R. M. Ronningen
This is the story of my father’s life.
Robert Merrill Anderson was born March 12, 1923 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, to Helmer Nicholai & Ruth Nelson Anderson. As a young child he was given the nickname “Bubbins” by his Swedish maternal grandparents who raised him for the first two years of his life on their farm outside Litchfield, Minnesota.
After Dad was born the family grew again with the birth of his sisters, Jean & Joyce. During his elementary years the family moved to New Orleans after Helmer accepted a position with Fairbanks Morse.
At 12 years of age Dad was sent for the summer to stay with an aunt & uncle in South Dakota. It was there he began working, driving a truck delivering oil to farmers and businesses. It was around this time that Dad bought his first automobile, a Model T. He told me he took it apart completely before reassembling it and taking it out on the road. There were no drivers’ licenses back then.
The following summer Dad returned to South Dakota and another uncle introduced him to flying. These were the days when biplanes and “barn stormers” frequented the skies, often times landing in farmer’s fields. Flying became one of Dad’s life long pursuits. Later in life he told me about his first landing on Gull Lake, Michigan — what fun it is to know he flew a sea plane! I can’t list all of the different planes he would go on to fly through the years but I have fond memories of his Queen Air and his Aero Commander. Mom and I flew with Dad frequently (lots of business trips) during my early years. He always made it fun for us by stopping at Dunkin Donuts or Kentucky Fried Chicken on the way to the hangar.
Somewhere along the line Dad’s family relocated to Chicago where he finished high school and then began college at Illinois Institute of Technology where he would eventually earn his BS in mechanical engineering. During these years Dad was a school photographer and he covered community events. Photography gave him an opportunity to earn money and to escape the classroom. Never let it be said that Dad wasn’t industrious!
After graduation Dad entered into the U.S. Navy, serving as a Lieutenant (junior grade) on a destroyer. His time with the Navy took him as far as Hiroshima, where he stopped for a day, only a few months after “Little Boy” was dropped. Describing the scene to me he said, “All I saw in every direction was black ash, inches thick on the ground.”
From Anderson to Ronningen
I should take a moment and explain how Dad became a Ronningen. It begins in Norway. In days gone by, until a young man reached the age of 18 he would be known by his father’s name. When a man came of age he would take on the family name. Dad’s grandfather, Evan Anderson, emigrated from Norway when he was young; upon arrival in the United States of America he gave the name Evan Ander’s son to immigration and it was Americanized to Anderson. Evan’s son was Helmer Nicholai Anderson, following the normal American naming pattern, and then Helmer named my father Robert Merrill Anderson at birth.
Through the years Dad became frustrated because there were so many Bob Andersons in the Midwest and his name was frequently confused with someone else’s. Dad went to court to have the name Ronningen appended, and his parents followed suit. Eventually he dropped Anderson and went by Robert Merrill Ronningen.
After his U.S. Navy service, Dad returned to Vicksburg, Michigan to join his father and brother-in-law in the Ronningen-Petter Company. They sold filters (I think for water primarily, but I know one of Dad’s filters was used for brewing beer) to farmers and businesses throughout the Midwest. Dad designed the filters (he held several patents in his time) while his father Helmer, and brother-in-law Bill, handled sales.
At some point in these early business years Dad went out on the road to sell. I don’t know how much territory he covered but he told me that one of his favorite stops was the Cherry Hut in Beulah, Michigan. He described it as a road side stand that only sold two things: ham salad sandwiches and cherry pie. Later in my college years we drove up as a family to visit the Cherry Hut and Dad enjoyed the pie just as much as ever!
Bob was hard-working, conscientous, honest, ethical, and true to his word. His devotion was unlimited; he was genuinely kind and thoughtful. — Jane Ronningen
Eventually Dad went out on his own, first as a consultant, and then in 1967 Dad established Ronningen Research & Development. The business specialized in prototyping and short run manufacturing for clients like IBM, AT&T, NCR, RCA, GM, Motorolla, etc..
Dad was a pioneer in CAD/CAM (Computer-Aided Design & Computer-Aided Manufacturing). One of my favorite stories is when Dad ordered his first computer. This was back when computers were the size of a small room and data was stored on reels of tape. Dad was at a convention when he saw a small crowd gathered around a McDonnell Douglas booth; they were demonstrating one of the first CAD computers. Dad waited until the end of their presentation and then stepped up to place an order. Thus far they had only sold to the “big boys” like GM so Dad literally had to convince them to sell him a computer. Two weeks after delivery someone arrived at the business and said they were there to train them to use the computer. You can imagine his surprise to find the computer had already been set up and was running for a week; the trainer stayed for a week only to end up learning new tricks from Dad! It was a big bet for Dad but it paid off.
