Ronald M. Stenzel, 79, of Geneseo, died Wednesday, May 29, 2013, at his home after a brief battle with lung cancer. Per his request, cremation rites have been accorded and a memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, June 14 at Grace United Methodist Church. The Rev. Lou Zuck will officiate. Private inurnment will be in Oakwood Cemetery. A visitation will be held from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 13 at Vandemore Funeral Home, Geneseo. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to St. John’s Lutheran Church of Geneseo and Grace United Methodist Church of Geneseo.
Ron was born on Dec. 13, 1933, in Osco, the son of Maurice and Helen (Schlenzen) Stenzel. He attended the Osco Grade School through eighth grade and graduated from Orion High School in 1952. He married Carolyn McKenzie on Nov. 21, 1953, in Geneseo. They farmed with his father and brother, Elmer, in Osco until 1965. At that time, Ron started working for John Deere Harvester in East Moline with the experimental department, also moving to Geneseo. His job took him throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada during the harvest seasons. He and Carolyn also became partners in Accent Travel and sole owners in the early 1980s.
During the 1970s, Ron was the president of Geneseo Little League, and helped initiate the lighting of the baseball diamonds at Bollen Field. He was committed to every task he undertook, whether it was farming, John Deere, or Stenzel Auction.
Before moving to Geneseo, the family attended St. John’s Lutheran Church in Edford, and are presently members of Grace United Methodist Church in Geneseo. His greatest joys were derived from spending time with his wife, children, grandchildren and friends; having family over for taco dinners, sports and golfing as a member of the country club since 1972. Ron was known for always having a story or two to tell family and friends.
Survivors include his wife, Carolyn; children, Denise “Dee” (Curt) Swanson of Victoria, Scott (Leah) Stenzel of Scottsdale, Ariz., Terry (Lesley) Stenzel of San Ramon, Calif and Shelley (Gary) Felske of rural Erie. Ron loved and adored his four grandchildren, Melissa (Brett) Swanson of Moline, Teigan and Dawson of Scottsdale and Isabella of San Ramon; his step-grandchildren, Cynde Booth of Payson, Ariz., Lorra Longamore of San Ramon, Brooke and A.J. of Scottsdale; brothers, Elmer (Janet) Stenzel of New Bern, N.C. and J. Albert (Jeannette) Stenzel of Osco; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents.