Ronwyn Ingraham

Ronwyn Ingraham, 84, known as “Ronnie” to friends and family, died peacefully on April 29, 2018, in Reading, Massachusetts, surrounded by her family. She outlived her two younger siblings, Diana Small of Burlington, Iowa and Mike McLennan of Duncan, British Columbia.

Ronwyn was born on July 16, 1933 in Ottawa, Canada to Trevor McKee McLennan and Alwilda Lillian Grace Martin McLennan. She was one of three women to graduate from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, with a Commerce Degree. She then joined the staff of McLean’s as a researcher. In 1956, she won the bathing suit competition in the Miss Canada beauty pageant, coming in third place overall, which enabled her to pursue acting and modeling in Toronto.

In 1957, she married William White Ingraham II of New York City and Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The newlyweds lived in Toronto where she worked for the Canadian Broadcast Corporation. After a brief stint in New York City, the couple moved to Washington, DC. In 1964, Ronwyn joined CARE, the global humanitarian organization. Her tenure there would exceed three decades, most notably as the Regional Director of the Washington field office, during which she raised tens of millions of dollars for international humanitarian aid efforts. Upon retiring at 64, she joined United Airlines in 1997 as a flight attendant, satisfying both her love of travel and meeting new people. She remained on the staff of United until her death.

Ronwyn is survived by her four children, Diana B. Ingraham (and husband John F. Ross), Jeffrey Ingraham (and Pamela), and twin daughters, Trevor Ingraham and Eleanor Axelrod (and husband Matthew), four grandchildren, Grace and Forrister Ross, and Sabina and Eliana Axelrod, as well as seven nieces and nephews and their ten children.

Full of boundless energy, with a sparkling smile, and wry sense of humor, Ronwyn always was willing to share tips about her frequent international travel adventures. She had friends around the world and loved being on the move. She led her family on adventures both at home and abroad, from the Appalachian Mountains to Haiti and the Virgin Islands, to Pepieux, France.

At home, Ronwyn loved to entertain, her blue crab dip and honey baked ham and homemade eggnog earning some local fame. Summers she spent with friends and cousins at the Delaware shore, or up in Orillia, Ontario. She took the twins across Europe, a Fromer’s Europe on 25 Dollars a Day tucked under her arm, and later on a cross-country drive to British Columbia, camping at various national parks and forests along the way. She took up scuba diving and windsurfing after the age of 40, and trekked in Nepal after retiring. She loved to play tennis, cross-country ski, and to dance. She could always be found with a historical romance novel in hand, eagerly entertaining company with stories from on the page and off.

A lifelong Episcopalian, she was a member of St. John’s Norwood Parish in Bethesda, Maryland, where a celebration of her life will be held on Saturday June 9, 2018 at 3 pm. In lieu of flowers, please donate to CARE.


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39 Condolences

  1. Heather MacKinnon on May 11, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    Our sincere condolences. She was a woman of seemingly indomitable spirit.

  2. Sophia, Celaia, Oswaldo and Jillian on May 14, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    Condolences and warm regards to all of you from all of us here in Mexico.

  3. Toni Piccolo on May 15, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    My deepest heartfelt sympathies to my dear friend Trevor, and Family. I was blessed to meet your wonderful, beautiful, elegant and graceful Mother…she will remain in my thoughts, and my prayers go out to her family.

  4. Diana kramer on May 15, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    A Dear old friend who. Will be missed by me and my children She had a fantastic life ,lived to the full

  5. The Partyka Family on May 16, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    What an amazing woman and life! So sorry for your loss.

  6. Gena M Gaspar on May 16, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    Gena Gaspar

    Ronnie joined us in two of our postings, twins in hand, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. We became fast friends and continued the friendship, including many visits until recently. I will miss her terribly.