Ronningen Research & Development grew and grew. At times they ran 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The company offered something the “big boys” couldn’t get with their internal teams—a quick turn around.
Remember the first Motorolla flip phone? Guess who prototyped it!?! Remember Compaq Computers? Dad’s company had an hand in those.
I remember a red prototype steering wheel, little plastic pieces that looked like keys on a keyboard, and many foreign objects I cannot describe, but most of all I remember the “plant”…the magical place where Dad worked. Up front there was the office with a receptionist, sales people, and others. This part never had an interesting name and it was kind of boring to my not yet 10 year old mind, but at the back there was a set of double doors that lead to the plant, where things became more interesting!
The first thing you would notice was the strong smell of steel, hot plastic, and steam. There were metal shavings on the floor. Sometimes you would find an interesting squiggle of something that escaped a press and oozed out onto the floor in a funny shape. Mom still has one of these trophies floating around the house.
The machines they worked on were humongous—some the size of tractor trailers. People were all over the place, and everyone seemed very busy.
Building Ronningen Research & Development from nothing to a business that employed 100 people was one of Dad’s great accomplishements in life.
Eventually Dad sold the business to his Vice President and moved our family to North Carolina where he had new adventures, both in business and life.
Marriage, Family, and More Business
Dad was married twice. I know very little about his first marriage; it lasted about 15 years and ended in divorce. His first wife’s name was Doris and she is still living. They had three daughters: Kristina, Greta, and Lisa. Divorce is full of heartache, but I know Dad loved his daughters very much. He was always very proud of them.
In the spring of 1969, Dad was introduced to Jane Fortner. Their first date was playing tennis together at the YMCA. They married June 21st of that year. I was born June 9, 1971.
The ’70s were busy years. Ronningen Research & Development was taking off so Dad spent a lot of time working. Mom had me to keep up with. During the first few summers Dad’s girls would come to visit us. Dad had a summer house out on the island at Gull Lake which was a very special place to him. The girls stayed busy with waterskiing, socializing with friends on the lake, babysitting me, plus all of the normal ups and downs of being teenagers. I don’t remember any of it, but I know it was a challenging, yet fun and exciting time in my parent’s lives.
My memories begin with our home in Kalamazoo. It was originally Dad’s parent’s home, designed by Dad and his father. There was a swimming pool in the basement so Grandma could swim in the winter. Grandpa had a grill built into a wall in the kitchen which backed up to a fireplace in the living room; this allowed him to grill steaks year round. We had a milk box by the garage and the milk man came by once a week. There was an oak tree with a screened porch was built around it. I don’t remember when Dad remodeled the kitchen, but he expanded outwards by adding on a dining area with large plate glass windows overlooking the woods and the hill below. The way the house sat, the kitchen opened to the street level on one side, while the new dining area on the other side was 10 feet off the ground. One year a blue jay had her nest in a pine tree just outside those big glass windows and we got to see the eggs hatch. In my mind, Dad and our family were very connected to that home—it was an expression of him, and his father. I always knew my father as a man who made things. That was what he did at work, and that was what he did at home.
In 1981 we moved to Horse Shoe Farm, just outside Hendersonville, North Carolina. Dad was ready to leave Michigan winters behind, but not ready to retire (he wasn’t yet 60), though it was time for a change of pace.
Our new home was a gracious Southern ranch with a long porch, rocking chairs, and a view that extended all the way to Mount Pisgah. Dad spent many hours sitting on that porch looking out over the fields. It was a wonderful place to entertain; we even had a wedding out on the lawn.
The farm had two barns on the property; Dad’s first big project was converting one barn into a training facility for Ronningen Research CAD operators. He set up computers in old horse stalls. The hay loft became a kitchen and dining area. He even raised the roof on the silo, creating an observation deck so others could enjoy the view. Dad was having a great time building!
The barn became a gathering place for many groups—churches, non-profits, and more than a few family reunions. Dad made a point of going down and welcoming people to the farm, always glad to meet new people and make sure they were taken care of. Mom and Dad’s circle of friends grew considerably and their involvement in the broader community expanded.
