OBITUARY: Ronald Eugene Steiner

The son of William and Alice Patrizio Steiner, he was born April 14, 1939, in Indiana, Pennsylvania, where he worked in his father’s market, played a variety of sports, and made several lifelong friends.

He attended Allegheny College, playing quarterback on the football team and earning a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1961. For most of the next two decades, he worked in Pittsburgh as an advertising salesperson and eventually sales manager at WIIC. He later moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to serve as general manager at KLKK, New Mexico’s first independent TV station.

After being fired from that job (which Ron later referred to as “the best thing that ever happened in my career”), he launched the Marketing Communications Group. He began with a small handful of clients and eventually served 150 stations nationwide.

Before and after retiring from the television industry, Ron invested his time, energy, and marketing experience in a variety of community service organizations. He served as a volunteer laborer and board member for Greater Albuquerque Habitat for Humanity and Futures for Children. While cooking and eating weekly meals with residents at Dismas House (a transitional living program for men on probation or parole), Ron recognized the inequities of the judicial system and the inspiring humanity and potential of many “ex-cons.”

He soon joined the steering committee for the Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and, nine years later, helped celebrate the repeal of New Mexico’s death penalty. He served on the national board of directors for Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation.

He founded and directed the Albuquerque Italian Film and Culture Festival, benefitting the New Mexico Children’s Hospital.

In 2010, Ron followed his beloved wife Caren Ann Jackson to Salem, Oregon, where he continued his volunteer work as a joyful cook (delivering meals to friends in need and various homeless shelters) and as board chair of Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. Ron’s patient, loving, tenacious advocacy among legislators and diverse people of faith across the state helped lead to the passage of SB 103, which significantly restricted the crimes for which a person can be charged with a capital offense. After signing the bill in 2021, Governor Kate Brown dismantled Oregon’s death chamber and cleared death row.

Ron spent the first half of his life excelling as a son, student, athlete, salesman, husband, father and provider. He spent the last half expanding and redefining that success – building strands of connection and purpose for himself and others as an entrepreneur, mentor, father, husband, friend, and activist for peace and justice. 

 He is survived by his loving and dedicated wife Caren Ann Jackson (Salem, Oregon), by his son Michael Ulku-Steiner, his wife Beril and grandchildren Kenan and Lucy (Chapel Hill, North Carolina); by his daughter Amy Halloran-Steiner, her husband Silas, and grandchildren Ukiah and Metolius (McMinnville, Oregon);  Ron also has much-loved bonus children Kari Lynn, Michael, Gretchen, Ryan, along with their partners and children in Salem, Oregon; Parma, Idaho; Seattle, Washington; and Honolulu, Hawaii. He is survived by his former wife Cynthia (McMinnville, Oregon).

A memorial mass and celebration of life will be held in Salem at the Queen of Peace Catholic Church, on June 14 at 4 p.m. with a reception after. His ashes will later be scattered in Albuquerque, on the west face of Sandia Peak. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Oregonians For Alternatives To The Death Penalty (

–Submitted information

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