Chicago 2

Ronald C. Katz

January 21, 1936 ~ October 19, 2022 (age 86)


Ronald C Katz, retired Executive Chairman & CEO of Elkay Manufacturing Company, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on October 19, 2022. He was a longtime resident of Hinsdale, IL and Naples, FL.

In the late 1950’s Ron inherited a small but prosperous sink manufacturing company that through his leadership, grew into a billion-dollar global manufacturing powerhouse with thousands of employees.  Elkay’s products have influenced tens of millions of people worldwide.  The iconic water bottle filling station that many walk by every day, is a product developed, manufactured and serviced by Elkay.

A man with a strong work ethic, Ron created an organization with a strong ethical culture driven by simple, yet caring values.  Within Elkay everyone involved in the business became family.  Ron deeply believed that the ingenuity, creativity and passions of the team, fueled the success of the organization.  “Without our people, there would be no company,” was one of his favorites, most common statements.  He had enormous respect for his family, his friends and everyone involved in the business.  Ron always challenged them to do their best, give it their all, and not be afraid to stick their noses into other people’s business in order to make the company stronger.  Respected and admired by colleagues, competitors and industry observers, Ron was beloved by his employees. No man or woman who worked at Elkay was ever allowed to call him Mr. Katz or sir.  It was only and always just “Ron.”  His impact on a countless number of people associated with Elkay will be his legacy. 

Ron’s greatest passion may have been Elkay and his family, but he also loved his cars, planes, boats, essentially anything with an engine that could be tweaked to elicit a bit more performance, would bring a twinkle to his eye. Those who ever had the opportunity to ride with him will always remember the joy Ron got from a perfectly tuned engine and seeing his passengers “hang on” as he showed them maximum capacity.

Ron is survived by best friend and life partner Cheryl Rhodes Coleman, as well as his daughters Patricia (Brian) Bauer, Aimee Katz, and April Katz. His step children William (Dawn) O'Neill and Michael (Julie) O'Neill. His Grandchildren; Andrew and David Bauer, Savannah Fedi (Chris) and Gillian Cottrell. His step Grandchildren Eric, Tiffany, Larry, Kyle, Zachary, Kevin, Cory, Taylor and Jack. Great grandchildren Peridot & Groovy Bloom Kocielko. He was a step great grandfather and survived by many great nieces & nephews.  Ron loved his dogs and leaves behind TigerLily and Slipper Katz. 

A visitation will be held Saturday, October 29 from 10 am to 6 pm at the Adolf Funeral Home, 7000 S. Madison St. Willowbrook, IL 60527   A Celebration of Life Services will be on Sunday, October 30th, at 2:30 pm at Union Church of Hinsdale 137 S. Garfield St. Hinsdale, IL  60521. 

Masks are suggested and will be available at the funeral home and the church.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests contributions to one of Ron’s many charities including the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center, Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, Chicago Hope Academy, Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind, and The Service Club of Chicago. 


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ronald C. Katz, please visit our floral store.


October 29, 2022

10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
7000 S. Madison St. Willowbrook, IL 60527
7000 S Madison St.
Willowbrook, Illinois 60527

Celebration of Life
October 30, 2022

2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Union Church of Hinsdale
137 S Garfield
Hinsdale, IL 60521

Video is available for this event

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