Illinois Agricultural Education & FFA                
  Illinois Ag Ed News  
   View All Messages  
  Sad to Announce- Ronald Lee Welling  
  John Heiser  11/2/2023 10:04:00 AM  

Ronald (Ron) Welling, 89, of Freeport, IL, formerly of Davis, IL, passed away on October 30, 2023, at Liberty Village, Freeport, IL.

Born on February 12, 1934, he was the only child of Clifford and Arlene (Meier) Welling. He grew up on the family farm and attended Davis Grade School and Dakota High School. He was a graduate of the Dakota High School class of 1952. He attended Northern Illinois University and the University of Illinois where he received his Bachelor of Science and Masters of Education Degrees. He was part of the choral singing groups at both NIU and U of I and was part of the U of I choir that performed at the Ed Sullivan show in New York City where they had the chance to sing with Pearl Bailey.  At U of I, he belonged to the Agriculture fraternity Alpha Tau Alpha.

He married Lavonne Lohmeier on August 11, 1962, and they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2022. They were blessed with two children Kent (Sandra) Welling and Lori (Mike) Dieken, three grandchildren Jessica (Bret) Ellefson and Jon and Bryan Dieken and two great-grandchildren Makenzie and Makenna Ellefson. He was proceeded in death by his wife, Lavonne, on September 21, 2022, his parents and mother and father-in-law.  

He spent his career as an Agriculture and Horticulture teacher. He taught at Pecatonica High school for 34 years from 1956 until his retirement in 1990. During that time, he served as the FFA Advisor and took many students to National FFA conventions in Kansas City. He was instrumental in establishing a greenhouse at Pecatonica High School.

After retirement, Ron and Lavonne started Ron’s Greenhouse at their home in rural Davis and they operated the greenhouse for over 20 years.  Ron was an avid gardener who enjoyed sharing his flowers and vegetables with family, friends and his church family. For many years he continued to keep his hand in agriculture by judging both FFA projects and serving as Supervisor of Open Class flower and vegetable entries at Boone, Jo Daviess, Stephenson and Winnebago county fairs.  Ron was also a proud Master Gardener and he would gladly assist anyone with plant related questions.

Ongoing education was important to Ron. He worked for many years for the Illinois Board of Education proctoring exams for adults earning their GED certificates. He also enjoyed traveling in the summers to St Olaf College in Minnesota for their yearly music education classes. Classes in music, choir and bells allowed Ron to bring back fresh ideas and concepts to his church music programs.  

His faith and church, St Paul Church, Epleyanna, were very important to him.  Along with supplying flowers for the sanctuary and church grounds, he was a Sunday School teacher, Senior Choir director for many years, a member of the men's choir and a founding member of the church bell choir. Ron was also an active member of the Freeport Choral Society for many years and also served on the society board. 

As a Master Gardener, family vacations typically included a visit to a garden or two. Favorite memories include the Portland, Oregon Rose and Japanese Gardens and the Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC. Ron and Lavonne traveled twice to the Rose Bowl Parade where each time they were able to participate in placing flowers on a Rose Bowl float. In addition to gardens, travel included seeing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform in person, trips to Alaska and Hawaii and also a trip to Germany for family heritage research.

When their children were in high school, Ron and Lavonne served as support parents/chaperones for the Dakota Marching Band. They drove the band trailer to multiple parades including the Milwaukee Circus Parade and the Cherry Festival Parade in Traverse City, MI.  Closer to home, Ron enjoyed many years of listening to musical talent at the Rockford Symphony and Starlight Theater, Broadway productions and organ recitals at the Overture Center in Madison and concerts at the Sinsinawa Mound Center in Wisconsin.  

Visitation will be held at St Paul Church, Epleyanna, from 4PM to 7PM on Friday, November 3, 2023.  Services will be held on Saturday, November 4, 2023, at St Paul Church, Epleyanna, at 10:30AM with burial in the church cemetery.

A memorial fund has been established in Ron’s name.  Condolences can be left for the family at
John Heiser
Facilitating Coordination in Ag Education (FCAE)
Phone: 815-509-5404 Cell: 815-509-5404
Address: 535 Elm Pl, Suite #4, Princeton, IL 61356
About Ag Ed
Illinois FFA Center
IL Ag Ed Family
Ag Literacy Programs
Secondary/HS Programs
Colleges & Universities
About Illinois FFA
Award Programs & Scholarships
Career & Leadership Events
Illinois FFA Newsletter
College Students
Ag Career Websites
Educator Resources
Ag Ed Advocacy
Ag Ed Careers
Career & Leadership Events
Professional Development
Postsecondary Instructors
Illinois Teach Ag
Website FAQs
About the Alumni
Join the FFA Alumni
Illinois FFA Alumni Council
Alumni Annual Meeting
Student Scholarships
About the Foundation
Ways to Give
How Can You Help
Past Member? Reconnect!
  Copyright Illinois Agricultural Education & FFA © 2024. All rights reserved.
Website designed by Wieghat Graphics, Inc.