On 19 December 2023, at the age of 88, Ronald Leonard Unger passed away.
Ron was born in Harvey, Illinois in 1935. He was the only child of the late Leonard and Emily Unger. After graduating high school he later proudly served in the U.S. Army and National Guard, a time that he cherished and honored throughout his life.
He was very close to his family and community and through them met his beloved wife, Judy who passed away in 2015 after 55 years together. The couple raised their children in Bourbonnais, Illinois, where he was a loving and devoted father. Sunday Morning Wrestling and Comics, Little League Coach, Scout Leader, Pop Warner Football and Cheer, he never missed a game. Weekends were spent with extended family, boating at “The Lake” and each year there was a family vacation.
He was also a very active member of the Bradley-Bourbonnais High School Booster Club, even continuing to be the football team’s Filmographer after his children had graduated. As a member of the Kankakee Valley Boat Club, he greatly enjoyed volunteering his time at the annual boat races. And as a former serviceman, he was dedicated to honoring Veterans. He took great pride in serving two terms as Commander of American Legion Post 85 and as a member of the Firing & Ceremonial unit, where he participated in Honor Guards for Veterans’ Funeral Services.
Ron and Judy later semi-retired to Henderson, NV and it was there that he found his true calling as Security Guard for the College of Southern Nevada. He cherished spending his afternoons “adventuring” with his granddaughter, Payton. Whether it was the park, the pool or walks and talks, he enjoyed their time together and imparting his special brand of humor on his young grandchild.
Ask anyone and they’ll tell you he was one of the funniest people ever. He loved puns and jokes and trying to trick people. You couldn’t go out to dinner without him requesting a glass of “diet water”. Another thing they will tell you is that he was kind and generous, particularly with his time, and loved to make people happy. His step-grandson, Matthew, will tell you that he was, “the first grandpa ever to play catch with me”. He was known by various nicknames, “Pops”, “Papa”, “Roninator”, “Unger”, to name a few; but mostly he was known as “a good man”.
He will be missed by many, especially his surviving family; his son and daughter-in-law, Ronald and Jackie Unger; his daughter, Lisa Levine; granddaughter, Payton Levine; step-grandson, Matthew Hourihan and his “honorary” son Nikolai Smith.
A memorial service at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado in Grand Junction is being planned for the Spring of 2024. Please return for further details.