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Obituary: Ronald Allen Kovas, Menlo College professor, former Sunset magazine exec

 

Ronald Allen Kovas of Atherton, a professor at Menlo College and a former president of Sunset Publishing Corp., died on April 8. He was 74.

Mr. Kovas was a professor at Menlo College from 2013 until his death. His family says his "love of mentoring and inspiring others was fully met in that role."

Born in Chicago, Mr. Kovas lived in that area until he came to Stanford University, where he received his undergraduate degree in 1964. He was a two-sport varsity athlete at Stanford, and later served several terms on the university's athletic board and was active in fundraising for Stanford swimming.

Mr. Kovas received an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where he also met his wife, Patty.

Following service in the National Guard, Mr. Kovas went to work for the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency. He ran the company's San Francisco office and then its Canadian branch from Toronto.

He moved to New York to run Hill & Knowlton worldwide, the public relations subsidiary of J. Walter Thompson, and became vice president of the JWT Group.

After a brief return to Canada in 1989 with Southam Communications, Mr. Kovas returned to the Bay Area as president of Sunset Publishing Corp. From there he went on to be a part of several startup companies.

Mr. Kovas was president of the board of what is now the Fight Hunger Bowl and was on the governing board at Filoli.

He is survived by his wife, Patty; children Allyson, Peter, Joe and Charlie Kovas; and three grandchildren. He was predeceased by son Scott Kovas.

The family prefers donations in memory of Ron Kovas to: The Humane Society of Silicon Valley, 901 Ames Ave., Milpitas, CA 95035 | www.hssv.org.

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