Ronald Edwin Bechtel |
Aug. 27, 1928 Ė Feb. 27, 2016
Born and raised in New Bethlehem, Pa., Ron was the third of four brothers born to Amos and Mildred (Dittman) Bechtel, all of whom preceded him in their passing, Amos, Bob, and John Paul. He served our country, inducted into the Army in 1950, entered the reserves in 1952, and was honorably discharged with commendations in 1956.
In 1954 he became a husband to Mary Louella (Liebtag) and also a father to his new daughter on the cusp of adolescence, Mary Lou (Derwing). A few years later, Carol (Matz) and Paul were added to the family.
Ronís profession as a machinist with Carnation Company kept him and his young family on the move, from Ohio to Kentucky, to Idaho. They then became established in Wisconsin for several years. In 1971 Mary Lou passed away, leaving him to raise two teenagers on his own.
Almost three years later, Ron married Jean (Henschel) Stubbs, and added five more children to the family: Pam (Ludwig), Danny (deceased), Jeff, Linda (Johnson), and Amy (Ormiston).
Following a short stop in St. Joseph, Mo., Ron retired from Carnation Company, and the remaining family members moved to Yuma, Ariz., where he worked at the Arizona Proving Grounds as a machinist for 18 years. Dearly respected there, his co-workers were in awe of his attention to detail, which enabled him to accept the most challenging of projects.
After the passing of Jean in 1996, Ron decided to cultivate his love of the great outdoors, and he moved to Roosevelt Lake, Ariz., where he kept busy with grounds keeping at the parkís picnic areas, living independently in a trailer he could pull on the back of his pick-up truck, for the next 15 years. He always took satisfaction in a job well done, and in the heat of the day he enjoyed taking time to sit in the shade to read, as well as talking with visitors to the park. He also loved hiking in the mountains, which he did as often as he could.
Though he loved living independently in a natural setting, he did miss his family, so he started a new hobby of taking a once-a-year trek in his truck from the west to the East Coast, stopping to visit each family member along the way for a few days before moving on, which took a few months to accomplish. Immediate as well as extended family members all enjoyed hearing of his travels and the updated news on family members as he crossed the country.
Ron will be remembered as one of the good guys. One of the men who worked hard for everything he had. A little rough around the edges at times, but all of us he called his family understood his commitment level to us. A life well lived. He is survived by seven of his eight children, 13 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren, all of whom miss him dearly.
A memorial service will be held at Shorehaven in Oconomowoc on Saturday, March 19, at 2:00 p.m. in the Roehl Auditorium in the Life Enrichment Center, located at 1305 W. Wisconsin Avenue.
In lieu of flowers, our family would be pleased if donations were made to LUND Family Hospice 2020 Woodside Court Gilbert, AZ 85297, where he spent the last 24 hours of his earthly life. The family will be donating a memorial bench to be placed at Roosevelt Lake along the water, so that in the years to come, many will enjoy the lake view, as he did.