Ron was born in Rosthern, Saskatchewan, to Frank and Mary Derksen, the youngest of three children. Ron had a happy childhood. He was actively involved in church and community. He graduated from Rosthern Junior College and lifeguarded over the summers. He loved telling stories from this time, mostly of pranks that were played on him! Ron grew up in a Christian home. He accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior as a teen and was baptized at Rosthern Mennonite Church. His faith grew through ministries such as the Youth Farm Bible Camp (YFBC) and “Truth for Youth”.
Ron graduated from University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Science, attended Columbia Bible Institute for one year, and returned to U of S for an Education Degree. He sang in Greystone Singers, loved math and science, even applying to be an astronaut! Summers were spent leading canoe trips up north, tree planting, and directing at YFBC. He also traveled to India and Bangladesh one summer.
Ron taught math and science for 5 years at the Lloydminster Comp. He coached football and basketball, and still drove back to Rosthern to play hockey for the Wheat Kings.
While volunteering at YFBC, he met a teacher originally from Waldheim, Lavonne Schmidt. They were married on July 29, 1989. Ron made a career change, moving home to Rosthern to help take over his father’s business, Rosthern Agencies. He immersed himself in his work as an insurance broker until his passing.
Ron and Lavonne had 6 children, Heidi, Levi, Joshua, Jesse, Micah, and Andrew. Ron was thoroughly involved in his children’s lives. He enjoyed hockey on the backyard rink, teaching his children to swim and much more. He was the home education math teacher, recently correcting Andrew’s last grade 12 math test!
Over the years, Ron actively participated in church and community life, volunteering in various roles, such as the town fair pancake breakfast, the Rosthern Nursing Home canteen and hymn sing, refereeing football, assisting to sponsor refugees, the Rosthern Swimming Pool committee, the Rosthern Home for the Aged board, the YFBC board and more.
Ron’s interest in science lead him to study creation and how science shows that God created the world in 6 days as the Bible teaches. He instilled this knowledge clearly in his family and many vacations were spent traveling to locations that demonstrated this, hiking the Grand Canyon and Mt. St. Helen’s, the Ark Encounter and many museums. Other family trips with purpose were 3 short term mission outreaches to Mexico and several Mennonite Disaster Service trips.
In 2004 our family moved from an 864 sq ft house in Rosthern to an acreage just outside of town, and planted an 1,800-tree cherry and apple orchard. Ron was disappointed when Google Earth showed one tree row wasn’t perfectly straight. We had to transplant the trees and correct it! Ron loved doing yard work and outside projects.
As his children grew up, Ron helped with their various projects, hobbies and small businesses. He would often lend a helping hand or wise advice. He was known for his selfless attitude and patience and tried to develop this in his children. Though he had his faults, he was the best dad in the world! He was never one to want attention for his accomplishments other than the rare time that he did a bunch of dishes, which his family heard about for a long time!
Ron supported the family music ministry at over 700 different programs and events in the last 20 years. He helped set up and tune instruments and later joined in singing.
Ron loved his grandchildren and they adored him. Whether it was taking the time to give them swing rides, read a book to them or more recently letting them “help” with yard work, he exhibited his patient caring attitude towards them. They are missing their ‘Papa’.
Ron was a man of strong faith in his Savior Jesus Christ. Recently, he accepted the role as an Elder at Fairhaven Bible Chapel. We have many wonderful memories of Ron leading Bible studies and preaching. Locally, Ron has helped organize and lead a men’s prayer breakfast at YFBC for many years.
Ron mentored many people. His friendly, calm demeanor was respected wherever he went. We are thankful that he always strived to be at peace with all people and though he left unexpectedly he was in right relationship with others and especially with his Savior. On May 10th, Ron suddenly passed away from a blood infection which caused cardiac arrest.
Ron is survived by his loving wife, Lavonne, his children Heidi, Levi (Victoria) & son Elijah, Joshua (Shaylyn) & children Joanna, Boaz, Abigail and one on the way, Jesse (Brittney) & son Jackson, Micah and Andrew, his siblings Bob (Bev) Derksen, Judy (Jim) Wiens, and siblings-in-law Larry (Marcia) Schmidt, Loretta (Ray) Bueckert, Lanny (Shawna) Schmidt, Lucille Folkeringa, and LeeAnne Schmidt and their families. He was predeceased by his parents Frank and Mary (Martens) Derksen, in-laws Vern and Erika (Isaak) Schmidt, and brother-in-law Randy Folkeringa.
A memorial service by invitation will be on Monday, May 31, 2021 at 7:00 PM at Salem Church, Waldheim. Satellite services will be at Fairhaven Bible Chapel, Youth Farm Bible Camp and Rosthern Alliance Church. Please sign up at rsvp.church/r/vMFNIGWD or watch here online.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to two of Ron’s favorite ministries: Youth Farm Bible Camp, Box 636, Rosthern, SK S0K 3R0 or Answers in Genesis, 655 Industrial Rd Unit 17 Cambridge, ON N3H 5C9.
Arrangements are in care of Funk’s Funeral Home, Rosthern, SK (306) 232-5245, funksfuneralhome.ca