Private memorial services for Ronald Lester Swonger, 69, Lawrence, will take place at a later date in Sharon, Kan.
Ron passed unexpectedly in his home surrounded by family and close friends on April 7th, 2018, at 1228 hrs.
Ron was born July 7, 1948, in Nashville, Kansas, the son of Lyle Lester “Buck” and Mary Darlene “Darlene” Spurling Swonger.
Ron was a life time resident of Sharon, KS (until moving to Lawrence, KS in 2013) completing his education K-12 in 1967 from Sharon High School. In 1971 Ron attended the Kansas Law Enforcement Academy in Hutchinson, KS and received his certification as a Law Enforcement Officer, keeping his licensure current up until his death.
On June 1, 1968 Ron married the love of his life, Roberta Fay Shelite, also of Sharon, Ks. Ron & Bert met in 1960 at the tender ages of 10 and 12, they were neighbors for many years, their parents being the best of friends. To this union two boys were added, Robert Lyle on the 15th of April, 1969 and Kurt Alan on the 12th of June, 1974.
Ron worked for the Farmers Coop in both Sharon and Medicine Lodge Kansas from 1968 – 1971. In 1971 Ron, Bert, and their oldest Robert (Robby) moved to Attica Kansas as Ron was offered a position with the city as a night patrol man, in 1972 Ron working actively as the Chief of Police for the city of Attica somehow “tricked” Bert into viewing a Cafe that was going up for sale in Attica and before they left there were the owners of what would become Bert’s Cafe from 1972-1978.
In 1978 Ron, Bert, Bobby & Kurt (born June 12, 1974) moved back to Sharon to own and operate what was then a pool hall referred to as The Blue Goose. After selling the Goose to his oldest brother Bucky in 1980, Ron went to work for National Gypsum in Medicine Lodge, Kansas, where he worked until he became disabled with COPD in 1992. Many years after his retirement, Ron helped with activities within the city of Sharon, organizing and raising funds for the Martina McBride Park, the new concession stand at the ball diamond, the new Civil/Storm Siren as well as many other improvements within the city. Ron was an active picker and all around junk collector, visiting and trading with friends daily in his “Club House” in Sharon. In 2013 Ron moved to Lawrence, Kansas and went into partnership with his oldest son Robby. They founded The Vapor’s Edge in Lawrence which has become the premiere vape shop in town. Ron has many many friends and always found the good in everyone, was a giving person and a huge lover of dogs. Ron spent the last few years of his time here on earth cherishing his grandchildren, fishing with his youngest son Kurt, granddaughter Kelsey and grandson Jayton and just hanging out on their iPads with his great grandson Bralynn. 36 hours after his transition to Heaven, Ron sent his second great grandchild Alice Grey to comfort his loving family. Ron’s legacy will continue in his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, he was a man that never used the words good-bye, but see you later or if you were within his circle, ta ta…..
Ron is survived by the love of his life and best friend, wife Roberta “Bert” of the home, his mother in law Annabell C. (Haas) Shelite of the home, sister in law Judy (Shelite) Loewenstein of Kiowa, KS, his Aunt Nancy Swonger (uncle Robert L Swonger deceased) of Sacramento, CA, Aunt Darlene Swonger (uncle Bill Swonger deceased) of Newberg, OR. Aunt Darlene Swonger ( uncle Jack Swonger) of Newberg, OR, his sons; Robert L. Swonger “Robby” & Jamal of Lawrence, Kurt A. Swonger & Maria of Baldwin City, grandson Jayton & Sabrina Swonger of Lawrence, granddaughter Kelsey Ann Swonger of Baldwin City, great grandchildren Bralynn Michael Swonger of Lawrence, and Alice Grey Swonger of Lawrence (born 36 hours after his transition)
Special family friends Stephanie Westley of Lawrence, Zach Lickteig, Lisa Strippoli, & Christina Moss of Lawrence, and many many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
Ron is preceded in death by his father, Lyle Lester “Buck” and mother Mary Darlene ‘Grammy” Swonger, grandparents; Winfred & Estella Swonger, Bill & Idabell Spurling, & Step Grandmother Ellen Swonger, uncles ; Bill, Robert L. “Bob”, Junior (Winfred Jr.), Baby Winfred II, Fred Swonger , Baby Jim Swonger, Bill Spurling and Howard Davis. aunts; Wanda Dinkins, Helen Kingsoliver, Nellie McDaniel, Bonnie Farr, Baby Carol Swonger, Baby Peggy Swonger & Dalphine (spurling) Davis; brothers; Jack, Bucky, and Larry Swonger, father-in-law Robert “Bob” Shelite, brothers-in-law Robert Loewenstein, Eddie and Bobby Shelite, niece Hope Nicole (Loewenstein) Schmidt, great great nephew Maddox Reed Paxson, and nephews Jason Kaumans and James ‘Tuffy” Talbott.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Lawrence Humane Society, in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana St., Lawrence, KS, 66044.