2016-08-11 / Obituaries


RONALD E. OLDS, 67, of Coldwater, passed away Monday, August 8,

2016 at Community Health Center of Branch County.

Ron was born August 3, 1949, in Coldwater, to Robert E. and Mary Sue (Lyon) Olds. He grew up on the family’s dairy farm, showed dairy at the Branch County 4-H Fair and remained a farm boy at heart. Ron graduated from Union City High School in 1967, lettering in football, basketball and baseball, and earning baseball all-conference honors. He went on to graduate from Olivet College, majoring in history and physical education.

Ron taught sixth grade in Davison for six years before changing careers to agricultural sales. He was employed by Wickes Agriculture and Kent Feeds, where he worked his way up to regional sales manager and met his wife, the former Susan Kay Somers, at the grain elevator where she worked. They married on June 23, 1990 in Chapin, MI. After living in both Iowa and Missouri, they purchased the Service Master franchise in Coldwater and moved back to Michigan and family.

A lover of life in the fast lane, Ron enjoyed attending racing events at Martin US-131 Dragway, Butler Speedway and MIS. He constructed the Jolly Rodger Raceway in his backyard and used it for racing remote-controlled cars. He set up a slot car track in his basement. Restoration of his 1967 Mustang was an ongoing project. He liked sharing his hobbies with others.

Ron was the ultimate outdoorsman, from farming to hunting and fishing. Over the years, he was a member of Pheasants Forever, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited and the NRA. He incorporated wildlife habitat management for whitetail, turkeys and pheasants into the family farm. Everything he did involved family and friends. He was supportive of his family members’ interests and kept in contact with former students and classmates. He was always doing something for someone.

Even after Ron officially left teaching, he remained a lifelong learner who enjoyed sharing knowledge with others. He was a great storyteller and a strong person with strong opinions. He liked firearms and working with this friends, the Johnson brothers, at Trader Ricks, where he bought and sold guns online. Although he was a Renaissance man who was good at making any enterprise a success, relationships held the most meaning for Ron.

Left to cherish Ron’s memory are his wife of 26 years, Susan; his daughters, Heather (John) Schragg of Ceresco and Becky Olds of Coldwater; three grandchildren, Sam, Jake and Grace; sisters, Nanette Olds of Wayland, Nina (Brent) Butler of Lake Odessa and Amy (Patrick) Avery of Holland; uncle, Bruce Olds of Coldwater; aunt, Barbara (Olds) Johnson of Battle Creek; parents-in-law, Neil and Paulette Somers; sister-in-law, Kathy (Greg) Wirostek; brother-in-law, Michael (Lisa) Somers; several nieces and nephews; and his springer spaniel, Curly.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are suggested to the charity of one’s choice.

A celebration of Ron’s life will be held on Monday, August 15, 2016 at 11 a.m. at Lighthouse Funeral & Cremation in Union City. Private interment will be at a later date. Visitation will be from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. on Sunday, August 14, 2016, also at Lighthouse.

Please visit www.lighthousefuneral.org to share photos, videos and memories with the family.

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