  7. Gail Costigan on May 18, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. I met Ronwyn a few years ago in France. We would spend time together when she stayed in Pepieux and I came from Australia to Aigues-Vives. She was a lovely, spirirted kady with a great sense of humour. I will miss her. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers

  8. Rebekah and Ricahrd on May 19, 2018 at 6:05 am

    We will miss Ronwyn enormously here in Pepieux, France. We will miss her red hat, her aperos, her knitting at our aperos and most of all her spirit

  9. Cheenu K T Srinnivasan on May 19, 2018 at 6:21 am

    I had the opportunity to meet with Ronwyn in the NY annual old timers luncheon during October 2009. That’s the only I have met her and known her since.
    My heartfelt condolences to the family members.

  10. V.E.Narasimha Reddy on May 19, 2018 at 9:40 am

    Inspiring to read about such an amazing personality and adventurous life..

    My deepest condolences and warm regards to all in the family..

  11. John Farmer on May 19, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Ronnie was my colleague at CARE during the decade of the 70’s. At our annual field staff conferences in New York I enjoyed Ronnie entertaining us in the hospitality suite singing and accompanying herself on guitar. Our mutual good friend at CARE was the late Tina Ellenbogen who would have been the first to mourn Ronnie’s passing. I will miss them both.

  12. Ron Burkard on May 19, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    Deepest sympathies to friends and family. I first met Ronnie and her CARE-Washington colleague Suzanne Wright in 1965 when I came to Washington, DC to be interviewed at the Peace Corps for an assignment with the CARE-managed PC program in Colombia. We became and remained friends through the years, including the early 1980’s when I was responsible for overseeing CARE’s U.S. field offices. Ronnie should be remembered for the annual successful fund-raising galas when formal dinners were held at numerous embassies before the big event. She was an energetic, inspiring, enthusiastic and delightful person to be with. Once you met Ronnie you never forgot her. As I write this I am with former CARE colleagues on tour in the California Redwoods. The CARE bond survives! I can hear Ronnie’s memorable voice. Aways remembered, deeply missed.

  13. Perez reitz on May 19, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Hazel and I will miss Ronwyn. We shared our love of France. Condolences to the family.

  14. Pepieux Country Dance Group in France on May 19, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    The Pepieux Country Dance Group in France send our sincere condolences to Ronwyn’s family and friends.

    We never knew we danced with such distinguished company, but shall miss that vibrant and cheerful face, that lovely pink hat that she wore and the determination not to miss a dance. In Ronwyn’s honour we shall hold a minute’s silence on Tuesday 22nd May.

    Ronwyn will be missed by by Delia Arnone, Kevin and Gail Appleyard, Gail Costigan, Kate Cullen, Anthony and Maryan Jenner, Cliff Marker and Yvonne Bester, Ros Ashby, Ann and Nigel Brown, Matthew Parrott, Steve and Judy Robinson, Ray and Veronica Root.

  15. YVONNE BESTER, Lezignan-Corbieres, France on May 19, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    Sincere condolences to Ronwyn’s family and friends.

    How very sorry I was to hear the sad news of Ronwyn’s passing, for I knew her through the Christian Fellowship we shared and through the Country Dancing group, where we were often dance partners. I shall treasure the last email she sent to me and am thankful for the years that Ronwyn was a part of my life.

  16. Tom Alcedo on May 19, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    I was deeply saddened to hear of Ronnie’s passing. I had the good fortune of meeting her on several occasions in the CARE Washington Office, when visiting there from far-flung places. For those of us working overseas in CARE, during those days, we always felt we had great support, including facilitation to meeting others and she instilled, in us, a great sense of confidence with her understanding of the existing ground-realities and organizational representation in Washington DC. She always had a smile and good cheer for those of us visiting and made us feel welcome. Ronnie set a great example and it was an honor and privilege to have known her.
    Condolences to the family and may she rest in peace…

  17. Tim Lavelle on May 19, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    Cristina and I send our deepest condolences to Ronnie’s family and veritable army of friends. Her energy was indeed boundless and her fund raising for CARE can only be considered phenomenal. God’s blessings, Tim

  18. Charles and Ania Sykes on May 19, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    Ronnie was an outstanding achiever as a fundraiser for CARE. She cultivated many individuals and corporations, private and public, as supporters of CARE’s global program of relief and development. Many people in poor, under-served areas of the world benefited from Ronnie’s sustained efforts to make a difference.

