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Ronald J. Harbold
September 3, 1934 ~ June 17, 2023 (age 88) 88 Years Old
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Ronald Jack Harbold was born in Alexandria, Indiana on September 3, 1934, the youngest child of Royal Willard Harbold and Florence Marie (Franklin) Harbold. When Ron was 5 years old, the family moved to Milwaukee. Shortly after graduating from Bay View High School, he entered the Air Force. In 1955, at age 20, Ron was admitted by Presidential Appointment to the first ever class of the United States Air Force Academy. Despite his passion for flying, he left the Air Force on his 21st birthday after being asked if he would be willing to drop an atomic bomb. While working his way through school as an orderly at the Illinois State Psychiatric Institute, a young nurse caught his eye from across the music room. Barbara Joan Carter soon became his beloved wife of 58 years. They were married on August 10, 1963, and began their family as Ron finished his Master of Divinity Degree at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Oak Brook, Illinois. In 1972 the family moved to Oconomowoc, Wisconsin where Ronald held various positions at nursing homes and children’s homes, and spent many years working with Kettle Moraine Hospital, where he was honored to walk with those who struggled with drug and alcohol addiction. Ronald later served with the American Baptist Churches as a pastor in Oconomowoc, and an interim pastor in Plano, IL, Eau Claire, WI and Winneconne, WI. For many years he also served as a liaison to the Milwaukee Burmese American Baptist Churches. While holding many “jobs” over the years, his true life’s work was to care deeply, listen quietly, encourage gently and love unconditionally. He was a deep thinker, a great reader, a classical whistler, a passionate teacher of God’s Word, a loving, present husband and father, and a very silly grandpa.
Ron is preceded in death by his wife, his parents, his sister Marilyn and his brothers Floyd and Delbert.
He is survived by his three daughters: Jennifer (Todd) Mickle of Mukwonago, Wisconsin, Amy (John) Kermott of Fairfield, Iowa, and Sara (Todd) Russell of Idaho Springs, Colorado, 8 grandchildren: Johnny (Taylor) Kermott, Hannah Kermott, Emma (Daniel) Hazel, Corey Mickle, Gwendolyn Kermott, Donovan Harbold, Ronny Mickle, and Manon Kermott, 2 great grandchildren: Perri Kermott and Elin Hazel, 25 nieces and nephews and the many strangers who became friends along the way.
Memorial donations in Ron’s honor may be made to the Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering (RMMO), and to the Bichon and Little Buddies Rescue of Mukwonago, WI.
A Memorial Service to honor Ron’s life will be held at 2:00PM on Saturday, July 8, 2023 at the Gibson Family Funeral Home in Eagle, WI (499 Elkhorn Road, Eagle, WI 53119). Visitation will take place from 12:00 Noon until the time of service at the funeral home.
Gibson Family Funeral Homes of Eagle and Palmyra, WI is serving the family. To place an online condolence please visit gibsonfuneral.com