Ron D. Ebert
Sept. 29, 1957 - Aug. 26, 2015

Ron Ebert remembered as man of faith, flower grower
Founded Ebert’s Greenhouse with father

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

Sept. 4, 2015

Ron Ebert stands with Natalie Raymond and Joshua Bittorf, who were winners in Ebert's Greenhouse Village's Earth Day writing contest in 2014. 
Submitted photo  

IXONIA - Even though his life was cut short by a sudden illness, Ron Ebert touched many lives through his willingness to share his faith and by the beautiful flowers he grew and sold.

“The biggest thing that I want to make known is his faith,” said his younger brother Mark Ebert. “He was a great leader at Ebert’s with his faith and devotion to God. He was always sharing God’s word to everybody. He made an incredible impact - I can’t tell you how many people.”

It was while he was in college that Ron’s father, Milton, asked him if he would like to help run a vegetable farm. He said yes and took on the role part-time. Started in about 1976 or 1977, the business was known as Ebert’s Farm Produce and Greenhouse, W1795 Fox Road in Ixonia. The family grew a lot of produce staples such as sweet corn, peppers and onions. During those years, Milton decided to grow some flowers, such as marigolds and petunias, as a side business.

Mark Ebert said he admired Ron, who was nine years older than he, while growing up and wanted to follow in his footsteps.

“We were tied at the hips since I was about 9 years old,” he said.

After attending college and getting a degree in marketing, Mark said, he thought about getting a sales job until he met his future wife, Renee, and his father asked him if he’d like to buy out his share of the greenhouse business.

In 1990, Mark joined Ron and the brothers decided to change the business’s name to Ebert’s Greenhouse Village to reflect the village-like atmosphere they wanted to create.

“‘I’ll grow it and you sell it’: those were the famous words,” Mark said, quoting Ron.

The brothers continued to grow the business and hire great employees, Mark said.  Now Ebert’s employs six full-time people year round and about 20 full-time seasonal staff members.

“It’s been 25 years since we were in business together with the Village Greenhouse part. It has been pretty magical. We never fought,” Mark Ebert said.

The brothers also took trips together to trade shows and other greenhouses, as well as family vacations. They were about to head to Minnesota for a work-related trip when Ron said he felt chills and flu-like symptoms. Within a couple of days he died at age 57. Mark said they are awaiting final results of the cause.

Mark Ebert said Ebert’s Village Greenhouse Village will continue as normal.

“We were excited to share the vision of the future,” he said. “We are just going to go on exactly the same way. He shared his vision with me and we shared our vision together.”

Ron’s other interests included watching sports, jogging and being active in his church, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Ixonia, where he was an elder, an usher and served on multiple boards.

He is survived by his mother, Jane Ebert; sisters, Diane (Dennis) O’Brien, Linda (Dave) Mickelson; brothers, Alan and Mark (Renee) Ebert.

Funeral services were held Tuesday.