Sadly, Ron Wicks died the evening of April 1, 2016, at Brampton Civic Hospital. He was 76.
Ron was the youngest official to ever work an NHL game, with a start on October 1960, just weeks after his 20th birthday at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
When Ron retired in 1986 he was the longest serving referee in the NHL history.
Ron’s book, A Referee’s Life, is a fascinating look at the early NHL — it’s a highly entertaining first-hand account of the evolution of hockey over the last few decades.
Ronald T. Wicks
In Loving Memory of Ronald T. Wicks 75 years
Never missing a moment of his life, Ron passed away peacefully at Brampton Civic Hospital surrounded by his loving family on Friday, April 1, 2016 at 8:43 p.m. Born in Toronto in 1940, moving to Timmins and Sudbury and ultimately settling in Brampton in 1968.
Ron was the youngest official to work an NHL game at 20 years of age. He appeared in 1,067 NHL games between 1960 – 1986. His career coincided with many of the greatest all-time players and coaches. He amassed a wealth of friends over his many years in hockey and community services.
Ron was inducted into The Sudbury Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 and The Brampton Sports Hall of Fame in 2011. He became an author in 2009 when his memoirs were published: Ron Wicks – A Referees Life. Ron was a long time member of The Brampton Golf Club, YMCA and Legion as well as The Ontario Track 3 Ski Association and Citizens For A Better Brampton.
He was also very proud to be a Metis Citizen and encouraged both his daughter and granddaughter to follow suit.
Survived by his loving wife Barbara, son Brian, daughter Lisa – husband Adrian Lawryshyn and granddaughter Nyah. Brother Jim – wife June, and sister Anita, along with many nieces and nephews. Having his family around him always put a smile on his face. He will be missed by many, especially his long time friend and fellow ex-referee Bruce Hood who has been by his side through it all. Even in his last skate around the rink, before he hung up his skates, Ron has donated his eyes to give sight to two others and his body to scientific research. We hope everyone will continue to be inspired by these two quotes he often repeated over the past two years. “This is not a trial run, live for today” and “Stay Strong”. At Ron’s request there will be no funeral service. Family and close friends are invited to a Celebration of his Life on Friday, April 15, 2016 at The Brampton Golf Club, 7700 Kennedy Road, from 2-4 p.m. We miss you already – Your loving family.