Ronald Melvin Highlander
Ronald Melvin Highlander, age 76 of Maryville, IL, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at his home.
Ron was born in Edwardsville, IL on February 12, 1941. He graduated from Edwardsville High School in 1959, where he was a proud member of the varsity basketball team coached by hall-of-famer, Joe Lucco. After attending Elmhurst College for one year, he made the best decision of his life and transferred home to SIU-Edwardsville. There he received his bachelor’s in Accounting and met his best friend and love of his life, Shirley Jean Highlander (Kania). Ron married Shirley on October 12, 1963. They were married 53 years.
Ron worked in downtown St. Louis for Ralston Purina/Ralcorp Holdings for over 34 years, where he retired as Vice President of Finance. He honorably served two years in the US Army. He was a life-long member, former Treasurer and Council member of Eden Church in Edwardsville, IL and a member of the Madison County Farm Bureau.
Post-retirement, Ron excelled in a second career as a stay-at-home grandfather attending school plays, cheerleading competitions, and athletic events. Ron enjoyed gardening and being a “rancher” as he tended cattle and horses for most of his life. Above all, his two loves were family and basketball and he successfully found ways to enjoy them both together. Ron coached his sons’ youth basketball teams, made March Madness a family holiday, and his family used college basketball tournaments as a means of getting him to see other parts of the country. He was a life-long fan of the Fighting Illini.
Ron was a loving and dedicated husband, son, brother, father, and grandfather. He had a strong faith and possessed a quick wit and dry sense of humor. He will be sorely missed by his family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, Herbert Highlander; a sister, Sherlyn Witt; and brother-in-law, Paul Witt.
He is survived by his mother, Eunice nee Meyer Highlander; his wife, Shirley Jean nee Kania Highlander; two sons: Reid (Christie) Highlander of Maryville, IL and Grant (Bonnie) Highlander of Milton, GA; six grandchildren: Connor, Gabrielle, Shelby, Luke, Brett and Gigi; a sister, Myra (Michael) Campbell of Edwardsville, IL; two nephews: Travis (Brooke) Campbell and Scott (Virva) Walkington; a niece, Tara (Michael) Lotz; great niece and nephews: Mason, Brayden, Eowynn , Alexander, Irina, and Axel; sister-in-law, Karol (Phil) Walkington of Albuquerque, NM; a brother-in-law, Jim Kania of East Alton, IL.
Visitation will be from 4pm to 8pm on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 at Eden Church, 903 N. 2nd Street, Edwardsville, IL.
Funeral service will be at 10:30 am on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at the church with Rev. John Roberts officiating.
Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or Eden Church and will be received at the visitation or can be mailed to the funeral home.
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