Ronald L. Kortz was a Saint Paul resident, loving father of 2 adult children and was excited to learn his first grandchild was on the way. His many passions included karaoke, baseball, reading for knowledge or leisure, keeping up with current events, and using his carpentry skills to help others. He was diagnosed with stage IV squamous cell carcinoma of the base of the tongue and neck in 2010, after which he endured chemo, radiation and surgery and was deemed cancer-free at its completion.
In 2014 the cancer returned with metastases to his bones and lymph nodes, at which point it was considered terminal. Although more chemo and radiation followed, at that point it was only palliative - just to prevent the cancer from spreading. He continued to fight for his life and took every day as a gift; everyone who knew him was inspired by his positive outlook and strong will to live. He continued to sing karaoke and help others on house projects every chance he got.
Despite the treatment, the cancer did continue to spread, this time to his liver. In September 2015, doctors discontinued the palliative treatments and recommended hospice, but through determination and family support he was able to delay that path for a year. He was doing better than expected so was offered some experimental treatments by the VA. But these too ultimately failed and finally he chose to enter hospice at home in September 2016.
He was blessed by family and friends who prayed for his salvation, and gave him ongoing support with love and laughter. During his last week of life he received many visits and calls from friends and family which lifted his spirits greatly. A very touching moment was when a group of twelve special karaoke friends surprised him in his home and serenaded him, the week before he died.
On September 17, 2016 he accepted the Lord into his heart, received permission from his family to be free from pain and suffering and, that same night, peacefully went home to be with the Lord.
Funds donated in Ronald’s memory will advance the goals of the Oral Cancer Foundation to reduce suffering and save lives by spreading awareness, supporting research, and helping those affected by cancer. Thank you for honoring Ronald’s memory and helping to fight this terrible cruel disease with your donation. For more information about the Oral Cancer Foundation and their current campaigns, please visit, www.oralcancerfoundation.org
Donations to the Ronald L. Kortz Memorial Fund can also be maid by mailing a check payable to the Oral Cancer Foundation to the address below. The foundation can also accept credit card donations over the phone at (949) 723-4400.