Ronald J. Jelmo | Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel

April 1, 1937 - February 23, 2021


Ronald J. Jelmo, age 83, of Richfield. Survived by wife of 59 years, Mary; children, Michael (Shirley), Stephen (Elizabeth), Catherine (Pat) Weiss, Elizabeth (Matt) Duffy; 11 grandchildren: Michaella (Levi) Howell, Allie (Derek) Nichols, Matthew (Regina) Workman, Katie (RJ) McKeever, Ryan and Jack Weiss, Megan, Lauren, and Paige Duffy, and Adam and Kendall Jelmo; 4 great-grandchildren: Michael and Grace Howell, Elliot Nichols, and Nolan Workman. He was preceded in death by his parents, Irving and Nora Jelmo and many treasured family and friends.

Ron was passionate about relationships and a friend to everyone he met. In his early years, his dad, Irv, introduced Ron to sports and from that moment forward the two formed a bond as avid sports fans, following any one of a number of sports teams, including the Twins and Vikings. Ron and Irv also enjoyed playing card games with each other and anyone else who was interested. Growing up in South Minneapolis, Ron forged lifelong friendships with his classmates and valued his annual lunches with Rich, Jim, Dave, Dick, Keith, Will, and Arlene. Summers and winters spent at Sibley Park as well as golfing at the Hiawatha Golf Course continued throughout his life. After graduating from Roosevelt High School, he went to the University of Minnesota and that is where he met Mary Jean Dullum (formerly of Nisswa). Settling down in Richfield, Ron and Mary raised four children.

Ron always made time to attend sporting endeavors, school events, and other activities with his kids. He developed deep personal relationships with each of them through his countless hours of participation in their activities.

Ron loved being a father and the only thing he enjoyed more was being a grandpa or “Papa,” as he was known among his 11 grandchildren. While his knack for relationships was honed with his friends and children, it was perfected with his grandchildren. Ron’s passion for people grew exponentially with each grandchild added to his family. And carrying on right where he left off, Ron jumped into each of his grandchildren’s activities, with the same interest he had with his own children.

Ron loved traveling to military bases to be with Michaella and Allie as they moved with his son, Mike and wife Shirley, in the U.S. Air Force. He loved opportunities to watch Matt, Katie, Ryan, and Jack participate in sports and activities, including occasional trips to St. John’s University to watch Matt. Ron always found time to attend sports and school activities with Megan, Lauren, and Paige. And he always enjoyed heading to the hockey rink to cheer on Adam and Kendall as they played. Wherever his grandchildren were, a little piece of Ron’s heart remained.

Anyone who met Ron, even if only for the briefest time, left knowing how passionate Ron was about many things, but mostly his family. Ron began each opportunity to meet new people with his trademark smile, his strong handshake, and his innate interest in people. He enjoyed each opportunity to meet new people to learn new things, but mostly as an opportunity to proclaim his enormous pride in his children, grandchildren, and, more recently, great grandchildren.

Ron will be missed beyond words, but the many memories of time spent with him, including at the cabin in Nisswa, will carry on forever in the hearts and minds of his family and friends. Ron lived a life worthy of celebration, so please rejoice with his family as a life well-lived.

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6 Comments

  1. Catherine Weiss says:

    Dad, Your life was well lived. Your smile was contagious and your handshake firm. We could take you to the State Fair and you would sit where Grandpa used to sit, listening to music, and we would come back and you would be surrounded by strangers enjoying each other’s company. You were one of a kind. My heart is hurting right now but that will pass. I will treasure all our moments and talks forever. I promise on my face there will be more smiles than tears. I will forever hold in my heart our last 4 days together until I saw you take your last breath. It was beautiful. Your were so peaceful. Your are free…I am so happy you are free. I pray that you enter the Kingdom of God soon and live out your everlasting life with Grandpa, your “Pa”, as you mentioned in your last 4 days. I love you, I will miss you, and thank you for being the best dad to me, father in-law to Pat, Papa to Matt (Regina), Katie (RJ), Ryan and Jack. I know you wanted to meet your soon to be great grandchild so please raise your hand high when God is choosing Nolan’s Guardian Angel. Pretty sure that is a given anyway. See you again some day! Your were one of a kind. Love you so much, Cath

    • Patrick Bernauer says:

      Kathy Kari and I our hearts go out out to you for your lost we love you We know how hard it is to love someone that you lose let’s get together soonWe are in South Beach right now and will be back in April let’s get togetheMaybe we can have you over to our place or we can go up to Nisswa and hang

  2. Tom Evers says:

    Thanks Uncle Ron for all the fond memories I always looked forward to visiting you and your family when I was a kid. I remember bugging my mom, your sister…” When can we go over to uncle Ron’s” Your calm, loving, and forgiving nature never went unoticed and was always welcome. My Mom was lucky to have you as a brother. I will miss your deep laugh which is forever embedded in my mind. All I have to do is think about you and I can hear you chuckle. All my best to the family, Mary, and the kids. Ron, I know you’ll be missed. Thanks for everything :) Me being 6’3″, it was nice having a tall uncle, someone to look up to, in more ways than one. with love to all, your nephew Tom (son of your sister Janet)

    • Mike Jelmo says:

      Tom,
      Thank you so much for your kind words. Your memories of our Dad your uncle brings us smiles. Your cousin Mike.

  3. Mark Weiser says:

    I have quite a number of good memories thanks to uncle Ron. Some of the earliest, I was just old enough to remember when he took me for rides in his blue Pontiac convertible during the early 1960’s. I would bet aunt Mary remembers that car well. Also Godfather to myself, Ron was one of the most even tempered person’s I ever met, and a positive influence for that reason among many others. I honestly never saw him display anger, and the way I remember it, he almost always had a smile on his face, smiling as much with his eyes as with his mouth. He affectionately referred to his parents as “ma” and “pa.” Somewhat ironically, it was quite telling while trying not to give it away, how much he loved his own son, when grandpa involuntarily spoke ‘softly’ saying the word “Ronnie,” while grandma’s voice had a pleasant ringing sound at times, almost singing literally as she stretched out his name, “Ro_na__ld, Ro__na___ld, come eat some cake now.” And I’d say, “Yeah Ron, come eat some cake now so I can have some too.” Later when I started playing baseball, and later again golf, Ron was there teaching and trying to help. Ron was a big help, though it’s funny how sometimes people were teaching us things and we didn’t know it at the time.

    Thanks for everything Ron, there was only one you! Rest In Peace, with love forevermore… ♥️♥️

    Your nephew and son to your sister Clarice,
    Mark Weiser

  4. Mike Jelmo says:

    Mark,
    You are correct about the blue Pontiac and white top convertible. I don’t have any recollection of the car but we do have pictures of me trying to wash the car.

    Thank you for sharing your memories of your uncle and our Grandma & Grandpa Jelmo. Your cousin, Mike.

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