News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Ronald Mohler,1931 — February 24, 2021

Ronald Mohler passed away peacefully on February 24, 2021 at his home in Sisters. He was born in Ephrata, Pennsylvania in 1931, the son of Elizabeth (Rutt) and David Wealand Mohler.

“Ronnie” delivered newspapers, shined shoes at “the Greek’s,” worked at Cox’s Drug Store, the Glen-Gery brickyard, and the Miller Hess Shoe Factory in Akron. Ron was also a Boy Scout and felt that was an important influence in his life. He was an Ephrata High School ’49er.

After graduation, Ron followed an apprentice education opportunity with Textile Machine Works and Wyomissing Polytechnic Institute. Through the program, Ron obtained a scholarship to attend Penn State University. At Penn State, the family narrowly escaped a fire that destroyed the trailer and everything the family owned.

Ron and Nancy had to start over, but the family was safe. Through determination and the generosity of others, they were able to continue Ron’s education. Ron graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1956 and obtained a work-study fellowship with Hughes Aircraft Company and the University of Southern California. After obtaining his master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1958, Ron worked at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratories in New Mexico. He worked on controls for nuclear rocket propulsion on the Rover Project. Ron later obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Ron also taught at Los Alamos and eventually became a professor at the University of New Mexico in 1965. This was the start of his academic career, where he became a leader and innovator in the field of systems engineering.

Ron would work with a variety of organizations, institutions, and individuals around the world, frequently making trips to Russia, Europe, and Australia.

In 1969, Ron started a new job with the University of Oklahoma as Director, Systems Research Center and Professor, Electrical Engineering, and Aerospace, Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering.

Ron moved to Oregon State University in 1971 to become the head of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He reorganized and developed various programs within the department. He also established new programs for off-campus instruction with Tektronix and the Bonneville Power Administration.

Ron retired from Oregon State University in Corvallis after a distinguished career of research and graduate education as a Professor Emeritus. He and Nancy moved to Sisters, to the home he helped design, overlooking the mountains and the natural beauty they loved. Ron became involved in the Sisters community until his health became an issue. He was active in Kiwanis and a faithful member of the Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church.

Ron married his sweetheart, Nancy Strickler, in May of 1950. He remembered her from the time he was working the soda fountain at Cox’s Drug Store. She remembered he messed up her order. They began a family later that year that was to grow to eight children. Ron and Nancy’s life was a partnership based on love, faith, and family.

Throughout their lives, they believed in the goodness of people. Wherever they lived, at home or abroad, Ron and Nancy opened their home to students and co-workers from around the world who became extended family. Despite the many moves, they always stayed in touch with family and friends in the Ephrata area. Nancy died in 2017.

Ron is survived by his children, Curt and Debby, Pam and Jim Micik, Susan and Tom Crawford, Anita and Nick Smith, John , Andy and Jenee, Jennifer and Mark Artman, Lisa Zaversnuke, 11 grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and six step-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his sister, Marguerite (Ressler), and his brother, Roger.

Ron was always saying “We’re blessed to have such a wonderful family.”

Arrangements are being handled by Redmond Memorial Chapel in Redmond, Oregon. If you wish, please leave a memory at: http://www.bendfuneralhomes.com.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later time when Ron and Nancy’s ashes will be scattered together.

Memorial Contributions may be made to the Ronald and Nancy Mohler Endowment for EECS Student Success at www.osufoundation.org.

 

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