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Dr. Ronald W. Kolenbrander

September 13, 1948 January 6, 2019
Dr. Ronald W. Kolenbrander
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Obituary for Dr. Ronald W. Kolenbrander

Dr. Ronald Kolenbrander, age 70, of Orange City, passed away on Sunday, January 6, 2019, at the Hawarden Regional Healthcare Center.

There will be a funeral service on Saturday, January 12, at 11:00am, at the Oolman Funeral Home in Orange City. The Rev. Michael Hardeman will officiate. Interment will follow the service at the West Lawn Cemetery in Orange City. Visitation with the family will be on Saturday, from 10:00am to 11:00am, at the funeral home.

Ronald William was born on September 13, 1948, to The Rev. William B. and Helene (Van Gorp) Kolenbrander in Preston, Minnesota, where his parents were serving the Greenleafton Reformed Church. He attended a country school there through the first grade. In 1955, he moved with his family to Middleburg, Iowa, where he went to a country school until entering Sioux Center Junior High. He attended Sioux Center High School through his junior year when his family moved to Lanark, Illinois, and graduated from Lanark High School in 1966.

He spent his life as an educator. He taught U.S. history and government at Manhattan High School in Manhattan, Kansas from 1973 to 1989. In 1989, he took a faculty position teaching future social science teachers at Radford University (RU) in Radford, Virginia. He retired from RU in 2012 with the rank of emeritus professor.

Ron earned a B.A. in history and social sciences from Southwest Minnesota State University, an M.A. in history from Emporia State University, and an M.A. in political science and a Ph.D. in adult education at Kansas State University. Research for his master’s degrees included examination of the political pressure for and against the Declaration of Independence and analysis of documents at the Eisenhower Presidential Library. For the Ph.D., he interviewed policy makers in Congress and the Reagan administration, as well as analyzed relevant executive and legislative documents.

While in Manhattan, Kansas, he served as chair of the board of deacons and as an elder at a large Presbyterian church, chaired a Cambodian refugee family’s resettlement, and served as chair of an interfaith organization. In Radford, Virginia, he served several terms as an elder at The Presbyterian Church of Radford, chaired numerous church committees, and chaired the community’s effort to resettle a Kosovar refugee family.

During his retirement in Radford, he enjoyed conducting research and preparing information for exhibits at Glenco Museum. He completed a series of eight oral interviews with WW II and Vietnam veterans as part of a Radford Veterans Living History Project. He also served on the board of the Radford Historical Society. Ron spent many hours in a porch swing reading and enjoying the beauty of Southwest Virginia. He moved to Orange City in June 2018 to be closer to his family.

He is survived by two sisters, Marilyn Vander Kooi and Carole, and her husband, Paul Aykens, all of Orange City; a brother-in-law, Ben Koerselman, of Hull; nine nieces and nephews, Annette, and her husband, Bill Minnick; Sara, and her husband, Kevin Huyser; Brenda Koerselman; Lynne, and her husband, Jeff Dykstra; Bruce Koerselman, and his wife, Tina; Laryl Koerselman, and his wife, Emily; Andrea Aykens; Susan Veltkamp; and Laurie, and her husband, Vince Kurtz; and 18 great-nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by infant twin sisters, Donna and Dorothy; a sister, Elaine Koerselman; and a brother-in-law, Dr. Paul Vander Kooi.

Memorials may be directed to the Orange City Area Home Health and Hospice.


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Previous Events

Family Visitation

Saturday

12

Jan

10:00 AM 1/12/2019 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 1/12/2019 11:00:00 AM
Oolman Funeral Home - Orange City

216 Albany Avenue Northeast
Orange City, IA 51041

Oolman Funeral Home - Orange City
216 Albany Avenue Northeast Orange City 51041 IA
United States

Funeral Service

Saturday

12

Jan

11:00 AM 1/12/2019 11:00:00 AM
Oolman Funeral Home - Orange City

216 Albany Avenue Northeast
Orange City, IA 51041

Oolman Funeral Home - Orange City
216 Albany Avenue Northeast Orange City 51041 IA
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

West Lawn Cemetery Final Resting Place

Orange City, IA 51041

Orange City 51041 IA
United States

Memorial Contribution

Orange City Area Home Health and Hospice

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