Dr. Ronald E. Severson, 91, of Le Mars, Iowa passed away on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at the Brentwood Good Samaritan Village in Le Mars. Funeral services will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 16, 2016 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Le Mars. Rev. Chris Meier will officiate. Burial will follow at Memorial Cemetery in Le Mars. Visitation will begin at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at the Mauer – Johnson Funeral Home in Le Mars. The family will be present from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. with a prayer service at 5:30 p.m. There will also be one hour of visitation at the church prior to funeral on Thursday.
Ronald Eugene Severson was born on May 13, 1925 on the family farm in rural Moorhead, Iowa to Guy and Mida (Millard) Severson, coincidentally on his mother’s birthday. He was the third of four brothers. Ron was baptized at the Soldier Lutheran country parsonage and confirmed at the Soldier Lutheran town church. He graduated from Moorhead Public Schools where he excelled in baseball. Ron furthered his education at the University of Iowa for a year. He returned to the farm for a brief time and then resumed college at Iowa State University, completing his veterinary degree in 1950. While at ISU, he was elected to the Gamma Chapter of the Society of Phi Zeta.
After graduating in 1951, Ron practiced veterinary medicine with Dr. Britcher of Storm Lake and Moorhead, Iowa. In Storm Lake, he met his future wife Joan Smith on a blind date. They were married September 3, 1951 at Evangelical Free Church in Meriden. Ron and Joan moved to Le Mars, Iowa where Ron took over the practice of Dr. Bill Knoop in 1951. He practiced from 1951 to 1988 in his present office (now a historic building) and home near downtown. Dr. Wayne Faber practiced with Ron from 1954-1985. Ron also co-founded Diamond Laboratories in the 1950’s. His last years in practice were spent with Drs. Hemmingson, Holz and Prieksat from 1985 – 1988.
Ron enjoyed working for the farmers in Plymouth County. He said, “The farmers in this area are very, very good farmers. I learned a lot from the farmers. And I hope I taught them a few things, too”. Ron was a patriot and loved his country.
He was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Le Mars and served as assistant Treasurer. Ron served on the Plymouth County Board of Health form 1973 to 2011. He was past president of Rotary and was awarded the President’s Citation and was a Paul Harris Fellow. He was a member of the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce and received the Agricultural Service Award. Ron was also on the Le Mars Board of Boy Scouts and a life member of the Iowa and American Veterinary Medicine Association. He was among the original Plymouth County Museum volunteers. Ron enjoyed taking the Dale Carnegie course in Le Mars and was known for his quick wit. His hobbies included golf, travel, finance and watching the Chicago Cubs. Ron’s People to People Tour with other veterinarians to Europe and USSR in 1965 was most memorable. They traveled as a family to Europe in 1968 and later trips and cruises included his brother and friends Thayer and Mary Jane Brown. Some 52 trips were taken by Ron and Joan during their retirement. He emailed his grandchildren daily with encouraging messages.
Grateful to have shared his life are his children, Susan and Tom Hoffman of Le Mars, IA and Dr. Greg Severson and fiancé Deb McElroy of Omaha, NE; grandchildren, Audra Hoffman of Austin, TX, Jon Hoffman of St. Paul, MN, Rosalee Hoffman of Washington D.C., Dr. Elizabeth (Jim Mooney) Severson of Charlotte, WV and Sean Severson of Omaha, NE; a brother, Ray (Patricia) Severson of Moorhead, IA; sisters-in-law, Kathy (Arnie) Dawson of Washta, IA and Ellen Baker of Raytown, MO as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents; wife Joan on February 14, 2016; a daughter, Ann; infant grandson, Dana Ronald Hoffman; brothers, Russell and Glen (Glendora); a sister-in-law, Jane Baker; brother-in-law, Jim Baker; a nephew, Jeff Severson; special cousin, Jim Severson; and longtime golf partner, Ray Korff.
Expressions of sympathy may be directed to St. John’s Lutheran Church Building Fund or Hospice of Siouxland.