“A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” (Billy Graham). The family of Ronald L. Duecker recognizes the incredible asset he was to our lives and we cherish every lesson, example, and memory he provided. These are some of the ways he lived and loved us so well.
Ethel – I will miss his sense of humor and quick wit. In spite of his dementia, he could come up with something funny most of the time. Also, I will miss our car rides together enjoying the wonderful country side.
John - On his honor he did his best. Being the oldest of six kids, I didn’t really get to know my father until I was an adult and had three kids of my own. Providing food, clothing, and shelter for a family of eight did not leave my dad a lot of time to spend with any of his six kids in the 50s and 60s. But he and I have more than made up for that over the past 50 years. He has become my best friend and confidant. We have walked together down the trail of the three most important areas of his life, family, Ohio Edison, and Boy Scouts, and he has left me with the most valuable gift of all. I call it my “cheat sheet for life.” Whenever I am faced with a tough decision to make, or my life is not going the way I planned, I whip out my “cheat sheet” and look up “WHAT WOULD DAD DO?” It’s never failed me.
Candy - There are so many qualities I admire about my Dad. His confidence and optimism comforted me through many life challenges. Many times, I recall him saying, “Things have a way of working out.” Dad modeled mental strength and demonstrated determination to stay engaged with his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren throughout his life. Dad valued excellence and pursued it. I will miss Dad’s enduring humor and his ability to tell a good story. Thank you, Dad, for wonderful memories of family camping vacations and visits to aunts and uncles and cousins, because you valued family. Dad has influenced me forever with his example of life-long learning and his interest in a variety of subjects. I immediately think of Dad when I see a beautiful bird. I will forever cherish the hand-crafted gifts Dad made and gave generously. I owe so much of who I am to my Dad, and I am proud to be his daughter.
Mike - Thinking of Dad, I remember the many times I would get stuck doing something and giving him a call to get his input. He always had a unique viewpoint that I had not yet thought of. Dad always encouraged me to think for myself and work through the problem. We both enjoyed working with our hands and building things. I loved spending time with him while we worked. I remember when I went into the Air Force, he took me to Cleveland to drop me off. When we arrived, he shook my hand and said good luck and have a good time. Later, when I went through the electronics schooling required for my career field, we would talk about what I was learning. Dad got interested and enrolled in an electronics correspondence course, so he could learn about electronics. He built several things like a ham radio as part of the course. I realized later he did that partly because he wanted to be able to know what I was talking about when we talked. He always liked learning new things and enjoyed sharing the experiences each of us were having as much as he could. I learned many things from Dad: woodworking, plumbing, electrical wiring, hunting, pen making, and so much more. The one thing that stands out the most is “you have to allow your kids to learn as much as they can about as many things as possible,” which I tried to pass on to my children. I could go on about the many things Dad taught me and how loving he was to everyone he would meet. I don’t recall any time that Dad said something bad about anyone. He always said he didn’t agree with them and that was it. His love for family and others will be missed greatly. I for one miss talking with him the most, giving him a call just to hear his voice. The comfort that it would bring. The wisdom he shared. The love he wore on his sleeve. He always had a good word to say and a wise crack to break any tension.
Tom - Very early in life strong family values based on Christian principles became the foundation on which our family was built: hard work, honesty, respect, and love for those around us. We camped on occasion, and Dad taught us to appreciate the great outdoors. As I grew older, I passed on what Dad taught me to a Scout Troop in Los Angeles. There were 23 different nationalities in that troop. Some were gang members at the age of 11, and most were from split families. I passed on Dad’s values to each one of those young men. Dad joined my son, Jesse, and I for many years in our yearly Father’s Day adventure to Pymatuning Lake. It took a while to figure out, but the main reason he would go was to give us the best gift he could give and that was his time. Dad taught me to do the best you can, make win-win decisions whenever you can, and to give the best gift possible and that is MY time. I will never completely know the impact Dad had on this world, but in his true spirit I know that is how he would want it.
Barbara – Dad was a man of integrity who valued honesty and modeled life-long learning. He supported my interests and encouraged my dreams. I never ever got the message that I couldn’t do something because I was a girl. My love for reading, golf, Christmas music, and birds came from him. In addition to his love and these lessons, I have handcrafted physical reminders of him in my thimble cabinet, my children’s baby cradle, beautiful pens, and the coffee scoop I use each day. I am blessed to be his daughter.
Edward - When thinking about who my Dad was to me, I think of many things. He was someone to look up to, someone to follow, someone to admire, someone to be proud of and someone to brag about. He was someone to hold, someone to cry with, someone to learn from, someone to respect, someone to listen to, someone to talk to, someone to try and impress, and sometimes to rebel against. Most of all, he was someone with whom to share everything this wonderful life has to offer. I cannot begin to imagine not having Dad on the end of a phone or stopping everything at a moment’s notice to assist with any project great or small with which I happen to be needing advice or help. Dad was honest, hardworking, compassionate towards everyone, and deserved the success and rich life that he enjoyed. He taught me many, many things, but I think most importantly he gave me the sense of the importance of family. I remember learning to fish, work with wood, fix cars, fix pretty much anything around the house from plumbing to installing a major appliance and of course the importance of family, honesty, and staying true to one’s self. There were many other life lessons that I have learned from Dad as well, although many of these were not realized until I was much older. During one of those moments when I was in a situation that he said I would eventually be in (of course I never believed him), I found myself thinking that sure enough Dad was right. Of course, there are many other personal memories of special times with my Dad, but I am going to be selfish and keep those solely to myself, so I can remember and cherish him for the rest of my life. All in all, I would have to say that my Dad did not tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it.
Ron was born on August 21, 1934, in LeRoy, Ohio. He was the fourth son of Howard and Faye Duecker. He graduated from Westfield High School and briefly attended Akron University. He worked 41 years for Ohio Edison advancing from a draftsman to Regional Sales Supervisor at the time of his retirement. He married his high school sweetheart Ethel Mae Sommers in 1953, and they were blessed with six children.
In addition to his career at Ohio Edison, Ron served in local, district, and regional positions with the Boy Scouts of America. He received the Silver Beaver Award in 1972 and the Silver Antelope Award in 1994 in recognition of his work. After his retirement he was active in the Ohio Bluebird Society and started a small business making custom pens. He enjoyed fishing and woodworking for most of his life and leaves behind many cherished projects.
Ronald was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Faye Duecker, and his brothers Sherrod, Sheldon, Heyman, Victor, and Dennis. Left to cherish his memory are his loving and devoted wife, Ethel Duecker of Wooster, OH, and his children John (LaVonne) Duecker of Westfield Center, OH; Candis Duecker of Olathe, KS; Michael (Tammy) Duecker of Lexington, SC; Thomas (Silvia) Duecker of Stow, OH; Barbara (Benny) Stone of Fort Worth, TX; and Edward (Jennie) Duecker of Mt. Gilead, OH. His love and legacy include 15 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren along with many extended family members.
Due to restrictions in place at this time, a celebration of his life will be held at a later date for his immediate family only. If you would like to honor him, we invite you to donate in his name to a local BSA Council.