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Ron Wold

Photo by Paul Neevel.
Photo by Paul Neevel.

“Our family hobby was rock hunting,” says Ron Wold, who grew up in Beaverton and majored in geology at Amherst. He got a master’s degree at the University of Montana, then came to Eugene to pursue a Ph.D. “After two years, I got a job as a geologist with the Bureau of Land Management,” says Wold, who eventually became a realty specialist in the agency’s Eugene office. “I managed right-of-way agreements on 320,000 acres.” After 30 years of service, he retired in 2004 at age 56. Though he knew at an early age that he was attracted to men, Wold took a conventional path, married a hometown Oregon girl and had a son, Eric. The marriage lasted five years. Two years later, he met Ken Hinds, an RN at Sacred Heart. “We’ve been together 36 years next month,” he notes. “He helped raise my son.” Wold became active in politics shortly after retirement, in the failed 2004 effort to defeat Measure 36, banning gay marriage. He took part in the 2008 and 2012 Obama campaigns with his own personal project, a voter-registration table at the Eugene Public Library. “I recruited friends to staff it,” he says. “I found that one person can make an impact.” A similar library project this fall garnered 2,000 signatures in support of a ballot measure for marriage equality. “This issue has personal significance,” he says. “Ken and I have had a long engagement.”