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American Heart Association
Gift of Life
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Life Story / Obituary
With unending devotion to his loved ones, Ronald DeYoung was a proud family man through and through. He was a hardworking man with an insatiable thirst to learn new things, and his wisdom was truly unmatched. Ron and his wife exemplified what marriage is intended to be, and it was easy to see that he absolutely adored her. Thrilled beyond measure to become a grandfather, his family was his greatest source of pride and joy. Life will never be the same without Ron here, but he leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that his loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.
During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as WWII raged on and rationing became a way of life for those who remained stateside. It was during this eventful time that Frank and Eilene (Berge) DeYoung were pleased to announce the birth of the baby boy they named Ronald Marvin on January 6, 1943. He was the third of eight children as he was raised in the family home in the Jackson Hill area alongside his older sisters, Karen and Marva, and his younger siblings, Phyllis, Charlene, Chuck, Roxanne, and Pam. Ron’s father worked as a sheet metal worker while his mother was a homemaker who worked as a drug store clerk when her children were older.
In many ways Ron was a typical young boy. He enjoyed sledding and skiing on the sand dunes off Elva Street, and after Christmas he gathered trees around the neighborhood for a bonfire. Thanksgiving and Christmas were special times spent with family, and on Sundays his mother took them to the airport to watch the planes or to the lake and out for ice cream. Ron and his siblings enjoyed fishing for perch and blue gill from the pier with their father. He attended Froebel Elementary and Muskegon High School and was good friends with Jerry Temple, George Pletcher, and Ron Saunders.
New and exciting changes were in store for Ronald when he met the love of his life. Her name was Bonnie Sherman, and although no one is really sure of where they met as Ron says they met when he was out with buddies while Bonnie says they met at a basketball game, their love grew quickly. With a desire to spent the rest of their lives together the sweethearts were married on January 19, 1963. The newlyweds initially settled into an apartment on Sophia, which is where they were blessed with the birth of their daughter, Rhonda. Lorrie was born while they were living in a house on Ann Street, Annette and Vicki were born while they were living in a house on Piper, Chrissy was born while they were living in a house on Henry Street, and in 1973 they moved to the home in Norton Shores where Ron lived for the rest of his 43 years.
Ron was so proud of their longtime home. He spent countless hours meticulously tending to his lawn, his landscaping, and the overall exterior appearance. Ron was very particular in the way in which the grass was mowed and the snow was shoveled in the winter. It was not uncommon to have passersby compliment him on his yard. To support his family, Ron worked at Sealed Power Hylift Division until retiring.
Family was always of the utmost importance to Ron. They had the most amazing camping and canoeing trips together, often to the Upper Peninsula, and Ron has been called the Martha Stewart of camping as everything was meticulously planned. There was also a memorable trip to Copper Harbor to drop Lorrie off for her summer job. Ron cherished his wife, and he regularly commented on how pretty she was and affectionately called her, “Babe.” He was so proud of all his girls, especially all the grandchildren they brought into his life. Ron loved spending every moment he could with them all, and he loved going to their events and seeing their Halloween costumes every year. Sundays were for family dinners, and he loved Christmas morning when his girls were little as watching them open their presents made him so happy. They raised beagles for years, primarily for hunting, but later on they had a black poodle mix that his wife named after Dean Martin. Brittany Spaniels later came along including their current dog, Brett.
Throughout his life Ron was a man of many interests. He loved having fish fries and was known for his secret batter, and he also canned both salsa and applesauce and made great venison. They had Sunday night card games for years, and when his kids were younger they loved being with him while he was out in the garage working while listening to country music. An avid hunter, he bow hunted for deer and also for rabbit and elk. Ron loved his hunting trips with his buddies, too. He was particular in his “pretty” garden as he knew everything there was to know about everything he grew. Most of the vegetables he grew he gave away, and everyone loved coming to his place to do their vegetable shopping. Ron read everything he could get his hands on, and he picked up on computers and Facebook as a way to keep up with everyone. A true outdoorsman, he also loved fishing during all seasons. Ron played a mean game of Cribbage and was known to gloat when he won, which was most times he played. He was such a snazzy dresser, and he always had the best hair as this was the gauge he used to judge his overall appearance. Even in the hospital Ron made sure that his hair looked nice! A sports fan, he was an MSU fan if ever there was one.
Life was forever changed for Ron and his loved ones when he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. He was put on the transplant list, and it was a day to remember when he received his transplant on September 5, 1997. Ron was a true fighter who never gave up hope and seemed to know more than his doctors at times since when he wanted to know something he did his due diligence in researching it.
All who knew Ronald DeYoung would agree that there was no one who met him and left unchanged. He was brave, strong willed, and not afraid to let someone know that he disagreed, yet he always did so respectfully. Ron treasured his family, and he was selfless in his love for his wife. Dearly loved, he will be forever missed.
Ronald M. DeYoung, passed away Monday, November 28, 2016. Ron’s family includes his wife, Bonnie Lee; five daughters, Rhonda (Paul) Jaenicke, Lorrie (Randy) Dalman, Annette (Corey) Phillips, Vicki (Kevin) Lance, Chrissy (Pete) Scaccia; eight grandchildren, Tyler, Josh, Nicky Jaenicke, Samantha & Emily Dalman, Jake & Anna Phillips, Megan Scaccia; sisters, Charlene (Don) Dullinger, Roxanne (Mark) Bayer and Pam (Curt) Converse; and many nieces and nephews. Ron was preceded in death by his parents and four siblings: Marva Grevel, Phyllis Johnson, Karen DeYoung and Chuck DeYoung. A memorial gathering will be held on Friday, December 2, 2016, 3:00-5:00 p.m. at Clock's Sunset Celebrations in Fruitport. Memorial contributions may be made to: American Heart Association (donatenow.heart.org) or Gift of Life (giftoflifefoundationmi.org/to-contribute). Please visit www.clockfuneralhome.com to leave a memory or sign the online guest book. Clock's Sunset Celebrations - Fruitport