Well-known Saltsburg figure mourned; money raised for final expenses, memorial
The Saltsburg community is mourning the death of one of its longtime residents and a familiar presence in town. Ronald “Chops” Boring died at the age of 64 on Jan. 25 from complications of pneumonia, for which he'd been hospitalized two days earlier.
Boring frequently could be seen on the sidewalks of Saltsburg using a motorized cart due to mobility issues. He was a regular presence at the All-American Barber Shop on Point Street, where he chatted with customers.
P.J. Hruska, who works at the barber shop alongside owner Ron Mancabelli, noted Boring could “approach anyone walking down the street and have something nice to say.”
“Ron was old-school,” said Julie Dunmire, Boring's second cousin. “It meant a lot to him to take the time to spend with children. He always had quarters to hand to kids. He knew everybody.”
A memorial service will be held Feb. 8 at the Kelly L. Corridoni Funeral Home, 400 Indiana Ave., Avonmore. Family and friends will be recieved from 3 p.m. until the time of services at 6 p.m., with Rev. Dan Satler officiating.
Dunmire, of Saltsburg, knew Boring wouldn't have the personal funds to cover funeral costs. So she decided to approach the people Boring communicated with on a daily basis to help raise money to cover the expense of cremation and burial services.
She opened a fundraising account on the Go Fund Me website, where people can post with the intent to collect money for various causes.
Word spread quickly about the death of Boring, thanks in great part to the social media site Facebook, where Boring's Go Fund Me link was shared over and over again.
Dunmire was amazed by the result, noting by Sunday evening over $1,800 had been collected.
That outpouring of support flowed continuously for nearly two days, and by 7 p.m. Monday, the $4,000 goal was reached.
“I'm overwhelmed at the outpouring,” Dunmire said. “I'm humbled.”
“He was a good guy,” noted Hruska. “You can see that from the outpouring from this community..”
Boring was the last surviving member of his immediate family, but he still has several cousins in the area. The son of David “Wash” and Marian Boring, he was born Dec. 27, 1949 and was raised in Saltsburg with his three brothers and two sisters.
According to Dunmire, Boring's life was full of tragedy, yet he never let his losses drag him down. Boring's father was killed in a hunting accident when Boring was very young. His brother, Ricky, drowned at a young age. He eventually lost two more brothers — Bill, in a vehicle accident, and Tom, who later succumbed to chronic illness. Boring's sister, JoAnn, died young as well, and his remaining sister, Linda, passed away about two years ago.
He is now survived by six nieces and nephews and several cousins.
Boring served as Saltsburg's police chief in the 1970s, according to Hruska, and also did factory and mill work until he was badly burned in a work-related accident.
Dunmire said the whole Boring family excelled in sports, and Ron Boring used to regale listeners with tales of his time as a tackle on Saltsburg High School's undefeated 1966 team.
“Ron was so proud to be from Saltsburg and to have gone to the Saltsburg schools,” said Dunmire.
He also used to referee pool tournaments in the area. But Boring's “claim to fame,” according to Hruska, was his work as an umpire for a local softball league that played in Saltsburg in the 1970s and ‘80s.
As for the nickname, “Chops” — according to the story Boring told Hruska, that came about when he was just a kid, joining a pick-up basketball game after lunch one day. The kids he was playing with asked him what he'd had for lunch, to which he answered, “Pork chops.”
“From then on, that was his name,” said Hruska.
According to his wishes, Boring will be cremated, with his cremains to be buried alongside his mother in Twin Valley Cemetery in Delmont. The interment will be private.
Dunmire was told about $3,000 would cover the costs of cremation and burial. She tacked on an additional $1,000 to set the fundraising goal, with the extra money to be set aside for a proposed granite bench as a memorial to Boring.
Dunmire said she hopes to see the bench erected along Salt Street, in front of the Saltsburg Presbyterian Church, which was a favorite spot of Boring's.
“I'm doing this for Ron,” she said. “It's about Ron and what he meant to the community. He touched a lot of lives.”
Hruska is also looking into another memorial, possibly a piece of playground equipment donated in Boring's name to represent his love of children.
Brian Shirley, a local CPA, was appointed as trustee of the funds and opened an account at S&T Bank in Saltsburg. Once the Go Fund Me site closes, the funds collected there are to be deposited in the S&T account.
As of Thursday morning, the website remained open, with $5,030 raised by 138 people. Any funds that remain after the burial and memorial expenses are to be donated in Boring's name to local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, the Saltsburg Food Pantry and the Saltsburg Volunteer Fire Department.
“I know he'd want to keep it local,” Dunmire said.
“He had a big heart,” Hruska said. “I always respected how he treated kids. He loved kids and they loved him.”
Anyone wishing to make a donation to the Ronald Boring Fund can do so at any S&T Bank, or checks can be made payable to S&T Bank and sent to the Saltsburg branch at 602 Salt St., Saltsburg, Pa. 15681. In the memo portion of the check, donors should indicate the money is for the Ronald Boring Fund. Donations also can still be made through the Go Fund Me website, www.gofundme.com/6h95zk.
Gina DelFavero is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-459-6100, ext. 2915 or firstname.lastname@example.org.