Export man enjoyed traveling, fishing and family
One of Dawn Lingafelt’s strongest memories about her father Ronald revolves around his love of fishing.
“I remember him dragging us out of bed at 6 a.m. to dig worms out of the yard and put them in a coffee can before we’d go fishing,” Lingafelt said.
Fishing was Mr. Koenig’s favorite hobby.
“He had some buddies and they’d go fishing all the time,” said Lingafelt, a Jeannette resident. “When we got a little older, they had a camp at King’s Mountain where they’d go.”
Ronald J. Koenig of Export died Monday, July 15, 2019. He was 83.
Mr. Koenig was born March 22, 1936, in Johnstown, a son of the late Karl and Bertha (Neissner) Koenig.
During the Korean War, Mr. Koenig was deployed with the Air Force to Germany and Austria. He received an early discharge in 1958 when his father Karl died.
“Then in ‘61 and ‘62, he was deployed to Kansas City, Mo.,” Lingafelt said.
Mr. Koenig’s computer skills took him briefly to Kansas City, according to his son Stephen Koenig of Apollo. Those skills also served him well during a career as a manager in Westinghouse’s transportation division.
“I remember us getting phone calls in the middle of the night and someone would be saying, ‘Ron, how do we fix this?’” Stephen said.
Prior to his career with Westinghouse, Mr. Koenig worked at the Penelec power company in Johnstown. There, he met his wife of 58 years, Barbara (Dimond) Koenig. The couple was married May 6, 1961.
The Koenigs enjoyed traveling. But before they could attempt a visit to all 50 states, they spent plenty of time driving Stephen around.
“I raced BMX bikes, mostly on the eastern half of the U.S., and they took me all over the country racing,” Stephen said. “My mom and dad became scorers for the (former) National Bicycle League. People knew my dad because he had that red hair, and he always had a sunburn because would be standing there at the finish line.”
The Koenigs helped relocate the former Delmont BMX track, near Newhouse Park, to its current location in Northmoreland Park in the mid-1980s.
Since the age of 15, Mr. Koenig also helped friends, neighbors and others with income tax preparation, later starting his own business in West Mifflin’s Southland shopping center.
“He bought it as sort of a retirement thing,” Stephen said. “I used to ride my bike around the plaza all the time.”
Once their children were grown, the Koenigs hit the road, making it to 49 of 50 states.
“They never made it to Alaska,” Lingafelt said.
Stephen said his father was one of the most level-headed people he knew.
“He was always calm and cool with everything he did in life,” he said. “The most crazy things would happen, and he always took it in stride, keeping his cool.”
Mr. Koenig is survived by his wife, Barbara; children, Dawn Lingafelt (Glenn), David Koenig (Kimberly), Elaine Koenig and Stephen Koenig and Diana; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions can be made to St. Mary Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, with “Ronald Koenig” in the check’s memo line.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .