Husband of FMI's CEO Passes Away

Ron Sarasin was a decorated public servant and trade group exec at National Restaurant Association and National Beer Wholesalers Association
Marian Zboraj
Digital Editor
Marian Zboraj
Ron Sarasin
Ronald Arthur Sarasin, 1934-2023

The Hon. Ronald Arthur Sarasin, husband of Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based FMI - The Food Industry Association, passed away on March 27. Ronald, a native of Beacon Falls, Conn., died peacefully at home at the age of 88, surrounded by family. 

Ronald graduated from Naugatuck (Connecticut) High School in 1952. He served in the United States Navy from 1952 to 1956 and attained the rank of petty officer, second class. He earned his B.S. from the University of Connecticut in 1960 and J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1963. Later that year, he was admitted to the Connecticut Bar and began his law career, serving as the town counsel for Beacon Falls, Conn., from 1963 to 1972, and as assistant professor of law at New Haven College, in New Haven, Conn., from 1963 to 1966.

First elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1968, Ronald became the assistant minority leader in 1970. In 1972, he was successful in his run for Congress from the Fifth District against a seven-term veteran of the House and was re-elected in 1974 and 1976.  He was a delegate to the Connecticut State Republican conventions in 1968, 1970, 1972 and 1974, and to the Republican National Convention in 1976. In 1978, Ronald secured the Republican nomination for governor of Connecticut.

After leaving public service, he was the chief lobbyist for the National Restaurant Association and president and CEO of the National Beer Wholesalers Association. He was also president and CEO of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society from 2000 to 2019 and is credited with establishing a traveling exhibit on the role played by enslaved people in the building of the U.S. Capitol, as well as the initiation of the organization’s popular civics education program.

A long-time boating enthusiast, Ronald worked on the National Boating Safety Advisory Commission for several terms, and spent many days on the Chesapeake Bay enjoying his trawler with family and friends. In more recent years, his days were spent at Lake of the Woods, Va., where he learned to water ski at age 80.

Ronald is survived by Leslie, his wife of nearly 35 years; two sons, Michael Arthur Sarasin (Renee), of Mystic, Conn., and Douglas Wilson Sarasin, of Washington, D.C.; a brother, Warren Sarasin (Phyllis); of Rehoboth, Del.; and a sister, Lois Saltzman (Allen), of Lenoir City, Tenn.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, May 20, at 11 a.m. at Gonzaga College High School’s St. Aloysius Church, located at 19 Eye Street in Washington, D.C. Expressions of sympathy may be made in Ronald’s memory to Gonzaga College High School or to the U.S. Capitol Historical Society.

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