IN LOVING MEMORY OF WGS MEMBER RONALD PAASCH
Ronald “Ron” Paasch, 95, of Walnut, Iowa, died Wednesday, April 26, 2023, at CHI Health Mercy in Council Bluffs, IA.
Ronald Roy Paasch was born on April 2, 1928, to Hugo Lawrence and Mildred Myrtis (Burkey) Paasch on the Paasch farm north of Walnut, IA. At age 3, Ron moved to the Burkey farm southeast of Walnut where he attended Layton #8 school through the 8th grade and graduated from Walnut High School in 1946. While in high school and traveling along with friends during a snowstorm, they saw an Air Force bomber crash in a field south of Walnut. That accident led Ronald to enlist in the United States Air Force in 1951, serving during the Korean War at Ellsworth Air Base in Rapid City, SD in the cryptology decipher wing where he achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant. He often took sensitive messages, while armed, to the base commander but also worked as a civilian for Bell Telephone. Ron was honorably discharged in 1954 and returned to Walnut to continue working on the family farm.
One of Ronald’s deep interests was sharing his love of farming. Ron and his family were very active in the International Farm Youth Exchange (IFYE). Through IFYE, Ron was able to travel to Argentina for 6 months in 1956 to learn about farming in the country and its cultural differences. He stayed with six different families throughout southern Buenos Aires and learned the gaucho way. The Paasch family then hosted five Argentines throughout the years, in return. Ron deeply cherished the relationships he built while in the program and stayed in touch with the families over the years, even making a return visit with his mother.
Ron’s biggest passion has always been his black Angus cattle. He raised and showed Angus cattle at 4-H since the age of 10. Ron was gifted by his dad his first Angus calf in 1938. The next year they won Top Pen and Second Place Individual among over 2,000 cattle at the Pottawattamie County Fair and took Top Heifer. His champion steer, Mistery, won 6 classes to earn the Champion Rating at the American Royal Livestock Show in 1947. In addition, Ron won competitions at the Iowa State Fair, Chicago, Denver, Ft. Worth and Kansas City.
Ron never met a stranger he wouldn’t introduce himself to. His favorite stories included: The tile corn crib his grandfather and Uncle Roy built in 1912 that is still being used. The B-24 Liberator bomber crash in 1944; later in life Ron purchased the piece of land where the accident occurred and updated the memorial plane monument for those who lost their lives in that crash. And always, his time in Argentina with IFYE.
Ron enjoyed history, especially that of Walnut and the surrounding areas. He was active in the Walnut Historical Society and the Walnut Genealogy Society. He has shared many pictures and historical artifacts from his family with those communities.
Ron was married to Mary Carr in 1980. Mary, and her son Cory, lived on the family farm and in 1983, welcomed son Christopher. In 2000, Ron reconnected with Virginia Dennis whom he had met on a family trip to the West Coast years earlier. They enjoyed traveling together including a trip to Europe and throughout the United States. For many years, they would live in Iowa during farming season and winter at Virginia’s home in California.
Ron is survived by his special friend and business associate, Virginia Dennis and her family, Kevin Dennis, Keith Dennis, Cary Dennis, Chris Dennis and Mark (Miriam) Dennis and their families; son, Christopher (Andie) Paasch and children, Oliver and Adelyn; stepson, Cory (Leah) Carr and children, Emerson and Hazel; nephew, Jeff (Janene) Leeper and children, Hannah, Rachel, and Ethan; and niece, Kristen (Steven) Goedtke and children, Jessica, Rebecca, Miranda, Jonathan, and Mikayla.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Shirley; brother-in-law, Ross Leeper; and ex-wife, Mary.
Funeral services were held at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, May 3rd at the First Presbyterian Church in Walnut. Burial, with military honors by the Walnut American Legion Post #422, was in the Layton Township Cemetery in Walnut.
The family requested memorials be directed to the Walnut Fire Department, the Walnut American Legion Post #422, and the Walnut Historical Society.