Ronald Wayne Wetzel

Edgar's picture
Ronald Wayne Wetzel, 67, died Aug. 20, 2014, in the home of his son, Russ Wetzel in Warrenton, Va. He was born in Sedalia, Mo., on June 13, 1947, on Friday the 13th. His parents were Eugene L. Wetzel and Florence Rhoades Wetzel.  He moved to Walters with his family when he was 18 months old. He attended Walters Public Schools and graduated from Walters High School in 1966. He then went on to graduate from Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology in Okmulgee, Okla., with an associates degree in applied science in diesel mechanics. He joined the U.S. Army and went to basic training in Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., in the spring of 1968. He was  sent to a Nike Missile Electronics Training School in Huntsville, Ala., after basic training. He was there for a nine month school and upon graduation he was asked to stay and be an instructor in the school. He was there for the rest of the three years. Then Ron moved to Kingfisher, Okla., to work for Pioneer Telephone Cooperative. He worked for them for 40 years. During that time he was department manager of the central office, department manager of new technologies, and department manager of central office switching and central office transport (Calix Transport) and installation. Back in the early 1980’s he worked with Kent Walter in Seattle, Wash., involving the system seven program which included the 100- 200 Nortel Switching equipment. Ron and Kent invented a switch that changed equipment from mechanical to digital. Ron received many awards during his 40 years there with Pioneer. He received three awards from the NTCA which is a national conference about rural telephones and service pins from Pioneer itself for five years, 10 years, and on to a 40 year one. He worked personally with many national  companies to make Pioneer Telephone Cooperative what it is today. He worked with Northern Telecom out of North Carolina and Canada and also with Calix out of California setting up and running the cable TV Pioneer uses today. He worked with an engineering company out of Oklahoma City headed by Monty Lee. He went to telephone conferences and conventions and talked to representatives from these companies and others about all kinds of purchases Pioneer Telephone made and were considering. He worked many nights overnight to set up new equipment and make sure it was working before he left the jobsite. He was a computer genius. He married Ivy Tompkins on June 15, 1968. They had been high school sweethearts at Walters High School. They had two sons, Russ and Richard. Ron enjoyed particularly his motorcycle and traveling with  Ivy all over the country on it. They went from coast to coast through the years. He enjoyed going to OU games where Richard marched with The Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band. He and Ivy went to England and Scotland where they toured movie sets of the Harry Potter films as well as other sights. He is survived by Ivy in Kingfisher; Russ and Celeste and their children, Roy and Cordie in Warrenton, Va., and Richard and Leigh and their children, Anna and Katie in Plano, Texas. Also, Ron’s brother, Herb Wetzel and his wife Sandra of St. Peters, Mo., and a niece and her husband, Stephanie and Gary Goss of Rogersville, Mo. A memorial service was held Oct. 3, at the Nazarene Church in Kingfisher. Graveside services will be held in Walters, Okla., on Monday, Oct. 13, 2014 at 2:00p.m.    
Rate this article: 
No votes yet