Vruwink, Ronald J.
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Ronald "Ron" James Vruwink, 54, of Rudolph earned his wings on Saturday, September 21, at the House of Dove, Marshfield, surrounded by his siblings after a courageous three year battle with pancreatic cancer.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 25, 2013, at St. Philip Catholic Church, Rudolph. The Rev. Rolando Onden will officiate.
Burial will take place in Fairview Cemetery, Sherry. Serving as pallbearers will be Adam Hilgart, Tyler Hilgart, Dale Murrow, Jr., Chasten Vruwink, Chandler Vruwink, Justin Vruwink and Michael Vruwink and Austin Moen. Serving as Honorary pallbearers are Army Specialist Trae Hilgart, Army Specialist Myles Hilgart and Jackson Crane.
The visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Tuesday at Herman-Taylor Funeral Home in Wisconsin Rapids and from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service Wednesday at the church.
Ron was born on July 7, 1959 in Wisconsin Rapids, the oldest son of James and Donna (Spranger)Vruwink. He was a 1977 graduate of Auburndale High School. Ron attended UW Oshkosh and transferred to UW Stevens Point where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree. While attending college Ron worked as a sales representative at G&K Services and as a bartender at the "Brig", to help put himself through college. Ron also worked for a small vending company in WI Rapids. In addition, he owned and operated his own recreation business, which allowed him to enjoy the great outdoors, especially "up North at his house in Hurley". Ron loved to bring family and friends to Hurley to snowmobile, but he truly enjoyed the peace being there brought him.
Ron loved family and time spent with them, especially his nephews and nieces. He was the "pied piper" to the children of his brothers and sisters and many friends.
Ron was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September 2010. He traveled to University Southern California in October 2010 to have an extensive cancer surgery. He also traveled numerous times to MD Anderson in Houston, TX for specialized cancer treatment. Ron was divorced in 2012. He fought his battle with cancer courageously and fiercely, never giving up. His tireless effort to live life to the fullest was an inspiration to all who traveled this journey with him, including his Dad, brothers and sisters and close friends. This journey was made possible with Ron's strong Catholic faith and belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.
This past July, Ron's parish hosted a cancer benefit. He enjoyed seeing so many of his friends. He was overjoyed by the outpouring of love and support shown to him. He was truly thankful for the generosity of so many.
Besides his faith and family, Ron loved a good debate over politics. He was a proud democrat, but believed it was the person running, not the political party. He helped candidates of both parties get elected to many local, state and national offices.
A special thanks to the House of Dove, St. Philips Parish and especially Joe &Carol Haupt, Bill &Janice Haupt and Douglas Haupt family, Elmer &Diane Neises and Brian Illingworth.
Ron was a true people person, he loved meeting and making new friends wherever he went. He once was quoted in a newspaper interview about his bartending job, "the best part of the job is socializing, I enjoy people". Ron was a strong man who had a large, loving heart. He would do anything for anyone. He was a protective big brother, an adventurous Uncle, a loving and compassionate Son and a trustworthy, loyal friend to many.
Ron is survived by his father, James T. Vruwink (Milladore); grandmother, Mabel Spranger; Siblings: Judy(Dale) Murrow, Sr., Austin, TX, Jane(Tom)Hilgart, Auburndale, Doug Vruwink, Milladore, Jim(Tracy)Vruwink, Tom(Tami Coombs)Vruwink, all of Wisconsin Rapids, Amy Sue(Matt Crane)Vruwink of Milladore, and Cindy Will, Dallas, Texas; five children and six grandchildren; nieces and nephews: Adam(Tanya), Tyler(Amanda), Myles and Trae Hilgart, Dale Jr. and Jade Murrow, Katheryn Vruwink, Zach, Brit, Danielle(Logan), Justin, Lexi and Michael Vruwink, Chelsey, Carissa, Chasten and Chandler Vruwink, Kennedy Mae and Jackson Crane; and special friends: Greg & Lisa Moen, John Weis and Kevin Potter.
Ron is preceded in death by his mother, Donna Mae Vruwink; grandfather, Harvey Spranger; grandparents, Ira & Florence Vruwink; uncles: Don , Lewis, and Edward Vruwink, Jerome Schenk and James Mertes; aunts: Inga Vruwink, Betty Vruwink and Shirley Vruwink; and cousin, Forrest Vruwink.
When Ron earned his wings, he took a piece of our hearts with him, but we know he is at peace now and with our Mom.
A memorial will be established at a later date in Ron's name.
Herman-Taylor Funeral Home of Wisconsin Rapids is handling the arrangements. Condolences may be sent online to www.taylorfuneralhome.net.
Herman-Taylor Funeral Home and Cremation Center
2201 Chestnut Street
Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494
Published in Stevens Point Journal on Sept. 24, 2013