Meanwhile, Dad was finding the distance between Ronningen Research & Development (back in Michigan) and his training facility (at the barn in North Carolina) to be a challenge. After training new CAD operators for a few years, Dad decided to step away from his business completely. Then, Dad started off in a new direction: travel.
Ronningen Travel set up shop in the barn. Travel agents occupied the stalls. Posters of far away places decorated the walls. Mom and Dad started taking trips to explore new destinations, going overseas several times. They crossed the Pyrenees by car, meandered through Holland on a riverboat, and went to many places I can no longer recall.
Dad also picked up an interest in motor homes. First there was the TransVan, then something larger, and finally a 30' Blue Bird. When I turned 16 Dad put me behind the wheel of the Blue Bird and had me drive us up to Michigan. During my high school and college years Dad drove Mom across the Rockies, up and down the Pacific Coast Highway—back and forth they went!
Dad loved people, sharing ideas, working with others, entertaining, hearing people’s problems, and helping where he could. The farm and travel agency gave Dad opportunities to do all of those things.
Dad and Mom lived at the farm through the ’80s and early ’90s. These were wonderful years for both of them. While not a gardener himself, Dad always took pleasure in Mom’s pursuits. At Horse Shoe Farm Dad gave Mom the biggest canvas for her gardening she ever could have imagined. He had three fields converted into lawn so she could garden to her heart’s content. Dad would participate by following Mom around with his camera taking pictures of her flowers. As a side note, it’s neat to know that at one point the farm was considered as a site for the North Carolina State Arboretum.
In addition to travel and hosting people at the farm, Dad started investing in the stock market. Naturally, he turned his new interest into a full time job. Dad wouldn’t sit still.
In the mid 1990s Dad decided the farm was too much to keep up with so he bought a mountain-top property in the Kenmure community on the other side of Hendersonville. Suddenly the dining table was covered in drafting paper and Dad was busy dreaming about their next home.
The new building project became an absorbing, multi-year project, and Dad loved every bit of it. Dad and Mom had only been in the house a few years when God brought about a big change in everyone’s life.
Jesus, A Gentle Savior
There are many stories I want to share about Dad, but the most important story is about Dad and Jesus. Dad loved Jesus. What’s better is the fact that Dad is loving Jesus now. Dad is with Jesus now.
Dad had lots of ups and downs in the past 20 years or so. He had his gall bladder removed. He had his knees replaced. He had colon cancer. He had open heart surgery. He had brain surgery, twice. In every one of these circumstances Dad, Mom, and I had to say goodbye. We prayed together. Dad prayed for God’s blessing upon the surgeon, he asked for God’s will to be done, and then he committed us to His care. Dad would open his eyes, smile, and the nurses wheeled him away.
He was at peace.
This was God’s gentle hand. This was what we needed. Mom and I couldn’t imagine a world without Dad in it. Over the course of two decades God slowly prepared each of us for the inevitable parting of ways.
Where did Dad’s peace come from?
It didn’t come from money, cars, houses, or material things. It didn’t come from a life well lived, kind words, or the philosophies of men.
Dad’s peace came from Jesus. Dad knew he was a sinner, and he knew he needed a savior—he knew he needed the Savior.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
Every time Dad went into surgery we all knew that Dad’s only hope was in Jesus. Best of all, Dad knew that if he didn’t come back to us in the hospital, he would see us again in Heaven. Dad’s faith was unshakable.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23)
A few years back Dad said, “I don’t think I was a Christian until about 10 years ago.” I didn’t agree, but I think I understood what he was thinking. Dad’s faith had taken a back seat to many things in his life, right up until these last 10 or 20 years when God was really growing Dad in his faith. As we discussed his comment Dad reflected that while he didn’t know when he was saved, he could see God’s hand in his life all along the way.
This is a perspective I cherish. It touches on God’s sovereign purposes. Dad recognized that God was intimately involved in his life. Knowing that it is God’s plan which is unfolding, and that He is ultimately in control, is a great source of peace and comfort. We serve a good King.
The last days of Dad’s life were full of uncertain moments, decisions to be made, and questions we couldn’t answer. Dad was unable to communicate his wishes. Jesus was all we had, and He was enough.
Dad started loosing his balance years ago. The girls were visiting Dad the first time I remember him falling, and Lisa bandaged his arm. Dad’s falls resulted in several trips to the ER through the years — usually for skin tears, then one for a broken hip, another for a spinal fracture, and most notably for two subdural hematomas (bleeding on the brain).
