Ronald Wilson

RONALD EDWARD WILSON, 73 HUSBAND, FATHER, GRANDFATHER, BROTHER, FRIEND CHERRY VALLEY - On April 15, 2013 at 11:11 p.m., surrounded by family, Ron Wilson left his home in Cherry Valley to be with his Heavenly Father. Ron was born April 30, 1939, in Pontiac, Illinois to Dale and Alice Mary (Shepard) Wilson. He was the oldest brother to Patricia (Robert) Bridgeland and Mary (Ronald) Lyford. On March 28, 1959, he married Marilyn Jean Pippel. Together they raised four wonderful children; Jeff (Pam) Wilson of Greenville, IL, Bryan (Mayra) Wilson of Chicago, IL, Donna (Jeff) Hayenga of Alpharetta, GA and Mark (Ailene) Wilson of Dover, DE. They made their home in Stillman Valley where Ron was involved in many activities including fishing, camping, basketball, baseball and softball as coach and player. He loved to read and watch classic westerns. He was a skilled handyman in woodworking, electricity, plumbing and car repair. Ron was a devoted family man, faithful worker, respected community and church member and will be greatly missed. Ron graduated from Rockford East High School, joined the Air Force and on his discharge in 1962 went on to graduate from Rock Valley College and Cardinal Stritch University where he received his B.A. and did graduate work. For over forty years, Ron was employed by Elco Industries, Inc, He began his career in 1962 and later, in 1973, he accepted the position of President of Elco Employees Credit Union. There, Ron was the cornerstone of the credit union, building a pool of accessible financial resources for working people and their families. He embodied the credit union philosophy of "people helping people" and treated all with dignity and respect. During his tenure, Ron grew the credit union from a tiny two room office within Elco Industries, Inc., primarily providing share (savings) accounts and loans, to a full-service community chartered credit union. Ron served on the board of directors for the Rockford Area Chapter of Credit Unions from 2001 through 2005. He was a member of Brooke Road United Methodist Church, Cherry Valley United Methodist Church, Stillman Valley Lions Club, National Credit Union Association, United Methodist Men, Lay Delegate to Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church, Generaltions Credit Union Board of Directors and the Board of Directors for Cherry Valley UMC Pre-School. Having attended the "Teen Cantina" dances at the Kenrock Community Center in the late 1950's, Ron found a way to give back to his childhood neighborhood by serving on the Kenrock Board of Directors from 1995-2000. He believed in the center's mission: to enhance the quality of life for children and families through recreation, education and social services in the Rock River Valley. When Ron and Marilyn became "empty nesters" they moved to Cherry Valley where they found many new friends. Marilyn's untimely death in 2006 left Ron very lonely. He looked out at their group of friends and sought companionship. Mary Dale Erickson offered him that friendship. Soon they were a "couple". It was not a surprise to anyone who knew them that they committed their love for each other on a Tuesday afternoon in February, 2011 (02/01/2011). They had two years of love and happiness together. Ron will be mourned and missed by his wife Mary, his sisters, children and grandchildren, Grace, Gloria and Gabriel Wilson, Noemi and Aaron Wilson, Nathan and Allyson Hayenga, Jessica and Joseph Wilson; step-sons, Marc (Sheila) Erickson and Jon Erickdon; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins; Marilyn's brothers, John, Stuart, Kerry (Cindy) and Keith; Mary's sisters, Pat (Bill) Gorsuch, Kathy Sundberg, Sally Hollembeak and her brothers, Terry (Sherry) Murphy, Tim Murphy; special friends, Barb and Dave Anderson and many others who loved him. Special thank you to Heartland Hospice and Ron and Mary Lyford who did not leave his side during his journey. Those who left before him include Marilyn, his parents and Marilyn's parents. Funeral service at 11 a.m. on Monday, April 22, in Cherry Valley United Methodist Church, with Rev. Monty Fox officiating. Visitation from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory, Mulford Chapel, 1860 S. Mulford Rd. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Heartland Hospice or Cherry Valley United Methodist Men, c/o Cherry Valley United Methodist Church. Express condolences and share memories at

Funeral Home

Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory - Rockford
1860 S. Mulford  Rockford, IL 61108

Published in Rockford Register Star from Apr. 19 to Apr. 20, 2013