  19. Peter Reitz on May 19, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    We will all miss Ronwyn

  20. Anne and Colin Murray on May 19, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    To Ronwyn’s family we send our sympathy for your loss.
    We will miss her and indeed have been missing her lately at the country dancing in Pepieux, France where I know she really loved her dancing.
    She was a lovely friendly lady and quite extraordinary in what she achieved in life. She will be sorely missed by many I am sure.

  21. Sue Toole on May 19, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Ronnie always had a smile that lit up a room. I will miss seeing her at the CARE luncheons and will remember her with a smile.

  22. Liz Grice, ESCF Secretary, on behalf of the members of ESCF on May 20, 2018 at 5:27 am

    Ronwyn was a much loved member of the English Speaking Christian Fellowship (ESCF) here in France and regularly joined our Sunday services when her flight duties brought her to Pepieux. Her cheerful smile and personality will be missed by us all. Our sincere condolences go to her family members; she was truly an exceptional lady who had a remarkable life.

  23. Val & Mike on May 20, 2018 at 9:18 am

    Our sincere condolences to Ronwyn’s family, she was a force of nature and a great enhancement to our little corner of France. Her aperos were always great fun offering superb hospitality from the consumate hostess! She was always ready to be involved in village activities and will be much missed.

  24. Maryan and Anthony Jenner on May 20, 2018 at 11:32 am

    We wish to send our condolences from Pepieux in France to her family.

    Like Ronwyn we have a second home here and we are particularly sorry that she didn’t live to see the restoration work on her lovely village home completed.

    She was such a gracious and hospitable lady and our discussions over aperitifs ranged from her time in the air to politics and much else beside. We will especially miss seeing her in the village wearing her bright pink sun hat almost like a beacon.

    A great loss to our village, our dance group and our church.

  25. Joseph Wambach on May 20, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Ronnie was such a lovely person and colleague who combined natural beauty with a passionate and insistent personality to raise funds for CARE from corporations and Foundations! I worked with her in the 1970s and 1980s from both New York HQ and various overseas venues to prepare project proposals both on the Hill in Washington DC and at various corporations! I always had fun at Ronnie’s house after receptions and special events and even admit to having had a crush on her! I am stunned at her passing and pray for the repose of her spirit and soul!!

  26. Judith Crowe on May 21, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Dear Ronwyn, always so gracious, smiling and sometimes a little lost on timing, but always happy to join in. I shall miss your smile, your willingness to give help and advice, your courage and your example to keep going whatever the next adversity in life. I will remember our journeys across the hills to meet up with the WIC ladies in St Chinian here in southern France, and your always generous heart, driving me to lunches and meetings when I was banned from driving after my own hip op. Meeting you, be it in Olonzac market, at ESCF, or wherever, was such a delight, as you spread the love and happiness we all need to help us along our way. Knowing you has been such a pleasure; I can hardly believe I shall see you no more. God bless you and may you rest peacefully in the Lord.

  27. Judith Crowe on May 21, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    Dear Ronwyn, I shall miss your smile, your willingness to give help and advice, your courage and your example to keep going whatever the next adversity in life. I will remember our journeys across the hills to meet up with the WIC ladies in St Chinian here in southern France, and your always generous heart, driving me to lunches and meetings when I was banned from driving after my own hip op. Meeting you, be it in Olonzac market, at ESCF, or wherever, was such a delight, as you spread the love and happiness we all need to help us along our way. Knowing you has been such a pleasure; I can hardly believe I shall see you no more. God bless you and may you rest peacefully in the Lord.

