September 13, 2017 by Kernaghan Adjusters
Kernaghan Adjusters is deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved Ron Newcomb, who passed away peacefully on August 29 at the age of 87. Ron joined KA in its founding year and worked tirelessly alongside Stan Kernaghan. They were known as “the twin towers,” and their strengths balanced each other as they built a formidable team across the country –– the first national independent adjusting firm in Canada.
Ron met Stan while working as a junior clerk at General Accident, and one of his many duties was to carry ice blocks up from the street into the office. He also worked closely under Stan’s direction. In 1953 when Stan left the GA and started Kernaghan Adjusters, Ron, who had taken a resident adjuster position with GA Vancouver, returned to Winnipeg at Stan’s invitation to join KA, and the rest was history.
Ron’s career at KA grew and he ultimately became President of KA in 1974, and held that position until 1993 when he went into semi-retirement. In the old days Ron was known as “the whip” to many of the young adjusters. He worked closely with them to instill the right values and work habits that would differentiate the team from the competition. To the industry and his friends, he was known as “Newc “ and in later years, especially to the Kernaghan family, as “Uncle Ron.”
Ron was kind, insightful and above all a man of his word, someone you could trust implicitly. He had endless energy and always extended a helping hand to other people. He participated in numerous industry associations and groups, from the Insurance Institute to the Blue Goose, and was a member of various adjuster associations in both Manitoba and BC. He was recognized with an Award of Merit from the Insurance Institute of BC, and was the Chairman of the Insurance Institute of Canada in 1985-86. He received the Insurance Person of the Year Award for BC in 1993.
When my Dad invited me to join Kerrnaghan Adjusters in 1988 I had to pass one test first, the Mr. Newcomb interview, and it went very well. Ron and I worked closely together right from the beginning and well after his semiretirement in 1993. In fact we worked together solving various problems well into the 2000’s. Ron was like my second Dad, and I considered myself his daughter #4.
Ron had a very loving family: Donna, his wife of 45 years predeceased him in 2001, and five children, their spouses, eleven grandchildren and three great grandchildren, who were all an enormous source of pride and affection for him. A moving celebration of his life took place at Highlands United Church on September 7. Ron was a giant of a man and will be sorely missed.