Obituary: Ronald Lyon Oswald – January 11, 2024

Ronald Lyon Oswald passed away suddenly at The Village Retirement Community, Hanover, on Thursday, January 11, 2024, in his 92nd year.

He was predeceased by his wife Hope (2013), brother John and his wife Elizabeth, and his parents William and Lena (Grant) Oswald.  Loving father of Peter and his wife Lorna of Dundas and Mary and her husband Grant Swartz of Chatsworth. Cherished grandfather of Jaunna (Paul) Giannotti, Mark (Samantha) Oswald, Tyler (Linda) Oswald, Brady (Caterina) Swartz, Ryan (Sacha) Swartz, and Jennifer (Ryan) Peel and great-grandfather of Carter, Ellison, Henry, Jake, Paisley and Asher. Ron will be dearly missed by his brother Bob (Nancy) Oswald of Tecumseh.

Politics ran strong within the Oswald family. Ron’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all active in municipal politics. Ron was initially elected to Elderslie Township Council in 1964. Other than a 10-year hiatus, during his time with the provincial and national Cattlemen’s Association, Ron remained active in local politics for over 40 years. In 1984, he ran in the Federal election representing the Liberal Party of Canada. Although unsuccessful, the experience was very beneficial and led Ron back to governing at a municipal level. He was elected as Chesley Town councillor in 1994, before being acclaimed as Mayor of Chesley in November of 1997.

It was during this time that municipal amalgamation occurred and Ron rose to the challenge of leading the charge to bring the communities of Chesley, Paisley, Tara, Elderslie, and Arran together. In a matter of two days, he went from being the last mayor of the Town of Chesley to becoming the first mayor of the Municipality of Arran Elderslie on January 1, 1999. He held the position of mayor until 2010, when he retired from politics.

He had always dreamed of ending his political career as warden of Bruce County, and following in the footsteps of his father William Oswald, who was Bruce County warden in 1954 and his grandfather John Oswald who was a member of Bruce County Council in 1920, Ron made it a reality and retired after serving a one-year term as warden.

He was also a past Master of the Forest Masonic Lodge, a member of the Chesley Hospital Foundation Board, a Director with Northern Credit Union and a member of the Grant Review Team for the Trillium Foundation. Locally, he was active in the Chesley Lawn Bowling and Curling Clubs. While not a member of the Chesley Rotary Club, the Club did bestow upon him the Paul Harris Fellowship in recognition of his community involvement. Ron and wife, Hope, were active members of St. John’s United Church, and the Eastern Star (in which he received a Life Membership). He was also a part of the Centennial celebrations in Chesley and a Homecoming or two through the years.

All these accomplishments were but the tip of the iceberg. Simply put, Ron’s purpose in life was to bring people together and serve others, something he excelled at.

In recognition of Ron’s many years of public service, the newly erected Chesley Main Street Bridge was officially opened and renamed Oswald Bridge in 2020. An amazing honour, for an amazing man.

A memorial service honouring Ron’s life will be held at the Chesley Community Centre on Sunday, February 25, 2024, at 1:30 p.m. with a celebration of his life to follow from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Spring internment in Chesley Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Chesley Hospital Foundation or Heart & Stroke Foundation would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

To read Mr. Oswald’s entire history, CLICK HERE