Ronald W. Henriksson Obituary
Noblesville, IN – Ronald William Henriksson, age 81, passed away peacefully with his loving wife, Joan, by his side on April 3, 2018 to be home with the Lord Jesus Christ. He was born August 23, 1936 to William Henriksson and Laura Euren Henriksson in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.
Ron’s health suffered. He became ill with diabetes and high blood pressure, and in 1993 he suffered a stroke. Two open heart surgeries followed, one in 2007 and another in 2013. In October 2014, Ron had a mini stroke which was followed by a larger one in December 2015 that caused vascular dementia. He was under long term care the last 28 months of his life. Joan cared for him by assisting him daily with his meals and providing loving company filled with family conversations and songs.
Ron is preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, an infant sister, and a step-son. Ron is survived by his wife, Joan, daughters Tracey (Anthony) Skehan, Lori (Darren) Hartel, son Wesley Henriksson, sister Irene Bernard, grandchildren Lauren & Julia Henriksson, Jackson Hartel, niece Cindy Bartolotto, aunt Mildred (Sulo) Rintamaki, step-daughters Susan (Paul) Stinn, Kathryn (Dan) Turnacliff, step-son Keith (Kristen) Cornila and seven step-grandchildren Tyler & Rebecca Stinn, Alyssa & Nate Molnar, Emma, Mason and Grace Cornila among other family members.
A Memorial Service will be held at Hope Bible Fellowship (2350 Conner Street, Noblesville) on Sunday, April 15, 2018. Friends may gather beginning at 2:30 P.M., and the service will begin at 3:00 P.M. A reception will follow. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in honor of Ron to The American Diabetes Association or The Alzheimer's Foundation of America.
Tribute to Ronald W. Henriksson
When Ron was two years old, his dad died in a drowning accident. Shortly after, his mom moved to Toronto for work and Ron was raised by his Finnish grandparents on a farm in Thunder Bay, Ontario. When he was sixteen, he then went to live in Toronto with his mother and older sister, Irene. He attended a mechanics apprenticeship where he earned his license.
With his license, Ron worked on logging equipment in the Ontario bush. Later, he went into sales and sold heavy equipment for Case, winning top salesman of the year and a trip to Hong Kong. Following his first sales experience, he began his own window business. Before retiring in 2006, Ron sold insurance, roofing materials, and solarium and conservatory sunroom additions for the home.
Ron is the father to three children – Tracey (born 1966), Lori (born 1969), and Wesley (born 1970), all living in Canada – and step-dad to four more children – Susan (born 1966), Kathryn (born 1967), Rob (born 1969 and passed away 2016), and Keith (born 1970).
Ron overcame alcoholism and smoking with the help of AA in 1977. He considered this one of his greatest personal triumphs and he remained sober the rest of his life. Often, if asked if he’d like a beer, he’d respond: “no thanks, I want to be home before Christmas!”. Any interaction with Ron was sure to include his quick wit and humor.
After Ron came to know Jesus personally in the mid 1980’s, he moved to Toronto for work. In 1990 a sales trip for a home show brought him to Minneapolis. On one of those cold winter MN evenings, he and Joan met at a singles dance (which he reluctantly attended). Once he agreed to a dance, the rest was history. They were married May 23, 1992 in Unionville, Ontario. Ron often reflected on their meeting, saying: “I was blessed the day we met and thankful to God for bringing us together.” The newlyweds lived in Minnesota for a year, enjoyed church, small group, and family time. In 1993, they moved to Richmond Hills, just outside of Toronto, Canada, and lived there for almost ten years before moving to Noblesville, Indiana in early 2003.
This new home in the states allowed for Ron to become a US citizen and an active part of Joan’s family. Ron enjoyed trips to New England, Minnesota, and Michigan to spend holidays and vacations with his step-children and grandchildren, and he returned to Canada whenever possible to visit with family and friends. In Indianapolis, Ron was an avid cheerleader for various sports events and participated in many other endeavors with his step-family. He was loved by Joan’s family for over 27 years.
Because Ron spoke Finnish, he enjoyed teaching Joan the language. The two were often quoted as saying kiitos (thank you), maito (milk), and vesi (water) during his meals in the care facility. He also loved speaking Finn with his Aunt Mildred (Mindy) and Uncle Sulo when they called.
One of Ron’s biggest loves was for his dogs. Growing up, “Lady” was his favorite, then Digger, and most recently Baxter. Ron erupted with laughter and joy any time he and Baxter would play together. In his earlier years (and because he was Canadian), Ron loved hockey. He helped coach the Thunder Bay Twins hockey team to an Allan Cup Championship in 1985, earning him a championship ring. Ron also loved serving in two sessions at the Indiana State House. He was called Bap by his US step-grandchildren and grandpa by his Canadian grandchildren. Ron loved cookies and toothpicks, which is why you each received one as a remembrance. He was known to have a toothpick behind his ear, one in his mouth and always a spare in his cap!
Hunting mink, moose, deer and fishing were some of Ron’s favorite pastimes and he often reminisced about them. He could also regularly be found listening to talk radio, craving information on current events; making Finn pancakes; admiring the pond and ducks in front of his home; visiting with neighbors; reading his Bible; and playing solitaire on the computer. In addition, Ron served at Word of Life Camp more than 6 times. He and Joan worshiped together and were members at Harbor Shores Church for many years.
The family is grateful for the love, support, constant prayer, visits and calls from friends and relatives during Ron’s last journey. A special thanks to: Hope Bible Fellowship Church for hosting our celebration of Ron’s life, Riverwalk Village staff for their loving care of both Ron and Joan, and Season’s Hospice and Palliative Care during his last days. You all have touched our hearts deeply.