Ronald Allan Zentz was born August 15, 1940 to Robert A. Zentz and Marie Gayle (Tarvin) Zentz near Jewell, KS. He passed into the arms of Jesus surrounded by his beloved family on July 26, 2019 at the Salina Regional Hospital, Salina, KS.
Ron grew up on the farm east of Jewell and attended Jewell schools graduating from high school in 1958. Ron worked for several farmers in the area during high school. He attended Kansas State University after high school graduation.
On August 21, 1960, Ron was united in marriage to his high school sweetheart, Patricia (Pat) Oplinger in Jewell. They made their home in Manhattan where Ron continued his education at K-State while working at the K-State Union. To this union was born three daughters, Kim, Teri and Tanya and one son, Scott. His family was very important to him and he was a terrific role model for his children.
Ron worked at the K-State Union retiring in 1996 as the building engineer. After retirement, Ron and Pat moved back to Jewell, building a house in the "quiet" country surrounded by the wildlife that he loved. He continued his side business, Big Bear Repair, doing electrical, plumbing, and heating and air conditioning work, all skills learned on the job, working up to the day before he entered the hospital. The last 5 years, Ron delivered the daily newspaper in Jewell making sure that the paper was in the right "spot" for his customers.
Ron loved the outdoors and hunting the big game which led to his handle, "Big Bear" after bagging black bears in Manitoba. For many years, there were the annual deer hunts in Wisconsin with some very dear friends and other adventures to Alaska, Idaho and Wyoming.
Ron was preceded in death by his only son, Scott, in 1987; his parents and his brother Dick.
Ron is survived by his wife, Pat and his daughters, Kim Charland (Steve) of Manhattan, KS; Teri Berry, Lees Summit, MO; and Tanya Schleifer (Duane) of Jewell, KS. He is also survived by grandchildren, Mariah Charland, Sydney Lee (Charles), Taylor Berry (Aaron Martinez), Jordan Berry, Davis Schleifer and Abbey Schleifer and great grandchildren, Brinley Berry, Tatum and Quinn Lee and expected in September, Eloise Martinez.
Also surviving are his brother Bob and sisters, Peggy Stubbins (Terry) and Linda Wade (Mike) and a host of relatives and friends.
Celebration of Life services are at 10:30 am, July 30, at the Trinity UM Church in Jewell, with burial in Wallace Cemetery. Visitation is Monday, July 29 from 2-8 with family present from 7-8 at Kleppinger Funeral Home in Jewell.
Suggested memorials to National Kidney Foundation for Camp ChiMer, The Healing House for Addiction Recovery or the Jewell County 4-H Council. Arrangements handled by Kleppinger Funeral Home, Jewell, KS.
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