  28. Judith Crowe (on behalf of WIC Languedoc Rousillon] on May 21, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    On behalf of Ronwyn’s many friends in the Womens’ International Club of Languedoc Roussillon, [WIC] ,with whom she passed many a happy hour when in her house in Pepieux, the south of France, I have been asked to say how sorry we are to receive this news, she will, indeed, be very sadly missed by all who knew her here in this part of France which she loved so well. RIP, Ronwyn, meetings will never be the same without your smiling presence! WIC LR.

  29. Wallace jean diskin on May 22, 2018 at 3:12 am

    I am so devastated to learn that I have lost my Ronwyn. I met you my dear on St. George’s street in Toronto. I wondered why I had not heard from you clearly too ill to respond. I wanted to so much retie our friendship.

    I will miss you so much It is not too far to come and say goodbye yet not being so well myself I will have to say farewell my friend. You had a storied life. All my blessings to you and your dear family

  30. Miriam Letschert on May 22, 2018 at 6:20 am

    My sincere condolances. It was a pleasure to have known Ronwyn. Pepieux will not be the same without her. All my best wishes to her family.

  31. Michelle Jacob on May 22, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    I have been missing you Ronwyn these last few months and still expecting to see you again with your wonderful hat, so beautiful and so brave in spite of everything
    I shall not forget our last swim in Gruissan nor our lunches in the local inns, au Baron d’Ar ou au Terminus.
    Sincere condolences to your children and family

  32. Christiane & John Dawson on May 22, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    We are so very sad to learn that Ronwyn is no longer with us. We spent many happy hours together over meals & drinks & she was always a charming & entertaining compagnon.We miss her already, because we loved her.

  33. Ted Loud on May 22, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    Ronnie was a close friend of my wife, Kiki. We introduced Ronnie to Pepieux in the 1990s while visiting another friend who lived there. Ronnie immersed herself in Pepueux and the surrounding region without hesitation. I can well understand her commitment because this region of France is truly the essence of France itself. Kiki and I never returned to Pepieux because she died suddenly in Paris while we were on another trip. Hopefully, with God’s blessing, Kiki’s friendship with Ronnie can now be rekindled.

  34. Dal Vipond on May 23, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    What a sad loss for her family members, including her CARE family. She will be greatly missed by all who were privileged to have known her.

  35. June Fisher on May 24, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Oh Ronwyn – I miss you – remember our swims in the Lake beside the Midi Canal. What fun we had and lunch at he lakeside restaurant…I am finding life in UK which I left in 1949! complicated. Life in he Aude region of France we enjoyed togeher. Goodbye my Friend.June Fisher

  36. JUNE fisher on May 24, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    O dear Ronwyn We had such fun swimming in the Lake by the Canal du Midi and then having Lunch in the lakeside Cafe. Sadly I no longer in France &now in Somerset UK having left in 1949 I find it complicated. My sorrows June Fisher

  37. Susan Mellups on May 27, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    Dear Diana, Jeff, Trevor and Elinor, my condolences to you and your families in the loss of Ronwyn. She was a good friend to me, not only here in France where we visited one another often, but in Maryland where we met for the occasional inspection of local shopping and lunch spots. Ronwyn was full of beans and lucky to be a person born with a happy disposition. I was never on a UA flight with her but I vision her directing the exit rows in heaven. So beware those whom she joins! Fasten your safety belts.
    I, for one, promise to follow all the strong and useful advice offered over the years in faithful memory of our dear friend.
    Pepieux: please let me know if a service is held in Languedoc..I am in the (84) Vaucluse.

  38. Hannah Weil Ehrli on June 1, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Dearest Diana
    I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. I have known her for most of my life and the little house on Leland always brings fond memories. She was so vibrant and funny the last I saw her ironically in church at Norwood while you were singing and John was tending to the flock. She was so proud of you. I will miss her spirit and truly am sorrowful in her passing. All my love always.

  39. Emma Cypher-Dournes on September 24, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    Belated condoleances from us all, we knew Ronwyn from Pepieux, and were very fond of her. She was a remarkable character and great fun to be around. I remember her turning up at our new home, which needed complete renovation, with a wicker basket containing chilled champagne and a picnic, so very welcome! RIP dear friend.

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