American Veteran 03


Ronald Joseph Clark

September 27, 1943 ~ June 25, 2019 (age 75)

Ronald Joseph Clark, 75, died at 10:46 am on June 25, 2019 at the Sanford Hospital surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren.

Ron was born at St. Mary’s hospital in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, September 27, 1943, to Michael Joseph Clark and Dorothy Ann Bergen Clark.  Ron attended the Holy Rosary school until he was in the 8th grade.  He graduated from Detroit Lakes High School in 1963.  This was an idyllic time for Ron as many of the values that guided his life formed.  He had nine brothers and sisters and together they had many adventures and misadventures.  He grew up loving God, family, hunting, fishing and golf. 

He met the love of his life, Ruth Meier, in 1963 while living in Minneapolis.  In 1965 Ron joined the Navy, while he was stationed on the SS Essex, he learned to weld and spent a lot of time welding the hull of the aging vessel.  After getting out of the Navy, he married Ruth in 1968. Ron was a good husband who cared for his wife more than anything else.  Ron liked to tell the story that while stationed in Germany he bought Ruth an engagement gift of china, which he kept under his bunk until he returned to her. After leaving the Navy, he first worked at Vector      Engineering, Minneapolis. Later he followed a better opportunity at Northwest Refinery in St. Paul.

He built his first house in Stacy Minnesota, and started his family. Family is a value he cherished above all else.  He fathered two children while living in the Twin Cities, Rusty and Regi. After living and working in the Twin Cities area for eight years;  he yearned to return to the North Country. Ron preferred the peace and quiet of the woods. In 1976, he moved his family to Bemidji, and started working at Bemidji State University as high pressure steam and maintenance engineer. As soon as Ron was able, he bought some land north of town and built another house, which he lived in for over half his life a total of 43 years.   His last daughter Rochelle was born while living in Bemidji.

He was a true outdoorsman. An avid gardener, golfer, hunter and fisherman. He loved to laugh, play jokes, tell “stories,” and spend time with his grandchildren. After retiring in 2005 from the University,  he joined the grounds crew at Bemidji Country Club and enjoyed many years of work comradery and golf. He was able to spend many winters in Tucson Arizona, with his brothers and sisters at a retirement community. His youngest daughter Rochelle and grandchildren living nearby. He shot his last buck shortly before his unexpected diagnosis of stage IV colon cancer in November.

To know Ron was a privilege.  He was a kind man that lived an uncomplicated life.  He cared about family most of all.  That family included his friends as well as the people he worked with.

Ron was preceded in death by his father, Michael, mother, Dorothy, and brother, Dick. Eight siblings still live: Pat, Jim, Donna, Jack, Joe, Susie, Mark, and Shelley. He is survived by the family he created including his wife, Ruth; and children Rusty, Regi, and Rochelle. Ron was blessed with 12 grandchildren Raia, Vincent, Riley, Louis, Mary, Abby, Joseph, Henry, Anika, Eli, Sarah, and Samuel.  

Funeral services will be held at St. Phillips on July 4th, 2019.  Plan on arriving after 12:00 pm for visitation; funeral service is at 12:30 followed by a luncheon.  Everyone who knew Ron or the family is welcome to come celebrate his life.

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