Monday, March 4, 2024

Ronald J. Tomah, 94

Wellsville, NY -- Ronald J. Tomah, 94, of Wellsville, NY passed away on March 2, 2024. Ron, fondly known as Tomah and Hawk, was born in 1929 on a reservation in Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada. He was a member of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians. Anyone that was close to Ron was surely entertained by his stories of growing up on the reservation. He came from a big family. His grandparents, mother, father, five siblings, aunties, uncles, and cousins created a strong family bond. Although there were some challenging times, their close-knit family was what mattered most. Ron lived by this sentiment his whole life. Family was always very important to him.

The Tomah family left the reservation in 1941 and crossed the border into Maine. They resided in Winthrop, Maine where his dad worked in a textile mill. He enjoyed playing ball in high school and continued with his love of sport throughout his life. He was a die-hard fan of the Boston Red Sox and the Buffalo Bills. Ron could spend an entire day at the Wellsville Country Club, in which he excelled on and off the course. Many will remember the antics surrounding the Indian Open named after Ron.

He married his high school sweetheart, Trudy Hopkinson. Together, with their two young daughters, they moved to Wellsville, NY in 1958. Ron was self-employed as an interior decorator and later worked for John and Doris Rigas. Divorced from Trudy, Ron married Katie Whitney. He was now dad to four other children that he treated as his own. Eventually, Janet Hungerford came into his life and was his partner for over 36 years. She was by his side and was relentless in her love and commitment to do right by him, true to the end.

Ron, an army veteran, and was incredibly proud to become a United States citizen. He flew the American flag every day at his home. He was a life member of the VFW, Elks, Moose, and he was a commander of the American Legion Post #702 in 1972. He was so grateful for the help and support he received from the VA Services. He would often say “I don’t know what I would do without them.”

He is survived by his lifelong partner Janet; daughters Karen Tomah, Kim (Nick) Ramharter; stepchildren Dawn Reniff, Lenny Whitney, Kelly Schmidt; grandchildren Gracey McKenny, Josh (Becky) Ramharter, Kyle Tomah, Makala Gay, Jordan (Cooper) Quenneville; great grandchildren Aksel Tanguay, Charlotte O’Leary, Tate Quenneville, Declan O’Leary; siblings Faye (Don) Whitten, Harry Tomah, and Mona (Merritt) Welch. Ron was predeceased by his sister Audrey, his brother Richard, and his grandson Jesse (Bayard) Tullar.

Friends and family are invited to call on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, to the J.W. Embser Funeral Home, 34 West State Street,from 6-8 pmA memorial service will be held on Thursday, March 7th at 12:oo noon at the Elks club, 77 East Pearl Street,for a celebration of his life. At noon, the American Legion will present the military honors followed by the Elks Veteran Service. There will be a luncheon and a time for sharing. Please consider memorial donations tThe Band of Maliseet Indians Youth Club, 88 Bell Road, Littleton, ME 04730. To leave online condolences please visit 

So, whenever you think of fiddleheads, or take a swig of Pabst Blue Ribbon, or crave a Tomah Dog give a nod to that sweet, proud Indian guy!

Woliwon (Thank you, Maliseet language)


  1. Jan. So sorry for your loss. Ron was a wonderful man. He will be missed

    1. Ron was a great guy. I knew him mainly
      from the W.C.C. I looked forward to his
      Indian Open every year. I even won it one year. Who could forget the road kill

  2. Deepest condolences to family, and friends of Ron. My memories of Ron were of his visits to Bilijk First Nation, New Brunswick. His Spirit has moved on to be with his departed family. He will be missed and we will remember him through his kind and friendly nature. Upgitch nimual - until we meet again. Marj and Darrell Paul, BILIJK FN.

  3. Karen and Kim
    I just read of your Dad's passing and want to extend my sympathy. I'm sorry I missed the calling hours. It is great to read of his heritage and life and your heritage. Hope that I'd see you sometime. Best, Hans