Cover photo for Ronald Steile's Obituary
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1940 Ronald 2017

Ronald Steile

May 15, 1940 — February 22, 2017

Ronald Steile, age 76, of Gully, MN, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, February 22nd, at his home with his loving wife at his side. Memorial services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, March 3rd, at Lund Lutheran Church in Gully with Dawn Hanson officiating. Interment will be in Lund Lutheran Cemetery, Gully. Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a 7:00 p.m. prayer service on Thursday, March 2nd, at the Carlin Funeral Home in Fosston. Family will also greet friends for one hour prior to the service on Friday at the church. Arrangements are with the Carlin Funeral Home of Fosston and messages of condolence may be sent at was born May 15, 1940, at the homestead north of Gully. He was the first born of Harold and Ragna (Qually) Steile. Although he was the first born son he would later come to have a brother. However, just 3 years after he was born along came twin sisters. This apparently took away some of his security of being an only child. As the story goes, one of the babies came up missing and his mother found her in the clothes hamper. Getting in some hot water over that incident with his mother, he apparently became his father's little hired man. Ron was driving tractor by the age of 5. It was likely one of those days on the tractor when he gazed up into the sky and saw the occasional plane fly over that he decided he wanted to become a pilot. Of course, anyone that came to know Ron soon learned that anything he set his mind to, came to volition. Some years later he did become an accomplished pilot. And, as he did with most of he passions, he branched it into several thriving business ventures, including a charter aviation company, airport, and an agricultural crop dusting company.Ron began school at Gully. It is legend that he was quite adventurous especially during recess. Stories abound of sled rides down hills where Ron ended up submerged in a pond at the bottom of a hill or when his arm was broken after he was run over by a sled. His poor mother would be called and learn of various other naughty antics he was up to. He started his Freshman year in Gonvick. As it were, in every class he was seated next to another student whose last name also started with "S". Unknown to him at that time, she would become the love of his life. After graduated from high school in 1958, Ron went on the attend the University of Minnesota. However, always the adventurous one, between the first and second year at the U, he flew to New York and boarded a banana boat going to South America. He also joined the ROTC during his days at the University. This gave him opportunities to be flown to various Air Force bases which was right up his alley.Ron loved learning and over the years continued to take classes. He would take various self-improvement courses and even speech classes to stay on top of his game. It was always obvious that he was never afraid to tackle new things. In fact, it seemed be thrived on challenging himself. Ron enjoyed life and he was often heard to say that he never had a bad day. He was a caring person, he took interest in others and took the time to really listen. He had a youthful spirit and zeal for life. One of his "special duties" in the family was to bestow upon each family member a nickname, often with a special story of meaning behind it.Ron married his beloved wife, Sonja Linda Strandberg on September 16, 1961 at Lund Lutheran Church in Gully. They immediately moved to San Francisco where he was excited to learn the lock smithing trade from his uncle. They later moved to Minneapolis where their 2 daughters, Denise and Janel were born. In 1970 they moved to Atlanta, Georgia where they started Ronco Irrigation, Inc., which eventually became the largest irrigation company in the Southeast. Ron had a knack for turning thing he loved into thriving business opportunities. Over the years, there were numerous successful business ventures established under the name of Ronco, Incorporated in various states.In the late 1990's they came back to Minnesota and moved to "Windy Hill" south of Trail where they built their retirement home overlooking a small lake. Ron loved to travel and had particular interest in the Civil War and World War II. Since moving back to Minnesota he had also developed a deep interest in geology as well as geneology. He researched his name and actually met a relative from Norway at one point. Interestingly, one of his relatives commented that he looked exactly like her uncles in Norway. Family, faith and church were very important. He was a life-long member of Lund Lutheran Church in Gully, having been baptized and confirmed in his faith there.He loved to travel and had an interest in geography. In the later years, Ron along with his high school sweetheart and wife of 55 years bought a home in Green Valley, Arizona where they would winter. While living there Ron became active in the community, joining the Chamber of Commerce and belonged to a group mentoring club for young business owners. Later as his health began to fail, they settled in full time at their home on Windy Hill near Trail. There he enjoyed watching the geese, ducks and swans gather on the lake just below their home along with his faithful and constant little companion, Louie, a Coton de Tulear.He will be greatly missed and will always be remembered for his positive personality. He lived life to the fullest and did not waste a minute of life doing nothing, having regrets or feeling sorry for himself.Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Sonja Steile of Gully, MN; daughter, Denise (Scott) Hoeft; his grandchildren, Jessica (Wade) Robinson, Brandon (Sara) Hoeft, Jared (Jessie) Hoeft, Chad and Ryan Hoeft, Derrick Thor Finseth (son of Janel). His great grandchildren, Flynn, Everett, Audrey Rose Robinson, Haven Beckett, and Avery and Jase Hoeft.He is also survived by his twin sisters and one brother, Dianne (Arden) Buchholz, Darlene (Dan) Alsup, and Rick (Sandra) Steile. Nieces, nephews and cousins also survive.He was preceded in death by his father, Harold; his mother, Ragna; daughter, Janel; granddaughter, Kristen; and great granddaughter, Hallie.


Thursday, March 2, 2017 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Carlin Funeral Home-Erskine
326 Vance Ave. S. Erskine 56535, United States
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