Ronald James 'Drumbum' Casey
Ronald James "Drumbum" Casey, 61, passed away early May 23, 2019, after he was struck by a dump truck in Mason County, Washington. Born in Roseburg, Oregon, on Sept. 16, 1957, to Elliott Casey and Delores (Casey) Cook, he was the youngest of five children. He knew no strangers his entire life, and always had a gift for making others laugh. No matter what trials his day may have held, he could walk into a room and create an uproar of laughter.
Joining the Army in 1976 and later the Oregon Army National Guard, Ron was stationed in Fort Dix, New Jersey, and later assigned to the Maintenance Platoon in HHT, 3rd Reconnaissance Squadron, and 12th Cavalry Regiment in Büdingen, Germany. He earned a national defense service medal for marksmanship, worked with large equipment, and was a tow truck operator for tractor-trailers, fuel tankers. In all down time, he practiced drumming with a buddy who played the guitar. Ron was proud to have served his country.
After the service, Ron returned to Prineville, Oregon, and married Bonnie Hyde. They had two sons, Ronald "Ronnie" James Casey II, and Marshall Blake Casey. The family moved to Port Angeles, Washignton, to join Ron's older siblings and has resided in Port Angeles most of his years since. He and Bonnie later divorced and Ron and Kim Coyier had a daughter, Shayna Jean Coyier. Ron married Christy McHone in 1989 and had son, Tavish Elliott Casey.
Ron was a well-known musician throughout Port Angeles and Central Oregon. In grade school, he attended a concert and saw his stepdad's band open for a young Roger Miller. This event inspired Ron to become a drummer, while he also emulated his older brothers who were drummers. At a young age, he performed with stepdad Hi Cook, and the Sessionaires, at the Pioneer Club and other locations in Central Oregon. The early experience gave him a lifelong passion for music and entertaining. He played in bands who opened for greats such as Chris Ledoux, Bobby Bare, and Jim Ed Brown, to name a few. He played with local artists Ethan Allen King and Dean Tuftin. In Port Angeles, he worked with the "Jimmy Hoffman Band," "Road Crew," "Snack Daddies" and "Kelly and The Boys" and with "The Ross Rogers" band in Oregon.
Ron and son Tavish helped break a "Guinness World Record" in an event called "Woodstick" where they, along with 264 drummers, under one conductor, drummed in unison for over six minutes. Ron donated countless hours playing music for fundraisers in Port Angeles and to have been part of the effort to obtain band equipment for the Port Angeles Stevens Middle School. He was past vice president of a local live music support group in Port Angeles, to create awareness for the live music scene and hosted two or more concerts each year for the community. He was a member of the Eagles, Vets, and participated in the Port Angeles relay for life several years.
Ron worked as an auto detailer in Washington and Oregon, later owning and operating "Casey's Auto Detailing." He spent countless hours on the Olympic highways delivering for Schwan's and was known as "Casey the Food Dude," for Frito Lay and Olympic Springs Water. Working for Olympic Bus Lines, his routes were to and from Seattle, and he later became the office manager. At the time of his death, he was employed by Clean Harbors Environmental as the King County Household Hazardous Waste Program Site Supervisor, working the entire King County area, he loved the work and those with whom he worked. The Chief Executive Officer of Clean Harbors recently sent a letter to the family, stating, "Ron had an envious ability of being able to lighten any room with what seemed like little effort."
Ron is survived by his children, mother Delores Cook of Prineville; siblings, Richard (Sean) Casey of Redmond; Robert Casey of Tennessee, Roger Casey (Julie), and Sister Mary Ann Bernard, (Jerry) of Prineville. He is also survived by his longtime companion, Jan O'Leary of Tumwater, Washington; grandchildren, Emria Casey and Kaden Levine, several nieces, nephews, cousins, and many special friends.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents; father, Elliott Casey; stepfather, Hi Cook, and uncle, David Clark.
On July 6, 2019, at 10 a.m. a graveside service with full military honors will take place at Juniper Haven Cemetery in Prineville with a time for sharing immediately following at the Prineville Elks Lodge. A Celebration of life will also take place in Port Angeles, Washington, at The Eagles Lodge on July 8, 2019, at 6 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Ron "Drumbum" Casey will be accepted and directed to the Port Angeles High School music department. Contact Mary Ann at 541-279-0744 for additional details. Cards or donations may be mailed to "The Family of Ron Casey," PO Box 865, Centralia, WA 98531. There is also a GoFundMe page in Ron's name, to assist with expenses. Please go to https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/bremerton-wa/ronald-casey-8724688 for the full obituary.