A man blessed with uncommon character, natural leadership and great humor, Ron Jankowski became a cornerstone in virtually every aspect of his life. As a co-worker, a public servant, an athlete and family man, his words and deeds inspired many. He could do this during his 53 years because Ron’s great gift was to always be “one-of-the-guys,” make people instantly feel at ease and provide an example for others to follow.
A loving husband and father, Ron spent 32 years at IBM in Westchester, many of them as a Human Resources professional. That would be enough for many men. But Ron’s unquenchable appetite for challenge and his remarkable zest for life led him into many areas where he impacted the lives of countless people.
As a Captain and Life Member of the Scarborough Engine Company (Engine 92), Ron played a pivotal role in developing and promoting the Fire Company to make it a highly successful unit. His tireless efforts and overriding concern with educating youth and students on fire safety helped solidify the connection between his community to the Briarcliff Manor Fire Department.
His spirited play as a top defenseman for a number of local teams was legendary in the area’s hockey community, most notably each Tuesday for the Hockey Night In Katonah group and the successful tournament team that grew out of that, the Blazing Saddles Hockey Club, which he helped lead to championships. Ron’s enthusiastic personality was stamped on those teams and every team he skated for, including the White Plains Plainsmen, the New York City Fire Department B Team and his Engine 92 Team.
His ability to lead and motivate was evident as far back in high school, where he was senior class president of Mahopac High School and his dedication to help others continued as an adult. Whether it was coaching little league baseball, scaling a ladder to remove snow from neighbors’ roofs after a storm, mentoring new fire department volunteers, raising funds for others less fortunate or organizing a neighborhood block party to celebrate the Rangers 1994 Stanley Cup championship, Ron consistently and tirelessly remained in the forefront, striving to assist those around him.
He did it all as he did everything in life, with an irrepressible smile on his face, a joke to share, an infectious laugh and a warm disposition that drew others to him and made him the glue that held things together.