Obituary for Ronald Lovan
Ronald J. Lovan was born on May 26, 1929 in Jonesboro, Arkansas to Norman & Dora Clingan Lovan. Ron came from a family that believed that laughter, love, and helping others were the important things in life. His early years laid the foundation for a lifetime of laughter, love and devotion to his family and friends. Ron truly had a “servant’s heart” which he and Mary instilled in their children and grandchildren. The door of their home was always open to anyone who was in need of a place to lay their head.
Ron or “Ronnie” as he was called in his early years, graduated from Windsor High School in 1947 where he was a 3 year letterman in basketball & attended Central Missouri State College where he lettered in track. It is said that Ron was a trendsetter in his high school years like the time when he and a fellow classmate showed up at a basketball game with “flat top” haircuts. By the end of the week, many of the other boys were also sporting one. It was during his high school years that he met Mary Helen Johnson, the country girl who would later become his wife. Ron and Mary were married at the Windsor United Methodist Church on July 8, 1950 where their devotion and love for one another continued for nearly 59 years.
On December 28, 1950, during the Korean War, Ron enlisted in the United States Air Force and was stationed in San Rafael, Ca. This is where he and Mary lived when their first child, Teresa Gayle, was born on August 15, 1952. During the first year of Teresa’s life Ron was stationed in Korea. Upon his discharge from the Air Force on December 6, 1954, they returned from Tacoma, Wa., to their home in Windsor. On March 6, 1955 Ron and Mary’s second child, Gary Eugene, was born. During this time, Ron was a salesman for the Singer Sewing Machine Company. In 1956, Ron and Mary moved to Sedalia, Mo where Ron began a career that would span 30 years, with the USDA-Federal Crop Insurance Division. While living in Sedalia their third child, Susan Elaine, was born on April 25, 1961. While living in Sedalia, Ron and Mary made many life-long friends and were active members of First United Methodist Church.
In 1971, Ron and Mary moved to Bryan Texas where he continued his work with Federal Crop Insurance. It was during this time that his “Servant’s Heart” became very apparent as he supported Mary through many health problems. Not only did he support Mary but he was known for helping anyone who needed assistance. For nearly 40 years they were members of First United Methodist Church in Bryan where Ron served “the Lord” in countless ways such as ushering and serving as President of the United Methodist Men. Upon his retirement in 1986 Ron worked as a salesman for World Book Encyclopedias. Many families and schools in Bryan could not turn down the sales pitch Ron gave about a product he felt was vital to a child’s education. In 2000, Ron and Mary moved to Waldenbrook Estates where they helped other residents in need by serving as Howdy Buddies. After his beloved Mary’s death in 2009, Ron moved back to Missouri to be nearer to family whom he had lived apart from for years and to “come home” to a place that he loved.
Most importantly Ron loved and served his grandchildren and great grandchildren who affectionately called him “Grandaddy.” He will lovingly be remembered by them for the many times he took them to Dairy Queen, cheered them on at a sporting event, dance recital or other activity, played games or horsie until his back was surely tired and held and gently bounced them in his arms when as a young child they were restless. Grandaddy never tired of doing anything and everything with each of them.
Survivors include his son and daughter-in-law, Gary and Krys Lovan of Battle Ground, Wa.; two daughters and sons-in-law, Teresa and Russell Gabbert of Kansas City, Mo., and Susan and David O’Neal of Bryan, Tx.; 5 grandchildren, Brandon Lovan (Melissa), Edwards, Co.; Garrett Lovan (Lauren), College Station, Tx.; Erin VanCleave, Kansas City, Mo.; Adriane LaCaze (Terry), Kansas City, Mo.; Caitlyn Gabbert, Columbia, Mo.; Erin Guidroz (Jason), Orangefield, Tx.; Dustin O’Neal (Sarah), Tomball, Tx.; Lindsey O’Neal, San Marcos, Tx.; Austin O’Neal, Austin, Tx.; Mackenzie O’Neal, Bryan, Tx.; 9 great-grandchildren; a sister, Linda Marchbanks (Bill), Windsor, Mo.; their children Valorie Tate (Billy); Ronald Scott Marchbanks (Penny); Gina McDonnold (Jason) and their families; three sisters-in-law, Ann Dial, Jacksonville, Fl.; Doris Hale, Baton Rouge, La.; Dorothy Alexander (Dwight), Clinton, Mo.; and many other nieces, nephews and friends.
Ron passed away peacefully, surrounded by the “Fab 5 plus 1”, on Wednesday, January 23, 2013, at the Kansas City Hospice House. His family is at peace knowing that Ron and Mary are united again and will live happily ever after in the arms of the Lord. A Celebration of Ron’s Life will be held at Windsor United Methodist Church on Monday, January 28, 2013 at 11:00a.m. Burial will be in the Laurel Oak Cemetery and Military Honors will be provided by Clinton VFW 1894 at the graveside. The family will receive friends one hour before the service from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. at the church.
Because of the loving care Ron and his family received during the last 2 weeks of his life they request that Memorial Donations be given in his name to the Kansas City Hospice House, 12000 Wornall Rd., Kansas City, Mo., 64145. Arrangements are under the direction of the Hadley Funeral Home, Windsor, Mo.