Ronald McKernan

Ronald Charles McKernan (1945 - 1973)

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Ronald Charles "Pigpen" McKernan
Born in San Bruno, San Mateo, California, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Died in Corte Madera, Marin, California, United Statesmap
Profile manager: Mark Burch private message [send private message]
Profile last modified 13 Dec 2019 | Created 4 Aug 2017
This page has been accessed 806 times.
Ronald McKernan is Notable.


Ronald was born in 1945. Ron was the son of Esther Elvera (Nelson) and Phillip Charles McKernan, a disc jockey. Esther’s ancestry was half Swedish, with the rest being Welsh, English, and Scots-Irish/Northern Irish. Phillip had English, and some Irish, ancestry. Ron’s paternal grandparents were Francis Joseph McKernan and Alice Bennett. Francis and Alice were born in England. Ron’s maternal grandparents were Carl Nelson and Pearl Sells (the daughter of Albert Sells and Jessie M. Meredith). Carl was born in Sweden.

Ron was an American singer and musician. He, Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir founded Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions which became The Warlocks and eventually The Grateful Dead. Pigpen was the original keyboardist, the first of many, and played in the group from 1965 to 1972. Some of the other keyboardists also died young. Keith Godchaux was in the band from 1971 to 1979 and died in 1980 at age 32 from injuries sustained in a car accident. Brent Mydland was in the band from 1979 to 1990 and died in 1990 at age 38 from a drug overdose (speedball). Vince Welnick was in the band from 1990 to 1995 and committed suicide in 2006. Tom Constanten was in the band briefly from 1968 to 1972 and is still alive.

His father, Phil McKernan, was an R&B and blues disc jockey, who had been one of the first white DJs on KDIA, a black radio station.

Ron McKernan passed away in 1973 from a stomach hemorrhage while he was being treated for cirrhosis.


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Ronald is 18 degrees from Frederick Douglass, 20 degrees from Margaret Summitt and 20 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.