Each time the situation seemed serious I would contact the girls to let them know what was happening.
Subject: Update on Dad (sent October 25th, 2016)
Dad had a good day today. He seems to have been gaining strength again. Today he had physical therapy and it went well. He enjoyed seeing friends after PT, then this afternoon he carried 11 bags of leaves down the driveway! For dinner he got Chinese take-out (a favorite). It really was a good day.
This evening he fell unexpectedly — we suspect he blacked out. He hit his head and gave himself a black eye. He cut his head and bled some (but not a lot visibly). An ambulance took him in to the ER and they evaluated him. They found two small pools of blood in/on his brain and have decided to transfer him to Asheville’s neurological department — probably for the next three or four days (until the bleeding stops).
Thankfully, Dad only spent two nights at the hospital. Dad felt fine through the entire ordeal and was very happy to return home without surgery. Two weeks later a follow-up scan revealed continued bleeding but the pool of blood was small enough to wait and see.
Dad fell again the day before Thanksgiving. Mom was at the grocery; when she came home she found him on the floor, dazed, but seemingly OK. The EMTs checked him out and only found skin tears on his left arm. Dad said he was in no pain but thought he should get a CT scan because he hit his head when he fell.
Since Dad felt fine, and had had his share of ambulance rides, we decided to drive him to the ER ourselves. Getting Dad up and into the car was difficult. He didn’t really help. Mom would say, “Lift your leg, Bob” but Dad’s leg didn’t move. We thought he was tired and possibly dazed from the fall, but in hindsight we suspect the bleeding in his brain was already affecting him at this point.
When we arrived at Pardee the CT scan showed the pool of blood had grown significantly in the previous two weeks. It was no longer a wait and see situation. Dad was transferred to Mission Hospital. The nerosugeon told us he normally would operate immediately but since Dad was stable and not showing obvious sings of brain damage we would wait until Monday to allow the blood thinners to work their way out of his body.
Thursday Dad was weak, but he was mentally with it. He ate a little of his breakfast, but didn’t have an appetite. When lunch came I fed him; Dad wasn’t able to feed himself. The bleeding was affecting him.
Subject: Back In The Hospital (sent November 24, Thanksgiving Day)
Dad fell yesterday and tore skin on his arm. He also bumped his head which warranted a CT scan. The scan revealed ongoing bleeding from a previous fall (last month) and surgery is required to drain the blood off his brain. Dad feels fine but the pressure on his brain is having some mild effects, including difficulty moving his legs, getting himself up, etc. We expect surgery on Monday, followed by ICU for a day or two and then possibly he will go to an assisted care facility. I’ll keep you posted.
Subject: A New Day (sent Friday, November 25th)
Dad didn’t sleep well last night. He really needs rest but he has had a difficult time sleeping at the hospital.
Yesterday afternoon Dad started getting confused about where he was. They moved him to a new room late last night. The new room has a big window with a view of the mountains; the theory is daylight helps with your body’s clock and general orientation. Dad is disoriented still, but cognizant of some things (year, his birth date, who the president is, etc.). I really hope he is more himself tomorrow. Right now he is saying things to people who aren’t here, saying things without context, etc. You can tell things are going on in his mind but his speech isn’t clear so it is hard to follow along.
He is definitely worse today, but it is difficult to know if it is due to lack of sleep or something else. He is having difficultly eating and clearing his throat.
I have been speaking with the nurses and making sure the doctors are updated as things change. It’s very hard to know what is normal in these circumstances.
Pray for wisdom for the doctors as they assess the situation and when to perform the surgery.
Later in the day, I sent another email to a larger group of family and friends.
Subject: Dad Is Going In To Surgery
Wednesday afternoon Dad fell. His injuries were minor but a CT scan was required. The scan revealed an expanding pool of blood on Dad’s brain from a prior fall. Dad was transferred to Mission Hospital in Asheville to await surgery to drain the blood. Surgery could not be scheduled immediately because Dad had been taking baby aspirin to thin his blood.
Yesterday afternoon we realized that dad was slightly disoriented. His disorientation worsened today. This afternoon another CT scan revealed more bleeding so his surgery was moved up from Monday to tonight.
Please pray for a successful surgery and that Dad will feel like his old self soon!
The day finished on an upbeat note.
