Ronald A. Grant, 82
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Software Pioneer, Veteran, Avid Outdoorsman
NORTH YARMOUTH -- Ronald A Grant, 82 of North Yarmouth passed away peaceably Monday , Nov. 11, 2103, doing what he loved - pursuing the white tail deer from his camp in the blueberry barrens of Township 24. A man of great intelligence and wit, Mr. Grant would have appreciated the irony that as a veteran of the Korean War, he passed on Veteran's Day and the 60th anniversary of that conflict's end.
Ronald Grant began his extraordinary life on Valentines Day 1931 as the seventh and youngest child of Roscoe and Vera Grant of Columbia Falls. Growing up on a hardscrabble farm in Washington County, Ron developed consummate skills as a woodsman and earned a reputation as a crack shot and hunter. His tendency to constantly devise ways to increase productivity while diminishing labor expenditures was a quality not always appreciated by more traditional minds.
In Columbia Falls' one room schoolhouse, Ron's intellect and thirst for knowledge far outpaced the curriculum of his upperclassmen. The exasperated teacher challenged him to read the entire Encyclopedia, which he promptly accepted, completing all 24 volumes in a single school year. Young Ron's prowess was not limited to academics but extended to athletics, where he excelled at basketball and baseball, and even declined an invitation to try out for the Boston Braves.
Upon graduation Ron followed his brothers into the Air Force and was posted to oversee security for nuclear payloads at SAC bases in California, Korea, and Britain. A hapless undersecretary of the Air Force who blundered into the nuclear secure area without authorization found himself facedown on a rainy Castle AFB tarmac with Sgt Ron Grant's .45 at his head. 'Do you know who I am' sputtered the Undersecretary. 'Yes sir, ' responded Sgt Grant, 'That's why I have not firedÉyet.'
Sgt. Grant completed his tour and returned from Great Britain with an appreciation for fine wine, good cigars, and with an English bride, Pamela Cousins of Margate, Kent.
The couple settled in Connecticut to raise a family and build a life. Ron positioned himself on the ground floor of the emerging computer revolution and during the course of his 30-year career carved out a reputation as pioneer in the development of computer software applications for the insurance industry.
Ronald A Grant
In 1971, Ron was appointed as the Executive Vice President of Maccabees Mutual Insurance Company in Southfield Michigan. After turning the company around, Ron returned his family to Maine for a better life and for the opportunity to build his own software company. Systems Assurance was founded in Yarmouth providing innovative insurance software and went public in the early 1980s. In 1990, the technology finally caught up to Ron's vision and he founded Allenbrook Inc. in Falmouth, creating the revolutionary Phoenix program which enabled a casualty insurance company to manage policies and operations from a single desktop computer and mouse.
Ron's unique management style never demanded the best from his employees, but inspired his employees to demand the very best from themselves. Years after he retired, former employees would beg him to start a new company so they could relive the magic of working with him.
In 1995, Ron and Pamela sold Allenbrook and retired to Naples, Fla. to golf, travel and enjoy the sun. The pull of Maine was too great and they bought a house in Falmouth close to family while Ron restored the family farm in Columbia Falls, and fished and hunted at his camps on Upper Sabao Lake and the ancestral grounds on Township 24. Never forgetting his roots or curbing his generosity, Ron shared his good fortune with family, friends and a multitude of philanthropic causes. He would attend galas in the Portland area, but still march in the Columbia Falls Memorial Day Parade and enjoyed morning coffee klatches with the boys at his nephew's repair garage in Addison.
Ron is survived by his wife of 60 years, Pamela Grant; his children Dian and Tad Redway of Gray, and Alan and Heidi Grant of North Yarmouth; grandchildren Holly Hazzard and Matt Eisnor of Boston and Conner and Ian Grant of North Yarmouth, and great-grandson Danny Capano of Scarborough and pre-deceased by his beloved granddaughter Samantha Capano. Ron is also survived by his sisters Kay Watts of Rogue's Bluff, and Roberta Holland of Presque Isle; as well as by numerous nephews and nieces. Finally, Ron Grant leaves behind a cloud of friends, associates and admirers who feel privileged to have had his droll humor, wisdom, creativity and stubborn courage touch their lives.
A Memorial Wake will be announced at a Future Date.
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram from Nov. 13 to Nov. 17, 2013