill and Christy. He was also blessed with 12 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

There is a time of visitation scheduled from 4-8 pm, Thursday, January 16, 2020 at Keith and Keith Funeral Home, 902 W. Yakima Ave., Yakima. A graveside service is scheduled for Friday, January 17, at 11 am., at Terrace Heights Memorial Park. A Celebration of Ronald’s Life is scheduled for 1 pm, January 17, 2020, at the Grace of Christ Presbyterian Church, 9 S. 8th Ave., Yakima, WA. Services are under the care and direction of Keith and Keith Funeral Home. To share a memory of Ronald you may go to keithandkeith.com.


  • Ron is survived by his loving wife Jean and his 5 children, Greg, Doug, Bryan, Jill and Christy. He was also blessed with 12 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

  • Bryan McKitrick
  • Doug McKitrick
  • Greg McKitrick
  • Daniel Hernandez
  • Samuel Eaton
  • Ryan Douglass


  • Visitation Thursday, January 16, 2020
  • Graveside Service Friday, January 17, 2020
  • Celebration of Life Friday, January 17, 2020


Ronald Marion McKitrick

have a memory or condolence to add?

Kathy Ridgway

January 18, 2020

Ron was such a nice and caring man. And so very talented and knowledgable on many things. I admired his paintings and enjoyed seeing all the many desert cactus in the garden. 🌵🌵 I was always so amazed at all the hiking , skiing and biking Jean and Ron did. May God comfort and bless all his loved ones through this time of grieving. May they know Ron is in a very peaceful loving home in heaven.And I'm sure he has already started on his next desert garden project . 🙂. Sincerely, kathy

Mel & Sheila Leskinen

January 17, 2020

Dear Jean
We are so sorry to hear of Ron's passing. There are so many memories of Ron explaining in great detail his cactus gardens and what the next phase would involve. We are traveling and will have unfortunately missed Ron's celebration of life service.
We are thinking of you.
Mel & Sheila Leskinen

Rosy Renfrow

January 16, 2020

To the Family of Ron McKitrick
I'm sad to hear about Ron passing. Every spring I looked forward to seeing all the new plants, as well as the regulars that he had. He was so patient we me as I pondered which plants to choose. I hope someone will continue his idea of looking for new and exciting plants to own and care for.

Rosy Renfrow
Ellensburg, Washington

Marion Mann

January 15, 2020

So sorry to hear that Ron has died. Also sorry I never went dancing. Love and prayers.

Byron/lorraine Wisner/williams

January 15, 2020

Jean,we r So sorry n devastated to hear about Ron... so unbelievable!!!!! Praying for u n the kids...... hope we’ll get to c u this summer...HUGGGGGS.....

Richard Boyd

January 15, 2020

My wife and I wish to offer Ron's family our sympathy on the loss of Ron.
The obituary is excellent but cannot say enough about what an excellent pharmacist he was. Always knowledgeable and always ready to help.
My wife purchased one of his paintings. It's a favorite of hers.
May God bless him. May he rest in peace.
Richard Boyd MD

Marilynn Anderson

January 14, 2020

We have fond memories from our shared dance world at Circle 8 in Yakima and Olympia.
We are thinking of you Jean as you adjust to Your loss. We will miss Ron and his giving and caring spirit.
Tom & Marilynn

Carol and Joe Fillman

January 13, 2020

We are so sorry to hear of Ron's death. It was so much fun to dance with the two of you. We had a lot of laughs when we were learning dances. He will be missed.
Carol and Joe Fillman