Ronald Earl Wiltbank

Wiltbank, Ronald Earl
Ronald Earl Wiltbank, a fourth generation Arizonian, born in Phoenix, Arizona on April 22nd, 1930, passed away in Mesa, Arizona on April 11, 2014. He was the oldest living grandson of Joseph Udall and William Ellis Wiltbank Sr., who helped settle Eagar, Arizona more than a century ago. His parents who grew up together in Eagar were William Ellis Wiltbank and Mary Alta Udall. Ellis and Alta lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico for most of Ronald's school years. His Survivors are his daughters Carol (David) Hartwig and Sandra Lunt, son Gale Ronald (Cathy) Wiltbank, fourteen grandchildren and five great grandchildren. The Wiltbanks lost a son and daughter in infancy and their son Gary as a mature adult. He and Edith graduated from Round Valley High School Together in 1948 and married in Socorro, New Mexico on August 11, 1952. Their marriage was later sealed in the Arizona Temple. Ronald spent thirteen years as a coach, teacher and administrator in public schools, He earned a bachelors and masters degree from New Mexico State University and was an assistant coach there for basketball and baseball. His father died when he was nineteen, so he worked his way through college with help from his wife. His father's premature death was softened financially by insurance payments to his Mother. This experience gave him knowledge of the benefits of life insurance. Ronald later became an agent for Beneficial Life Insurance of Salt Lake City, and assisted people with insurance products for more than fifty years, starting in 1958. Ronald's desire to become active in the legal field led to his receiving a juris doctorate degree from Arizona State University in 1971. He opened a law office in Mesa later that year. He was soon appointed as the first Public Defender for Mesa and served there for about ten years. The Town Council of Eagar, Arizona also appointed him Town Attorney for about twenty years. His career as an attorney continued until 2014. Ronald, Edith and their family traveled to Salt Lake City for Church conferences for many years. Ronald was the President of the David Udall Family Organization for twenty five years. Plus the Spencer Watson Wiltbank Family for many years, the George Henry Crosby Family, Benjamin Brown Family, and had both his horse buggy from George Henry Crosby and the Model T truck at the reunions, 4th of July parade, etc. Which provided many happy memories of relatives in the truck or buggy. Ronald compiled or authored books entitled Joseph Udall and his Extended Family, The Browns and Crosbys in Round Valley and The Wiltbanks of Northeastern Arizona. He also helped his wife Edith compile "Family Love" a book about the family of her grandparents, Sam and Mae's Love of Eagar. Long active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ronald served in many positions including the High Council of the Maricopa stake for 22 years. Plus in the San Jose California Mission in 2001-2003. In civic activities Ronald Served as the Mesa Chamber of Commerce President and President of the Mesa Optimist Club, plus the Arizona Optimist Club President. He loved them and served the Sunshine Acres children for decades. A visitation will be held Monday, April 14, 2014 from 6 to 8pm at Melcher Mortuary Chapel of the Roses, 43 S. Stapley Dr. Mesa, AZ 85204. A second visitation will be held Tuesday, April 15, 2014 from 9 to 10am at The Church of Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 613 N. Stewart, Mesa AZ 85201. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, April 15th at 10am at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 613 N. Stewart, Mesa AZ 85201. Interment services will be held on Wednesday, April 16th at 11am at the Eagar Cemetery in Eagar, Arizona. A luncheon will follow at the Eagar Church. Please visit www.melcherchapelofroses.com to leave an online condolence for the family.

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Funeral Home

Melcher Mortuary Chapel of the Roses
43 South Stapley Drive Mesa, AZ 85204
(480) 964-4537

Published in The Arizona Republic on Apr. 15, 2014