Ronald R. Wiford, 84, of 820 Dingman Street, Sidney, passed away Monday, June 16, 2014, at 4:15 p.m. at Dorothy Love Retirement Community. He was born on Dec. 19, 1929, in Sidney, the son of the late Roy and Nellie (Fogt) Wiford.
On Oct. 14, 1950, he was united in marriage to Doris E. Zwiebel, and to this happy union was born four children who survive; Cynthia Marie Wiford, of Pittsboro, N.C., Nancy Diane Rossman, of Sidney, Mrs. Timothy (Karen Annette) Papiernik, of Lockport, N.Y., and Rodney David Wiford and wife Dawn of Sidney; four sisters-in-law, Faye "Suzie" Mansfield, of Tucson, Ariz., Mrs. Irvin (Shirley) Totten, of Wapakoneta, Gladys Zwiebel, of Wapakoneta, and Juanita Zwiebel, of Wapakoneta; one brother-in-law, Irvin Totten, of Wapakoneta; seven greatly loved grandchildren to whom he was "Poppa," Zachary (Justine), Chase and Kelsey Rossman, Angela Papiernik, and Brittany, Devan and Ainsley Wiford; and loyal dog, Tattle.
Ron started working as a truck driver for Milligan Construction at age 14, after William Milligan, Sr. took him to Columbus to get his chauffeur's license. Ron maintained his employment as a construction equipment operator, mostly truck driver, with Milligan Construction, Sidney Sand and Gravel and Comer Trucking for the following 64 years, when he stopped driving his beloved Kenworth dump truck at the amazing age of 78. In 1952, Ron was called to serve his country on the battlefield of Korea. He served as part of Company A of the 811th Engineer Aviation Batallion, United States Army, as a bulldozer operator, spending most of his time stationed on the small remote island of Ch'odo, north of the 38th parallel, helping to keep an airstrip operational at a vitally strategic air rescue and radar base. As many do in similar situations, Ron made a handful of lifelong friends. This time away from his family, home and work was one of the few times he was not working hard to provide for his family throughout his entire life. He and Doris' work ethic were unmatchable. Over the last few years, many have missed seeing him drive his truck through town behind his sunglasses and friendly wave, as his career helped establish the fabric of his life, family and purpose. As a faithful member of Saint Paul's United Church of Christ in Sidney for 64 years, he served on church council, as well as performed the duties of head usher of his usher team for many years. He was also a part of the Men's Brotherhood in the past.
Ron Wiford lived a sincere Christian life, a life of service to his family, his country and to others. He was a kind, gentle giant of a father, a good neighbor, and a wonderful friend. He was present to rejoice when many a new life was born into this old world, and ready to wipe the death dew from the brow of someone who was going out. "His suffering, ended with the day, Yet lived he at its close; And passed the long, long, long night away, In statue-like repose, And, when the sun in all his state Illumined the eastern skies; He passed through glory's morning gate And walked in paradise," borrowed from the writings of his loving aunt, Glenna C. Fogt.
Funeral services will be held Friday, June 20, 2014, at 11 a.m. at Saint Paul's United Church of Christ, 707 N. Ohio Ave, Sidney, with Pastor James Oates officiating. A private family burial will be at Graceland Cemetery in Sidney at a later date. Friends may call Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at the Cromes Funeral Home, 302 S. Main Ave, Sidney, and Friday from 10 a.m. until the hour of service at the church.
Memorials may be made to the Saint Paul's United Church of Christ Endowment, in memory of Ronald R. Wiford. Envelopes for memorials will be available at the funeral home.
Condolences may be expressed to the Wiford family at the funeral home's website, cromesfh.com.