Ronald Wolter, 82

Ronald Wolter, 82

Ronald Aloysius Wolter, 82, of Sauk Centre, MN passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 25, 2014 at St. Michaels Hospital and Nursing Home. Born in Browerville, MN to Alvis and Tillie Wolter, Ron lived an adventurous life eventually returning to central Minnesota to live most of his life.
Growing up in Browerville, Ron enjoyed a childhood rambling around the small town and the outdoors. Always involved in civic life, Ron started giving to community as a prodigious athlete for the Browerville High School Tigers helping to build their football dynasty while he participated in other varsity sports, music, and drama. After Ron graduated from Browerville in 1949, he attended St. Johns University as a pre-med student until both of his parents, Alvis and Tillie, died before he was 20 years old.
Transferring to the University of Minnesota, he joined ROTC and received a BA in Speech-Communications in 1953. During this time, Ron began to spend considerable time as a musician playing in the St. Johns Band, dance bands across central Minnesota, and singing in church choirs.
While attending the University of Minnesota, Ron Wolter met and eventually proposed to Marcella Joan Koval, of Moran Township, MN. Upon graduation in 1954. Ron reported to the US Army as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 4th Army, returning home on leave in 1955 so the young Lieutenant could marry Marcella Joan Koval. The newlywed Mr. and Mrs. Wolter were married July 7, 1955, and took their honeymoon on a long leisurely drive through the SD, IA, NE, CO, and NM as they drove from MN to Ft. Bliss, TX, where they lived until Ron was discharged from the Army in 1957.
Arriving back in Browerville in 1957, Ron purchased and operated Wolter Brothers Distributing Company which provided freight hauling and distribution of beer and beverages throughout central MN. Ron jumped into the Browerville community serving as a volunteer firefighter, VFW member, a member of the Board of Education during consolidation of school districts, a Knight of Columbus, played for the Browerville Bronco baseball team, hunted and fished as well as raised a young family of three children (Stephen, 1957; Julie, 1959; Jordan, 1961). Ron also played in many dance bands before starting his own, the Ron Dale Trio. During this time, Ron played almost every Friday and Saturday night in ballrooms from Park Rapids, to Brainerd, to Glenwood, finishing playing and driving home in time for Sunday church and Bronco baseball.
In 1967, Ron changed careers and became a parole officer for Steele and Waseca counties in southern MN. After a few years of this new career, he realized that returning to college for a masters degree would be essential for his new career and the whole family moved to Ann Arbor, MI for 2 years while Ron pursued and completed a MSW from the University of Michigan in 1970. During this time, Ron had the opportunity to work and study under many leading social workers and behavior modification experts such as B.F. Skinner. Ron was employed by the State of Minnesota in 1970 as a Unit Director at the Sauk Centre Home School for juvenile girls. His career in corrections as a social worker included serving as a Unit Director, then an Associate Warden at Stillwater State Prison, and finally a unit director at Anoka State Hospital continued for 25 years before retiring in 1994.
During his 25 year career in corrections and social work, Ron contributed significantly to improving the many programs and systems in place in state corrections including juvenile systems, inmate classifications, inmate and juvenile education, and health services. Rons organizational and leadership skills allowed him to form Insight, Inc., a state prison education program, with sponsorship from Control Data Company, 3M and other MN companies. He also was one of the few white members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) being granted membership in 1970. During this time, Ron had the opportunity to work and study under many leading social workers and behavior modification experts such as B.F. Skinner. Ron was employed by the State of Minnesota in 1970 as a Unit Director at the Sauk Centre Home School for juvenile girls. His career in corrections as a social worker included serving as a Unit Director, then an Associate Warden at Stillwater State Prison, and finally a unit director at Anoka State Hospital continued for 25 years before retiring in 1994.
During his 25 year career in corrections and social work, Ron contributed significantly to improving the many programs and systems in place in state corrections including juvenile systems, inmate classifications, inmate and juvenile education, and health services. Rons organizational and leadership skills allowed him to form Insight, Inc., a state prison education program, with sponsorship from Control Data Company, 3M and other MN companies. He also was one of the few white members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) being granted membership in 1972 for his work recognizing Native American spiritual needs in state prisons.
Rons affection for central MN continued as he returned to live full time in Sauk Centre on weekends during his career in Twin Cities work locations, and upon his retirement. Sauk Centre enjoyed Rons continued commitment to community as he served in leadership roles for the Sauk Centre Country Club (where he led the board through many difficult improvement and operational decisions), MN Deer Hunters Association, and helped with youth sports as a hockey referee and booster over the years. His love of the outdoors was celebrated in his continued hunting and fishing, as well as his hobbies of carving of ice fish decoys, and gardening. An avid gardener, Ron often filled his basement with lamps, watering systems, and fans to bring plant seeds to life in the middle of MN winters using one of his many Rube Goldberg inventions that the family marveled at, and enjoyed a good laugh about. And music, at his familys piano, was a constant source of enjoyment for Ron during his retirement.
Ronald was extremely proud of his three children; Steve (Lynn Jamieson), Bloomington, IN, Julie, Sauk Centre, Jordan , Fairbanks, AK; and grandchildren Byron, Benjamin, Colton, and Jacob Wolter; and Zachary Justice. Preceding Ronald Aloysius in death was his beloved wife of 58 years, Marcella Joan Koval Wolter, and sister, Mary Jean Sampson of Edina.
Ron struggled with COPD for much of his last 20 years which greatly reduced his vitality, energy, and ability to be as active and involved as he liked. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made in Rons name to the COPD Foundation, 3300 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Miami, FL, 33134.
The family will receive friends on Friday, June 6, 2014 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Our Lady of Angels Church in Sauk Centre, MN. This visitation will be followed by another visitation at 9:30 a.m. on June 7, 2014, followed by a funeral and memorial ceremony at 10:30 a.m. on June 7, 2014; all at Our Lady of Angels Church in Sauk Centre, MN.
Burial and committal of Ronald Aloysius Wolter, and his spouse of 58 years, Marcella Joan Wolter, will take place in the afternoon of June 7, 2014 at Christ the King Cemetery, Browerville, MN
Arrangements with the Iten Funeral Home, Browerville itenfuneralhome.com

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