Ronald (Ron) Lee O’Connell died in Des Moines, Iowa on January 11, 2017 after a long illness.
Ron was born on July 17, 1933 on a farm outside Jamaica, Iowa to Michael James and Alice Amelia (Kehoe) O’Connell. He was the youngest of eight children. He went to elementary school in Jamaica and Perry, Iowa and graduated from Granger High School in 1951.
Ron enlisted in the United States Army in 1953 and served in Okinawa in a special unit that built barracks. Following his discharge from the army in 1955, Ron returned to Iowa where he worked for the railroad.
In 1958 he joined Freeport Insurance Company in Des Moines where he met his future wife, Louise Adams. Ron and Louise were united in marriage on April 16, 1960 at Grace Methodist Church in Des Moines, IA. To this union, three children were born.
Ron worked in the insurance industry and traveled the states of Iowa and Nebraska as a special agent for 35 years. After retiring from the insurance business, he worked at West Des Moines Human Services as a driver for ten years.
Ron loved to socialize and was a member of the Elks Lodge, Blue Goose International, the VFW, the American Legion, and the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick.
He was a passionate gardener and pored over seed catalogs to select the best variety of vegetables to grow. His gardens were prolific with produce, particularly tomatoes. Ron also enjoyed grilling and could be found during many summer evenings on his deck tending to steaks and chops.
Ron was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Orville and Leon; sisters Glee, Goldie, Wanda, and Lela Mae; and a multitude of beloved critters. He is survived by his wife Louise; three children Mike (Trudi), Cindy (Rick), Pat (Becky); grandsons Kale, Nyle, and Keegan O’Connell; one great grandson, Killian, and one great granddaughter, Ava; sister Cleta Watson; and many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the staff of Ramsey Village and Mercy Hospice for their care and compassion during the last months of Ron’s life.
A memorial service will take place at Merle Hay Funeral Home, 4400 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines on Saturday, January 21, 2017. Visitation will be at 1:00 p.m. with the service following at 2:00 p.m. A reception will be held after the service at Ramsey Village, 1611 27th Street, Des Moines, http://bit.ly/2iNn5nM.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Mercy Hospice, 1055 6th Avenue, Suite 200
Des Moines, IA 50314, (515) 643-8400.