Ron Elkin, age 73, passed away in his Billings home on May 31, 2019. Ron was born Sept. 12, 1945 to Hugh and Dorothy Elkin and raised in Southern California. He attended Palos Verdes High School where he played both basketball and baseball. He was also a car guy, and often talked of memories spent in the Cheaters Car Club. Ron attended the University of Southern California and was a proud member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. Upon earning his MBA from the USC Marshall School of Business, Ron began pursuing his lifelong career in commercial real estate sales and development.
In 1967, Ron married Anne Slaughter and they started their life together in West Los Angeles. Eventually, they moved to San Diego where they began to raise their two boys, Cory and Ty. Ron became one of Southern California’s most successful commercial real estate brokers, having notable stints in executive management positions with both Coldwell Banker Commercial Brokerage and John Burnham and Co. Ron fell in love with Montana after co-purchasing a summer cabin in Sunlight Basin, WY with his lifelong friend Pat Connealy, and in 1980, Ron and Anne decided to move their family from the rat race of Southern California to Red Lodge. Shortly thereafter, they welcomed a daughter, Cam. Life slowed down in Red Lodge, and Ron found horses to ride, friends at the Elks Lodge, rodeos to help organize, and baseball teams to coach.
Ron continued to be active in commercial real estate development in Billings in the 1980s, operating under the name Elkin Property and Development. In 1994, he co-founded NAI Business Properties with Al Koelzer. Over the years, they expanded their business, added partners, and recently celebrated their 25 year anniversary.
In 2000, Ron married Holly Carter. They loved camping in their RV and traveling to ocean destinations. As a member of Hilands Golf Club, Ron was an avid golfer who could sit in his chair all day watching Tiger in a PGA tournament. He enjoyed the camaraderie of his favorite Hilands ‘Beatdown’ golf tournament between the MSU and U of M alma maters. Ron and Holly were members of a Gourmet Cooking Club where they made many friends. One of Ron’s passions was gardening and keeping up the yard and flowers where he could watch his friends tee-off from the Hiland’s sixth hole.
In 2012, Ron was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. His perseverance and strength, along with excellent Billings doctors and health care, helped him win his battle. He often talked about his friends’ generous gifts; a limo ride and a seat to the Denver Broncos football game (his favorite team) while getting treatment in Denver. He was blessed to have more years to enjoy family and friends.
Ron was a patriot through and through. He loved his country and was a member of the California National Guard from 1967 to 1973. He accredited his perfectionism to his military service and training. Ron was a proud member of the Republican National Committee and held steadfastly to his conservative values.
Ron is survived by his wife Holly; ex-wife and friend Anne Elkin, sons Cory (Hannah) and Ty (Heather); daughter Cam Barsness (Erik); grandchildren Addee Elkin, Haylea and Tate Elkin, Reece, Thymer and Ollie Barsness; stepsons Graham, Adam, Austin; brother Rick (Cathy); niece Kelly (Ryan) and nephew Jeff. Ron was preceded in death by his parents Hugh and Dorothy Elkin.
A celebration of life is planned for July 7 at Hilands Golf Club at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation to benefit the Meadowlark House, which provides free housing for out of town cancer patients.