RE: Day Is Going In To Surgery
The surgery went well!
Dad is in recovery and headed to ICU for tonight.
Thank you for your prayers!
RE: Dad Is Going In To Surgery (sent Saturday, November 26)
Dad slept on and off through the night. This morning he felt significant pain in his left wrist so he had an x-ray. Apparently he fractured his wrist Wednesday when he fell but the pain was masked by the blood on his brain. This morning, now that the blood has been drained, he began to feel the effects of the fall more acutely.
Right now Dad is sleeping peacefully.
Subject: Post-op Day Two (sent Sunday, November 27th)
Dad slept through the night with some strong pain medication helping him stay comfortable. His left wrist hurts a good deal. He hasn’t complained about his head. He has had very little to eat and drink since Wednesday and this morning (possibly due to pain medication) he isn’t eating or drinking so a temporary feeding tube is going to be inserted.
Hopefully his body will start to metabolize the pain medication more and he will be more clear headed soon. It is hard to know what is caused by medication vs. the surgery and everything he has been through.
Please be in prayer for Dad’s recovery, wisdom for the doctors, and for us.
Subject: An Encouraging Day (sent Tuesday, November 29)
Dad’s progress has been very slow, but the progress is real and meaningful. Sunday afternoon he had a temporary feeding tube inserted, providing him the first real nourishment since Thursday lunch. Yesterday he was still very weak, only answering questions when asked, drifting in and out of sleep all day and night, and not making any voluntary movements beyond one instance of turning his head slightly.
Today Dad made repeated efforts to speak, though he generally isn’t able to make himself understood yet. We think that his profound weakness, the fact that he hasn’t had a drink since Saturday (he’s getting fluids by IV right now), sleep deprivation, and a few other factors are making speech difficult, but we’re genuinely optimistic that brain function isn’t the limitation (though the doctors won’t confirm or deny anything). The things Dad was able to communicate today demonstrate that he’s definitely “in there” and doing his best.
Dad moved his arms and legs today, all on his own. A lack of strength and soreness from his fall, seem to be the main limitations.
It’s going to take Dad a while to recover from everything his body has been through, but Mom and I finished today with smiles on our faces knowing that God is good and Dad is making progress.
Thank you very much for your prayers. Please specifically pray for his strength to increase, for swelling to subside, and that Dad would be able to swallow and speak more clearly.
Subject: Nov. 30 Check In
Dad didn’t say much of anything today. His eyes were closed and he was resting/sleeping. Therapists tried to check his ability to swallow but Dad wasn’t responsive. After a brain injury it is common for there to be good days and bad days so we can’t read anything into a single day.
Tomorrow Mom and I will be discussing a more permanent feeding tube which will allow Dad to transition to a care facility here in Hendersonville (Carolina Village, we hope). All of Dad’s nurses and doctors have been excellent. We feel very good about the care he is receiving, but transitioning to a facility closer to home would make the days easier for Mom and me. Dad needs skilled nursing care and hopefully he will need therapy in the near future. Otherwise, it’s a wait and see situation and a doctor’s care is not required.
Please pray that God would give Mom and me the wisdom we need to make decisions as they come up.
Subject: Progress (sent Thursday, December 1st)
Dad greeted Mom and me with bright sparkling eyes this morning! He looked like he was saying “Hello!” and he made many efforts to speak and be understood. Unfortunately his speech wasn’t very clear, nor were his thoughts.
After lots of conversations with various doctors/nurses/physician’s assistants/etc. the only thing we know for sure is the recovery timeline is going to be a long one. We decided to have a permanent feeding tube inserted (which can come out if he regains the ability to swallow) so he can be discharged and transition back to a skilled nursing care facility closer to home. By God’s grace the Life Care Center at Lake Point Landing has room for Dad and he might even get back into his old suite with an adjoining room. Please pray to that end. We hope that he will be able to move this coming Tuesday. In the interim he will have the new tube put in and spend a few days being observed to make sure he’s stable.
Mom and I sincerely appreciate everyone’s prayers. Dad isn’t up to having visitors yet, but we’ll let you know when he is!
Subject: Saturday (sent December 3rd)
The permanent feeding tube was not put in yesterday — it might be done on Monday. Depending on how things go, Dad could be at Lake Point Landing’s Life Care Center as early as Tuesday.
There is little to report from today. Dad was essentially asleep the entire time Mom and I were with him. He responds to some degree when you speak to him, but then he drifts off immediately. He’s been mostly asleep since Friday morning.
