Ronald Habstritt, age 80 of Jordan, formerly of St. Cloud, passed away peacefully and unexpectedly at his home on September 1, 2016. A visitation will be held on Friday, September 9, 2016 from 4:00 until 7:00 PM at Ballard-Sunder Funeral Home, Jordan. Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 12:00 PM with a visitation from 10:30 AM until noon at the Church of St. Anthony of Padua, 2405 1st Street North, St. Cloud, MN 56303. Ronald will be laid to rest next to his wife at Assumption Cemetery in St. Cloud. Father Tom Knoblach will preside.
On November 11, 1935 in Maynard, Minnesota, Arthur and Agnes (Schuman) Habstritt celebrated the birth of their son, Ronald Arthur Habstritt at the family farm. He was the third of four children who flourished on the farm devloped by their grandfather Frank Habstritt, a pioneer to the area. Along with his older sisters, LaVonne and Dorothy, and his younger brother, Larry, the family moved to St. Cloud in 1948.
Ronald graduated from St. Cloud’s Cathedral High School in 1953. He volunteered to serve in the Korean War but was turned away due to a bad leg that he’d broken in high school. He joined the National Guard and was assigned to a medical unit based at Camp Ripley in Little Falls. When the unit was converted to a tank command, Ronald was trained as a mechanic and promoted to sergeant.
In his early twenties, Ronald’s friends introduced him to a young woman named Joanne Dorothy Hempel. Ronald and Joanne exchanged wedding vows on October 22, 1958 at Holy Angels Catholic Church in St. Cloud. The young couple was blessed with four children—Mary, Carol, Sue and Tom. Being a father came naturally to Ronald and he loved spending time with his children. Whether it was summer or winter, Ronald would take his children fishing. Often the girls refused to touch the fish they caught, but Ronald was always there to take the fish off the hook. In the winter, the family spent countless hours in their 8X8 fish house. During the summer, Ronald would encourage the children to work in the garden with him.
At the beginning of his married life, Ronald worked as a laborer for the Great Northern Railroad. Eventually, the family moved to Minneapolis when Ronald was hired to work as an orderly at the Veterans Administration hospital. In the 1969, Ronald began working for the U. S. Postal Service and sorted mail during the night shift at the Minneapolis Post Office. In October 1984, Ronald retired to spend more time with Joanne who had developed health problems.
The family had moved to Delano in 1973. After Ronald’s retirement, with the children out on their own, he and Joanne moved to Howard Lake and then back to St. Cloud and became frequent travelers. Along with friends in the Good Sam Club, Ronald and Joanne camped throughout the United States in their RV. While living in St. Cloud, Ronald volunteered at the Veterans Administration pharmacy and was an active member of the Knights of Columbus and the Whitney Senior Center. Ronald’s favorite pastime was playing cards with his friends. For many years, Ronald met with his poker group once a week and attended various cribbage tournaments. He continued these activities after Joanne’s death in 2003. Ronald moved to Jordan in 2014 to be closer to his daughter Sue.
Ronald was a sociable, hardworking man who was always willing to take the time to hear about someone’s day or play a game of cards, and always, always ready to tell a joke (no matter how often you’d heard it before). Ronald will be greatly missed by his children, Mary (Gerry Weinstein) Habstritt, Carol (Al Lentz) Gewerth, Sue (Mark) Zimitsch, Tom (Selvi) Habstritt; grandchildren, Mark Gewerth, Jessica (Matt) Johnson, Jonny Zimitsch, Jackie Zimitsch, Amanda Habstritt, Katelyn Habstritt; great-granddaughter, Ella Johnson; sister, LaVonne Danzl, and brother, Larry (Myrna) Habstritt. There to greet Ronald in heaven is his loving wife, Joanne; sister, Dorothy White; brothers-in-law, Bill White and Bob Danzl; and parents, Arthur and Agnes.Print Obituary & Condolences