My dear sweet cousin Ron committed suicide last week.
He was so smart & so kind and I find it so hard to believe he has done this saddest of all possible acts.
We have been friends since he was a baby. The arts, theatre, literature & the pursuit of knowledge were his trademarks.
Directing and acting were his passion from high school on. Not even my wife could beat him in trivial pursuit (& she is a formidable opponent).
His love for people and learning were written all over him. What killed him I may never know.
I do know that alcohol, depression, feelings of hopelessness, and the side effects of psychotropic medicines are often contributing factors to suicide.
Not talking to others about our personal lives and problems can make a person feel alone and helpless. As a society, we don’t like mental health conversations, as individuals we often avoid “too personal” comments. This is a stain on our community. We are complex beings that need others to help us cope during the hard times.
I have written about the suicidal behavior of the children in my child protection cases over the years & just when I think I understand this thing, it becomes evident that I don’t.
Ron is my fourth suicide this year, of which two of them were much loved friends. I will miss you Ron and I wish I could have saved you.
Be kind to the people around you. Don’t judge, it is impossible to know what others are living through.
Ronald Allen Mahla
Posted: Thursday, Jun 21st, 2012
Ronald Allen Mahla, 54, of Seal Rock, Ore., died May 31, 2012.
He was born Dec. 17, 1957 to Lloyd and Regina Mahla in Fargo, N.D., where he began his lifelong love of theater and music. He received his bachelor’s degree in technical theater after study at both Northwestern University and Minnesota State University.
Ron moved to the Newport area in 2002 and was involved in many theater performances with both Porthole Players and Red Octopus, playing lead roles such as Daddy Warbucks (“Annie”), Alfred P. Dolittle (“My Fair Lady”) and Matthew Brady (“Inherit the Wind”), as well as graciously accepting supporting roles. His most recent performance was as Herod in “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He also worked as a lighthouse keeper and a park ranger, sang with the Central Coast Chorale, and was an avid trivia buff. His trivia teams, The Super Naturals and The Usual Suspects, won many contests. Before arriving in Lincoln County, he lived for about 20 years in Las Vegas, working in elite casino settings including the Mirage and the Bellagio. He will be missed by his extended family and his many friends and theater fans.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lloyd and Regina Mahla.
He is survived by his sister, Kathleen Neumann; niece, Christina Leonard; and nephew, Tyler Sistad.
Friends are invited to celebrate Ron’s life at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, June 30, at the Newport Performing Arts Center, 777 W. Olive St. Those attending are asked to bring food to share at the potluck meal.
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