Ron graduated from St. Ignatius High School in 1959, and then attended the University of Illinois, Chicago Branch. He enrolled in Army ROTC and joined the Pershing Rifles Drill Team. He later transferred to Bradley University, Peoria, IL, and enrolled in Air Force ROTC, where he became the commander of the Bradley University Marching Hill-Toppers Drill Team. Ron met his wife to be, Mary Anne Willkie, while attending Bradley University. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree and became a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force in 1965.
While in the Air Force for 20 years, Ron had many interesting and demanding tours of duty which included: Director of Programs for HQ Northern Communications Area, AFCS; Commander Detachment 7, 2130 Communication Group, RAF Martlesham Heath, England; Operations System Controller, NORAD Combat Operations Center, Cheyenne Mtn; Deputy Director of Inspections, HQ AFCC; and Director of Safety, HQ AFCC. During these tours of duty, Ron managed to complete training programs which included the Air University correspondence program for Air Command and Staff College, and also received his Master’s of Science Degree from Troy State.
After retiring from the Air Force, Ron began investing in real estate and the property management of his rental properties. He continued this endeavor for over 30 years and was personally involved in most of the maintenance and repairs. During this same time, he got involved in weekly golf outings with his golf buddies who referred to him as Woody. Also, during this time, he was deeply involved in community service and joined the Exchange Club of Belleville where he was a member for over 30 years and served as Club President for four terms. Over the past couple years, he has enjoyed playing Texas Hold’em with his friends, the Smokin’ Aces.
Ronald was preceded in death by his loving wife of 50 years, Mary Anne, nee Willkie, Wodarczyk, whom he married on June 11, 1966, and who died on October 21, 2016; his parents, Stanley and Lottie, nee Kawula, Wodarczyk; and a sister, Gertrude McGee.
Surviving are his three sons, Steven Wodarczyk, Mark Wodarczyk, and Tom Wodarczyk;
four grandchildren, Rowan Missey-Wodarczyk, Rachel Harvey, Eli Missey-Wodarczyk, and Mason Missey-Wodarczyk;
one great-grandchild, Barrett Missey-Wodarczyk;
and a brother-in-law, Thomas Willkie.
Memorials may be made to the Exchange Club of Belleville, P.O. Box 24341, Belleville, IL, 62226. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.
Visitation: Friends may visit from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL.
Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 8, 2023, at St. Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, with Msgr. William McGhee officiating.
Burial with full military honors will be at Green Mount Catholic Cemetery, Belleville, IL.