Cover photo for Ronald Gene Chaney's Obituary
Ronald Gene Chaney Profile Photo
1928 Ronald 2023

Ronald Gene Chaney

September 28, 1928 — July 15, 2023

September 28, 1928 - July 15, 2023


Ron was born and raised in Sandpoint, Idaho surrounded by family: his brothers, Dale and Arlen, his parents, Arlie and Skileta (Scotty Welborn) Chaney, grandparents, Fred and Hattie Mae (Burns) Chaney and many uncles, aunts and cousins.  Ron attended the University of Idaho studying Business Administration. He was an active member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.


He married his high school and college sweetheart, Jeannie Sangster, in 1949. They raised their three daughters, Connie, Vicki and Patti, in Spokane, Washington. Ron’s first careers were in the food business: buyer for U.R.M wholesale grocery and later owner of Ron Chaney & Associates food brokerage.


In 1983, he moved back to his hometown of Sandpoint where he met and married Rose Chronic Snedden in 1984.  Ron’s second career was in Real Estate and Land Development. Ron and Rose purchased and ran Kaniksu Realty from 1985 until 1989. They developed several Bonner County projects including River Run in Laclede, Canoe Cove in Sandpoint and Sandy Beach on Cocolalla Lake.


Ron’s third career was that of Mayor of Sandpoint. Although he excelled at this first and second careers, his job was a labor of love to him. He held the post of Mayor from 1987 – 1992 and July 1994 – January 1996. During his tenures as mayor, he was proud of many accomplishments: Negotiated deal to move out of the old cityhall into more spacious quarters that include a public safety office (the new city hall plus raises for city employees were done using no taxpayer monies).


Construction of a boat ramp at Memorial Field, The new marina at City Beach.


A water pressure booster system on Woodland Drive.


Improved business park near airport, constructed a business incubator, Sandpoint Unlimited, and helped in the creation of almost 3,400 new jobs.


Construction of the Third Avenue swimming Pier.


Reconstruction of city’s watershed reservoir after being destroyed during the Schweitzer Road washout.


Helped push through the removal of 3.5 miles of Union Pacific RR tracks, thus eliminating 23 unprotected at-grade crossings between Dover and Sandpoint.


Ron was on the Board of Directors of the Central Business Association and the Festival at Sandpoint.  He was a member of Sandpoint Rotary Club for 40 years.


Ron was an avid golfer and skier. He traveled extensively to Europe, UK, Middle East, Egypt, Far East, New Zealand and Australia. For over 20 years, the Chaney’s spent several months each summer cruising British Columbia and Alaskan waters hosting children and grandchildren on their much-loved boat, the Wilidi III.


Family was everything to Ron. He is survived by his beloved wife Rose; his daughters, Connie Church,  Vicki Guello, Pat Chaney and Mary Lou Merrill; his grandchildren: Rhonda Mohr, Brian Guello, Joseph Horsman and Christine Horsman; great grandchildren: Amelia Rose Guello and Katherine Backenstoss; and his brother, Arlen Chaney, nephew Dale Chaney, nieces Kathy Chaney, and Sue Hamilton

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