Ron Aisenbrey: 1945-2021
Ronald Aisenbrey died of complications of pneumonia at his home in Jacksonville, Fla. on Monday, May 10, 2021 at the age of 76.
Ron was born to Arthur C and Emma (Gran) Aisenbrey on May 3, 1945 in rural Menno, Hutchinson County, S.D. He was baptized by Rev. Erich Kaempchen at Salem Reformed Church in Menno July 1, 1945. He was confirmed at Salem Reformed Church by Rev. Erich Kaempchen June 21, 1959.
Ron was preceded by his mother in 1959 and father in 2001 and was their only child. Following the death of Ron’s mother at age 13, Ron spent summers on the farms of his Uncle Edwin and Aunt Nora (Schnabel) Aisenbrey and first cousins Calvin and Cornelia (Mettler) Hagge. These loving couples became lifelong “parent figures” to Ron and he also became close to their children. Ron was also preceded by Cornelia Hagge in 2001 and Edwin Aisenbrey in 2002.
Ron married Marla Jane Hensley (aka Janie) on Sept. 17, 1988 in Waukegan, Ill., and recently spoke of their 32-year loving relationship. Janie survives Ron as does her daughter Lisa (Baisden) Towery (Roger) and family of Italy; Nora Aisenbrey of Menno; Calvin Hagge of Menno; stepchildren and grandchildren and many cousins, friends and associates.
Ron attended Menno Public Schools and graduated from Menno High School in 1963, studied history/philosophy and graduated from Elmhurst University, Elmhurst, Ill. in 1967. Ron restarted his formal education in 1996 studying Masters of Social Work at George Williams College in Aurora, Ill.
In the late 1980’s Ron was engaged in horticulture, travelled the world and had many corporate clients that depended on his talents to provide greenery and flowers for their corporate offices. At one of the horticulture trade shows, Ron met Janie, the love of his life. Their love of plants continued and their patio was always full of plants and flowers.
Ron’s remaining career was in social work helping many of those less fortunate. From 1996 to 2000, Ron was a senior clinician at North Central Behavioral Health, LaSalle, Ill. From 2000 to 2003, he was a senior clinician at The Guilford Center, Guilford County Mental Health Dept. in Greensboro, N.C.
Ron was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis in 2003. However, this was after several years of problems without a diagnosis. In Greensboro, Ron was a member of a MS support group which provided him with friends that greatly improved his quality of life. MS led to his retirement in 2003 and eventual moving from Greensboro to Jacksonville in 2015 to be near Janie’s family.
Ron was a loving husband and a caring person to all and frequently told stories from his early life and said that on her last day of life in 1950, his Grandma Hannah Gran told 4-year-old Ron, “You are a good boy; take care of your mommy.” Ron always had compassion for others and never complained about his own problems.
There will be an outdoor Celebration of Ron’s life in the near future at his favorite spot in rural Menno where he chose to have his ashes scattered. A virtual memorial #226831744 has been created with photos at findagrave.com which links Ron to his parents and ancestors.