Ronald Gast, age 72 of Emerald, WI passed away peacefully on April 17, 2020 at Our Lady of Peace Hospice in St.Paul, MN.

Ronnie was born August 31, 1947 (Chinese Year of the Fire Pig) in Amery, WI to parents Donald and Idell (Holldorf) Gast and was raised in Emerald, WI on the family farm with five siblings and the Wonder Dog Blackie. Ron will forever be remembered for his fantastic sense of humor. He possessed a snappy sense of rhythm and uncanny whistling skills. Ron was the drummer in the family band, The Forest Hilltoppers and later went on to become an award-winning dancer, with his most notable performance to “Disco Inferno.” As an accomplished athlete, Ron was a State Championship Wrestler for Glenwood City High School, a catcher for the Chicago Cubs fantasy team, a professional “I” player in the Emerald Forest, a fierce racquetball competitor at the East Bank Club in Chicago, and an avid golfer who never let a good 19th hole go to waste. He had a passion for entrepreneurship and achieved great success, beginning his three-decade long business career in the 1970’s with the establishment of his empire Jewelry World on 63rd & Halsted (Chicago). He went on to own several jewelry stores from Chicago to Racine to Milwaukee in the names of JW and Jewelry Wisconsin.

Before it was fashionable, Ron developed various foodie obsessions ranging from macrobiotic to sushi, foie gras to fine sauternes, and culminated his skills as a bratwurst connoisseur with his favorite jaunt being the Brat Stop. After his stint as a Sting impersonator, he spent his final years as a part-time banana exporter and caretaker to his beloved mother Idell, all while acquiring judo-defense skills. To his children he will forever be remembered for his relentless dollar bill trick, taking notes on paper plates, and answering the phone “Ron the Pickle Packer Here!”

Ron made friends everywhere he went and dearly loved his family. He is survived by his mother Idell, four siblings; Gary (Judy), Gale, Randal (Julie) and Judy (Larry) Costello, four daughters; Jill, Lori, Georgie and Ava, and 12 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his father, Don and brother Jimmy.

His ashes will be scattered during private family gatherings.


  1. Sue Gilbertson on April 28, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    Ron was a very caring person. He will definitely be missed on Friday nights in Emerald. Rest In Peace Ron

  2. Bruce hanson on April 29, 2020 at 2:58 am

    So Sorry For The Loss Of Ron My Heart Goes Out To Family And Friends Ron Truly Was Very Sweet Man Gonna Miss Him Dearly We Always Talked With Each Other At Harley And Jude’s Emerald Inn He Even Sang Karaoke And Had Fun Doing It

  3. Rick Magler on May 1, 2020 at 3:20 am

    RIP Ronaldo Galileo Ponce de Leon Kokopelli Alan, I will miss all the fun times we shared and always treasure your friendship. Never a dull moment! Ch ch ch! Love you Buddy!

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