Wednesday, April 13, 2022
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDT
Holy Spirit Catholic Church
Wednesday, April 13, 2022
2:00 PM EDT
Holy Spirit Catholic Church
2230 Lake Michigan Drive NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
401 Hall St. SW, Suite 263
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With a quiet, steadfast spirit, Ronald “Ron” Edward Weber lived a life rich in faith, family, and friends. Never one to require the spotlight, Ron humbly welcomed each day as a gift and every person as a friend. He embodied the principles of his faith and, in doing so, proved a role model for others. A devoted husband, father, and grandfather, Ron’s unwavering love, servanthood and support inspired all who were blessed to share time with him. Revered by many, Ron will long be remembered and so very missed.
The 1920s were an age of dramatic social and political change. Post-war peace, a booming economy, rising wages for most Americans, and falling consumer prices gave rise to a higher standard of living for most. The world quickly changed with the inventions of wash machines, vacuum cleaners, the band-aid, and the first automobile with a combustion engine. Tremendous confidence, prosperity, and previously unknown comforts marked this roaring decade when a person’s success was largely determined by their ability to identify their desires and then work to make them a reality. Locally, this vibrant decade grew even brighter for Reynold and Deva (Runyon) Weber as they welcomed their son Ron into their hearts and home on August 8, 1929, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The third of the four Weber children, Ron, grew up in a home rich in love, faith, and resourcefulness. He attended St. Mary’s Church and was well known as a good kid. Though the challenges of the Great Depression meant the family had to move several times, they always had each other. While his father worked as a chauffeur, Ron’s mom was a store detective at Herpolsheimers. During his youth, he enjoyed hanging out at the Humpty Dumpty restaurant and, on occasion, was known to use the grocery money to go and see a movie. Ron went to St. Mary’s for elementary school and was also a student at West Catholic for a time before graduating from Union High School.
Following graduation, Ron and a few of his friends enlisted in the Air Force. During the Korean war, he was stationed in Okinawa and primarily worked in radio and communications, acquiring skills that would suit him well throughout life. Upon returning home promptly went downtown to find work and soon started a 37-year career with Bell Telephone Company. He started out splicing cable and worked his way up in the company. He preferred working with his hands in the field over doing paperwork.
In time, Ron had the good fortune of being introduced to Agnes “AJ” Engstrom by mutual friends. The couple began dating and often attended dances at the YMCA together. Several years later became engaged, and as soon as AJ said, “yes,” Ron contacted the church and requested the first available date for their wedding. The couple married at St. Andrews Church on January 23, 1954, and continued their celebration on a cold honeymoon in Niagara Falls.
The newlyweds made their first home in an apartment before living for a short time on Courtney Street NW. When they welcomed their first child, Terri, they quickly recognized they needed more space. As Ron’s brother-in-law was a builder, they built a home on 8th Street that would be “home” for Ron and AJ for the rest of their lives. Ron and AJ welcomed three more children to their family, Patricia, and twins Robin and Ronald Jr. A quiet man, Ron never talked much, though he was never shy about sharing how proud he was of his children. He expressed how much he loved them and encouraged all of their endeavors. Ron and AJ shared a deep faith and also, for most of their marriage, devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Ron and AJ also spent a lot of time with a close-knit group of friends. They often enjoyed playing cards.
Upon arriving home after work, Ron typically read the paper. After dinner, he would tinker around the house. One of his good friends was a builder, and Ron picked up a lot of skills from him. He became very handy and was always working on something. As his children grew and had families of their own, Ron enjoyed helping them with their home repairs and projects. Well known for his determination regarding anything he started – things always got completed. With great attention to detail, he cared for the yard, mowing and tending to the flower gardens. Though not much for the kitchen, he was the one to grill and loved a steak or burger.
Golf was one of Ron’s great passions, and he was pretty good. He played whenever he could, and AJ joined him on the course sometimes. He delighted in hitting three holes-in-one. In retirement, he kept busy with golf, worked for a time at the Highlands as a golf starter (to get on the courses), and volunteered with the Ronald McDonald house. For many years, he helped care for his mom, who lived a couple of blocks away.
Ron and AJ bought a motorhome and did some traveling. They ventured out as far as California to see their family there and determined that anywhere Ron could get in a round of golf was a good place to stop. For most of their retirement, Ron and AJ began each day with morning Mass. Following Mass, Ron did his best to start every day by working on something, then he enjoyed the rest of the day, spending time completing crossword puzzles and Suduko from the Detroit News, playing cards at the VFW in the afternoon, and perhaps reading or watching a Western. In the last few years, he also enjoyed breakfast with the “breakfast Klub” at Burger King.
Without a doubt, Ron’s family was his greatest joy, and when his grandchildren came, he loved to spend time with them. They were the apple of his eye, and he loved playing with them. Supportive and encouraging, he was a great grandpa, and though he didn’t enjoy talking on the phone, he might if it was with one of them. Ron was a terrific role model. Each day he lived his faith and was very active until the last year when his health began to decline.
Though life feels less certain in the absence of Ron’s steadfast companionship, we find much comfort in our many treasured memories. May we also find comfort in the honor of carrying Ron’s legacy forward. In each moment that we choose faith over fear, love with our whole hearts, humbly give of ourselves in service of others, cheer on our loved ones, and take to the golf course, we celebrate the many ways Ron gifted our lives. In this way, we keep his spirit alive and inspiring others as he so inspired each of us.
Ronald E. Weber, age 92, of Grand Rapids, passed away in the comforts of his family on April 10, 2022. He is survived by his wife, Agnes “AJ”; their children Terri & Wayne Wiersema, Patricia & Tom Davis, Robin & Steve Axdorff; daughter-in-law Stella Weber; grandchildren Ryan & Laura Wiersema, Katie Wiersema and Brandon Beavers, Stephanie Axdorff, Taylor Axdorff; great-grandchildren Alexis, Ellen and Will Wiersema and Colton Beavers; sister-in-law and brother-in-law Betty Peacock and Ted Engstrom. Ron was preceded in death by his son, Ronald Weber Jr; brothers Reynolds and Richard Weber; and sister, Barbara Jakubowski.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, April 13, at 2 PM at Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Friends are invited to visit with Ron’s family on Tuesday at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW, beginning at 6 PM with the Rosary service at 7:30 PM. Visitation at church on Wednesday beginning at 1 PM. Interment in Resurrection Cemetery. For those who wish, memorial contributions to Emmanuel Hospice are appreciated. To read more about Ron’s life, to share a memory or photo, or sign his guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com