Born: David City, Nebraska on 15 January 1947

Passed away: Windsor, California on 31 December 2016

Aged: 69 years

The Story

From the family of Ron Hottovy:

We are posting to inform all friends and family that know and love Ron that he passed away in his sleep on Dec. 31, 2016. Please keep Ron and his family in your thoughts and prayers as he will be deeply missed.

Ronald John Hottovy, 69, of Windsor, California, was born on Jan. 15, 1947 in David City, Nebraska, the son of John and Agnes (Kobza) Hottovy. While attending the University of Nebraska, Ron was a member of the AGR fraternity and joined ROTC. After graduating in 1969 with a degree in Business Economics, Ron was stationed at FE Warren Air Force Base as a 1st Lieutenant. While in the service, Ron earned his Masters in Business Administration in 1972 from the University of Wyoming and met his first wife, Judy Mahlum. After one tour of duty, he returned to Nebraska where he received his CPA. He started his business career with Coopers & Lybrand. Ron moved to Denver in 1976 where he accepted a position with Peat Marwick before moving into private business. In 2006, he relocated to California, and on Feb. 14, 2009, he married Gail Rubenaker.

Although Ron passed away on New Year's Eve, he was always the life of the party and would've selflessly wanted us to continue on without him as we head into 2017. No matter the circumstance, he always had a way of making everyone feel like they were welcome. Always quick with a story, he made it his goal to make sure that everyone in attendance was having a good time. Sure, in true Clark Griswold fashion, he may have been the one who almost set the house on fire during his family's annual Christmas Eve fondue parties, but he was also the first person to get you to the exits while helping you fine-tune the details on the story behind your death-defying escape.

Ron's warm personality extended beyond social situations, as his Catholic upbringing served as a foundation for being a coach on and off the field throughout life. Basketball was his true passion, and despite his claims that he could've been the next Kevin McHale if he was only "five inches taller", he may have been most happy in life teaching his children and their friends the virtue of a left-handed lay-up. Admittedly, many of Ron's skills couldn't be taught--his arsenal of low-post Dad moves seemed to have come directly from a bad March Madness commercial and his swimming pool hoops skills have become the source of many legends in more recent years--but nothing made him more proud than when one of the many players he coached over the years applied one of his lessons during a game situation. This continued even in the late years of his life, as no one was more passionate than Ron about breaking down FaceTime videos of his grandchildren and offering pointers about improving their future jump shots.

Given his love of basketball, it's not surprising that Ron was a passionate sports fan. While his beloved Nebraska Cornhuskers always came first, he was always quick to adopt a team or cause that was close to someone he cared about. There were countless occasions where Ron would start a string of texts while watching an early-season non-conference game from one of his son’s schools to make sure everyone else was watching. Day or night, rain or shine, he was there to support his teams, and his level of loyalty rubbed off on those who knew him well. While not the easiest task raising a family in Denver, Colorado, he and brother-in-law John Shank resuscitated the Coloradans for Nebraska club during the late 80s and early 90s, inspiring a new generation of Big Red fans in the process. You may not have been a Cornhusker fan after meeting Ron, but you certainly left wanting to be a better fan for whatever team you cheered for.

Ron will remembered as a devoted husband, father, grandfather who was more proud of his family than any personal accomplishments. More important, his definition of family extended well beyond his wife Gail, his sons and their families, and his grandchildren. Simply put, if you were in Ron's presence, you were part of his family. Ron's mother passed away in October, and while we gathered to celebrate, it was clear to all that were at the ceremony that he wasn't in the greatest of health. However, this wasn't a concern for Ron; instead, he tried his best to ensure that all in attendance were part of the party. Ironically, we found a bar in Columbus, Nebraska--a stone's throw from the David City haunts he frequented in his younger years--that had a basketball hoop out back where Ron spent his time dispatching relatives in games of H-O-R-S-E with ridiculous English and ruthless efficiency shot-after-shot. While he had spent most of his life showing us how to shoot, he was most happy watching us trying to beat him--which, if we're being honest, wasn't possible on the courts that afternoon or in life. Call him GP Ron, call him Uncle Ron, call him Dad, he will be missed. Then again, we don't envy God when he's sorting out sides for shirts versus skins.

In addition to his wife Gail, Ron is survived by Sons R.J. Hottovy and his wife Kate, Andy Hottovy and his wife Laura, and Pat Hottovy and his wife Erin; Step-Daughter Heather (Rubenaker) Davila; Step-Son Chance Rubenaker; Granddaughters Grace and Madeline Hottovy; Grandson Nolan Hottovy; Step-Grandson Ian Davila; Step-Granddaughter Ellie Davila; Sisters Paulette Shank and Carol Glasshoff; Brothers John, Les, Tom, Steve, Scott, and Paul Hottovy.

Memorial contributions may be made to:
The University of Nebraska:
Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colorado:
Aquinas High School in David City, Nebraska:
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