Cover photo for Ronald C. Oliver's Obituary
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1938 Ronald 2021

Ronald C. Oliver

July 25, 1938 — January 23, 2021

Ronald C. Oliver – (July 25, 1938 – January 23, 2021 – He was born in Milwaukee, WI. to Reginald C. Oliver and Stella (Domke) Oliver. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Connie (Putnam) Oliver, two sons, Michael and Timothy, daughter Amy, two grandsons, Samuel Shipley, Corey W. Oliver, and granddaughter Kaitlyn Oliver and great-grandson Malachi Bissett. He is also survived by his sister, Juli (Oliver) Graydon, five nieces and five nephews as well as three cousins, one of whom, Kathy Ellingson, introduced Ron and Connie. His parents and brother, Reginald Oliver preceded him in death.

Connie writes: Ron retired after 20 years in the Army where he spent most of the time working with helicopters. He was in Korea once and Vietnam twice. He also retired from the Boeing Company after 17 years.

Ron’s claim to fame was not measured by his education, or any other accolades. His fame was his ability to be kind. He seemed to understand how important it was to give of his time day or night whenever needed. He sat with many by bedside or hospital bed. He was a devoted volunteer in prisons from Washington to Wisconsin. When his health started to decline, most of us just did not understand “why” he became so inactive. I have forgiven myself and any others for thinking he just did not care about himself or anyone else. As I watched his decline, I did most of my grieving years ago as I lost the man I married and as his family and friends did also.

Someone once told him that he must have been a good parent because he said he had awesome kids and grandkids. I know this is long, but their words must not be left on this computer.

Sam wrote: Goodbye my sweet and incredibly kind and loving Grandfather. There is so much I could say, so much that can describe the relationship with a grandparent and just how sweet that can be. I knew the call would be coming, but I just did not know the exact moment. I spent a lot of time with you in service of others, we mowed lawns for family and friends, we stopped at diners and ate cheeseburgers and drank milkshakes. We would always go to the Game place in Mukilteo spending hours there playing pinball and cashing in tickets for candy and prizes. I used to sit on your lap and drive the big Ford truck that you and grandma used to pull your 5th wheel with. I loved that truck, "King of The Road", named by the decals that matched the trailer. You taught me many valuable lessons, more than I can count, and if I had to say who spoiled me the most in life it would have been you. You stayed true to 49 years of sobriety and helped many people achieve theirs. What I would give for just one more moment to go back and ask you for just one more 5-dollar bill to feed into the quarter machine.... I love you Grandpa Ron, fly high and give my love to Susie, grandma Shirlee and Jerry, and Rada for me. I am sure there will be more things to come and maybe inspiration for poetry and a song, but for now today is just a little darker of a day.

Corey wrote: Sad to say the world lost a great man. I remember my Grandpa Ron as loving, caring, funny and overall wonderful to be around. He fought for the country in the Vietnam War. His experiences lead to anxiety, PTSD and earlier an alcohol addiction. He got sober and stayed sober for 49 years. He spent many of those years helping others stay sober, being a sponsor, and travelling to prisons in Washington and Wisconsin. I always remember him checking his book daily for anniversary dates so he could give them a call and congratulate them on another year sober. I have great memories with grandpa when we visited Wisconsin. I close my eyes and remember all the road trips to fun places in the back of my grandparents’ van. To the family Chateau up north, to the Wisconsin Dells to go on rides, trips to Shaffer’s Chicken or shorter rides to get custard and cheese curds. Every time my sister and I visited he would take us to go karts and watch us do laps. I loved staying up late with him watching shows and movies in the TV room, he always told me how much he enjoyed that. Wisconsin trips with my grandparents were the best and I would always cry while looking out at the clouds on my flights back home. I think that is why I love Ontario so much; it is basically Canadian Wisconsin. My heart is heavy but I am relieved believing he is now at peace after the recent dementia and his fight with internal infections. I am glad I got to hear his voice one last time on the phone not long ago and for me to tell him how much I love him. He was loved and adored by many and I will forever miss him. Rest in Peace Grandpa Ron. I love you so much.

Michael wrote: My father passed quietly this morning in the Wisconsin care facility he had been living at since June. He was a good father and a better friend. He had a big heart; an infectious laugh and he loved this family and friends. When he put his mind to it, he could move mountains. He had beaten COVID but his body had been dealing with other health issues for years and the time had come for him to let go. Now his pain is over and his spirit can move on. I choose to remember him, full of joy and laughter, a warm, caring father who was a good friend to so many of us. Thanks for all the hugs and chili, Papa.

Tim wrote: I have been thinking about my dad and about the things he has been through in his life. On Veterans Day, my memory took me to a place called Vietnam. I did not understand why everyone was so angry. I think the thing that confused me is that the men and women did not have the support of the American people. Why was everyone so angry at the soldiers, the ones that risked their lives for us. It is not like that now. I am so proud of my dad and I told him that many times. I am grateful that he returned when others did not. Americans have realized that we made a mistake. My dad cried when someone said “welcome home” years later My mother told me that the funeral home draped an American flag over him in honor of his service to our country as they took away. I am sad, but memories will always be with us.

Amy wrote: Thank you dad for loving me unconditionally. I will see you on the other side.

Kaitlyn wrote: For my beloved grandfather, your spirit will live forever in my heart. Your laughter and kindness will be missed here on earth, but never forgotten.

Back to me because I do not believe in coincidences. The following was a thank you card to Ron after this woman’s father passed away. It popped out of a messy stack of papers about 4” thick. I was not looking for it, nor did I remember it, but I believe the words wanted to be shared.
Dear Ron, my family & I want to thank you for your wonderful, kind, warm and compassionate words you spoke at our father’s funeral. We also wanted to tell you how much it meant to us sharing what our father meant to you and how he fit into your life. You were such a good friend and I knew you watched over him and would always be there if he needed you. That brought so much comfort since I was far away and worried a lot. I know the two of you were blessed to have such a great relationship.

I want to thank my kids (especially Amy, she is my rock) and grandkids, my sister (Cookie Konitzer) my brother (Kent Putnam) and my 100-year-old mother (Violet Putnam), the doctors, nurses and care givers at St. Vincent, St. Mary’s, Crossroads Care Center, the care givers, staff, kitchen staff and housekeepers at New Perspective Senior Living, Mark at Edward Jones, friends like Tom, Tracy, Paula, and many others.

There is one person I will be eternally grateful to and I never knew her name. I will call her my angel. She was one of the paramedics who brought Ron by ambulance to a doctor’s appointment at Prevea clinic on 12-20-20. I met him there. We had not been able to see each other since June 4th because of COVID. Because he had not seen me for so long, it helped him to believe that I died in a car accident. My angel let us take off our masks. I was able to kiss him, hug him after six months and sit and hold his hand until they took him away. I sat there and cried suspecting it would be the last time we made sense together. It was!

There will not be a funeral at this time. However, there will be a “Celebration of Ron’s Life” on Sunday, May 30th (His anniversary of sobriety is 5-31-72.) We both want our ashes bequeathed to the earth on a hill where the sun shines and the stream ripples by. That place just happens to be out the front door of the Horseshoe Lodge up north.

Suggestions for donations, be in Ron’s name to local AA. And never forget to say “PLEASE” in the morning and “THANK YOU” at night.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ronald C. Oliver, please visit our flower store.


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