We’re in “wait and see” mode. We don’t know if Dad is resting because he needs the rest, or if things are shutting down. His vital signs are strong, but his speech and thought are not.
Today the therapists sat him up on the side of his bed; his eyes were closed and he just barely participated. He made no efforts to speak unless someone spoke to him, and what he said was almost impossible to make out.
Time will tell if his brain and body heal. If not, he will be with Jesus. There is no down side to this situation. Praise God who does all things well.
Subject: Hospice (sent Monday, December 5th)
Mom and I have met with more doctors and finally Hospice. We have decided to transfer Dad’s care to Hospice and move from the Hospital to the Elizabeth House in Hendersonville. He cannot stay at the hospital indefinitely.
If Dad starts to bounce back he can be transferred to a rehabilitation facility, but he is not able to participate in rehab right now.
The professional opinion is that Dad may have a few weeks left; no one knows. We have been optimistic that Dad might turn around, and it is still possible, but he hasn’t made any meaningful progress. Today we learned that some of the things we interpreted as encouraging signs may have given us false hopes. Praise God that our True Hope is not false!
We haven’t had visitors so far (because Dad isn’t able to visit) but visitors will be welcomed soon (late Tuesday perhaps).
Mom and I are well. Give God glory for His sustaining grace and mercy.
The day was not done. After sending the previous email I followed up with this update.
Subject: Hospice, Part 2
Be encouraged brothers & sisters! God does all things well.
After writing my previous email, and signing all of the Hospice paperwork, Mom and I went back up to Dad’s room. Beyond all hope and expectation, Dad was alert, sitting in bed with his eyes wide open, looking around, and a therapist was asking him to blow into some sort of respiratory device. “Phewww” blew Dad into the device. “And again! Come on Bob, blow 10 times.” Dad blew three times, rested, and did it again, and again.
God is amazing. Of course Mom and I both started second guessing ourselves and the decision to move to Elizabeth House, but we still think it’s the right way to go. Dad’s participation in therapy is very limited, and he needs a lot of rest. If he went into the rehab facility now he wouldn’t be able to do much, and the nursing care is less attentive. Going into Elizabeth House they will focus on keeping him comfortable and allowing him to rest, plus they check on him every hour (but that doesn’t mean they wake him up). After his long hospital stay he’s now going to have the opportunity to sleep the night through.
If his brain is healing, this is an ideal environment for the short term. If it is God’s will that he regains strength, Hospice will eventually kick Dad out and send him to rehab.
I know lots of folks are going to want to visit Dad. We’ll start reaching out to you (if you’re here in town) to plan visits, or you can call my cell. Mom and I haven’t had much time to think about visitation yet, but we know Dad will be encouraged to see you and hear your voices!
An Important Note
The best part of the scene above wasn’t included in my email. When Mom came into the room she leaned over Dad and said, “Smile, Bob!” Dad looked at his wife of 47 years and he smiled. Then he puckered his lips, ready for a kiss.
It was a sweet parting. It was a gift God gave Mom.
Mom and I left Dad to rest and we drove back to Hendersonville to prepare for Dad’s arrival at Hospice. We had no idea how the day would finish.
Subject: Praise God Who Does All Things Well
Dad has entered into his eternal rest. He arrived at Elizabeth House this evening. He had a period of distress, then settled in and was at peace. After a while his breathing changed, then it stopped. It was roughly 10:25 when Dad passed away.
Mom is well. I am well. God is good.
Praise God and give Him the glory for a saint He redeemed by the precious blood of His Son.
Dad was only at the Elizabeth House for two hours. He arrived, he went through a period of transition, he quieted down, and shortly after that he went on to be with his Lord.
Robert Merrill Ronningen, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on December 5, 2016, around 10:25pm. He was at peace. Bob is survived by his dear wife, Jane Fortner Ronningen, their son, Nicholai Robertson Ronningen, his daughters, Kristina Ronningen-Fenrich, Sister Greta Ronningen, Lisa Koskovich, many grandchildren, and his sisters Jeann Ward and Joyce Petter. Bob enjoyed a long and full life; he was 93 years old. His memorial service will be held at 2pm on Saturday, December 17, at Reformation Presbyterian Church (120 7th Avenue West, Hendersonville).
I wrote this history to remember.
I am grateful for my father.
I am my father’s son.