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Ronald Lee Luebke


1932 - 2018 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Ronald Lee Luebke Obituary
August 22, 1932 - January 28, 2018 Our beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and hero, passed away Sunday morning, January 28, surrounded by his family at his home in Newport Beach. Ron was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, delivered by a mid-wife at his grandparent's home during the depths of the Great Depression. He grew up in a household filled with an abundance of relatives and love. Ron graduated with honors from Washington High School in Milwaukee and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Ron then attended the University of Madison, Wisconsin, earning a degree in Mechanical Engineering. While at the University, Ron founded the North Lake Yacht Club, serving as Director and Commodore. Ron was an active member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. It was at the KS Christmas Formal that he "pinned" a golden haired beauty and love of his life, Bonnie Stephan, who was the reigning Miss Madison. After graduation, Ron reported for duty to the U.S. Air Force at Moffet Field in Mountain View, California as a Second Lieutenant. He was assigned to a special aeronautical research group at the NASA facility. While at Moffet, Ron and Bonnie became engaged and were married in 1956. He retired from the Air Force as Captain. Ron began his career as a Project Engineer with Murphy Diesel Co. in Milwaukee, and then to Western Gear Corp. Bonnie's longing for the California sunshine convinced Ron to accept an offer from Westinghouse in Sunnyvale. After only eight months, Ron was named Westinghouse Man of the Year. While Ron's career bloomed, the Luebke family grew to seven, including Stephanie, Debbie, Caroline, Melissa (baby Heavenly now in heaven), and Ron Jr. Ron's final project at Westinghouse was as Project Engineer at the radio telescope complex in Lonepine for Caltech. The success of the project earned Ron an offer from MAAG Gearwheel Company of Zurich. As Ron set all time sales records for MAAG, he founded his own company, American Machinery and Engineering Corp., representing MAAG and other heavy machinery lines. With the income generated through American Machinery, Ron and Bonnie were able to offer their children the best life had to offer. In the 1980's Ron and Ron Jr. partnered with the Van Mechelens of ADAPT Automation and began consulting to the fledgling automotive airbag industry. Over the decades to follow, the partnership never wavered and to date the company has delivered advanced automation to air bag manufacturers worldwide. Ron gave generously of his time to numerous community organizations. "Tiger", as his fraternity brothers knew him, raised $2 million in 1996 to refurbish the beautiful Kappa Sigma fraternity house in Madison. For his effort, he was named KS Man of the Year, elected to the KS Hall of Fame and received the coveted Distinguished Alumni Award. Being family oriented, Ron did extensive genealogy research and wrote a 500 page book entitled "The Ronald Lee Luebke Family Outdoor Journal". Leather bound copies were given to his children who refer to it lovingly as "The Book", a treasured gift that is read and referred to frequently. Ron loved model railroads. To his grandchildren's delight, his trains ran through the whole house at Christmas time. Ron and the Luebke clan were avid Green Bay Packer fans. After church, Sundays were spent with the family cheering on the green and gold. Trips in the family motorhome were epic! The family enjoyed many cruises, exploring different parts of the world. Ron and Ron Jr. spent countless hours on the ocean, sport fishing and sharing their love of the sea. His love of the outdoors, hunting, fishing and adventure never waivered. Closer to home, he took pleasure in his membership at Big Canyon Country Club. Ron remained a devout Catholic and made sure the whole family attended Mass EVERY Sunday! He served his beloved church through the Legion of Mary. His faith in God guided him through his lifetime. Ron was a true gentleman; he was generous, compassionate and kind. He was old school and raised his children accordingly. A firm handshake and look in the eye were his trademarks, passed down to his children and grandchildren. Ron's family loves him beyond words and misses him dearly. He gave us everything he had, no sacrifice too big. We take solace in the belief that he is in Heaven with our Lord and all those who went before him. We have faith that we will be encircled in his loving arms in eternal life. Ron is survived by his loving wife Bonnie of 62 years; children, Stephanie Rados, Debbie Nelson, Ron Luebke Jr., Caroline Bryan, Melissa Misetich, their spouses, Steve Rados, Bill Bryan, and Chris Luebke; grandchildren, Bobby, Brittany, Brooke, Chase, Lauren, Riley, Michael, Clayton, Cole, Christian, Bonnie, Aubrey and Angelina; and great grandchild, Audrey. Ron was laid to rest at a private family Mass and burial. Details are pending for his Celebration of Life. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to for Parkinson's and Our Lady Queen of Angels, Newport Beach.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 11, 2018
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