Ronald “Ron” Ehlen

October 10, 1931
January 15, 2022

Ronald Lloyd Francis Ehlen passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, January 15, 2022. He was born on October 10, 1931, in Menominee Michigan, the only child of the late Lloyd and Gladys (Steinhaus) Ehlen.  Ron attended St. Anthony Grade School in Marinette where the family resided.  He attended Marinette High School for 2 years until 1947 when the family moved to Green Bay.  He then graduated from East High School in 1949.  After graduation, Ron worked at Fairmont Foods delivering products around Northeast Wisconsin.  He then worked for the Belson Company where he met the love of his life Charmaine Kathleen Pillath.  Expecting a draft notice because of the Korean Conflict, Ron enlisted in the U.S. Air Force.  After basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, he was sent to Oklahoma A&M College for schooling on gasoline engines.  He was then sent overseas to Newfoundland for an 18-month tour of duty.  He performed maintenance on large tanker trucks that were used to refuel gasoline and jet aircraft.  In January 1953, he returned to Green Bay and he and Charmaine were married on January 24th.   They packed everything into a 1947 Chevrolet and left for Edwards Air Force Base in California and a honeymoon on Route 66.   Ron was honorably discharged as a Staff Sargent in 1955.  He then got a job with the rocket refueling unit which serviced test engines, rocket sleds and rocket aircraft that were setting altitude records at the time at Edwards Air Force Base.  In November, Ron and Charmaine returned to Green Bay along with first son Michael, who was 1 month old.  Three more sons (Patrick, James and Jeffrey) and 1 daughter (Teresa) followed.  Ron worked at Fort Howard Paper Company and retired 37 years later as Machine Shop Superintendent.  He was a lifelong member of Brown County Sportsman’s Club and Nicolet Rifle Club.  His avocation was gunsmithing and he was well known around the area for his expertise.  If he couldn’t order/find a gun part, he would make it.  Ron was a very patient person who would help anyone with a problem.  He was a very honorable and honest man and taught his children that a handshake was better than a written contract. 

Ron will be sadly missed by his 5 children, Michael, Green Bay, Patrick (Beth), De Pere,  James, New Franken,  Jeffrey, Sobieski and Teresa (Tim) Oettinger, Howard; ten grandchildren, Jesse (Amy) Ehlen,  Alicia Ehlen,  Adrienne (Beau) Garot,  Joni Rae Ehlen,  Leonard Fields,  Erin Oettinger and Abby Oettinger, La Vara (Tracy),  Mike, and Stephanie (Patrick); six great grandchildren, Emery, Adrielle, Shayla, Charmaine, Elora, and Marek.

In addition to his parents, Ron was preceded in death by the love of his life Charmaine and his daughters-in-law, Rebecca (Lund) Ehlen and Leslie (Sackatook) Ehlen.

A Private Family Visitation and Mass will be held at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church, 2270 S. Oneida St. on Friday, January 21, 2022. A Private Mass of Christian Burial and Military Honors Ceremonies will be live streamed beginning at 11:00 a.m. at the church with Rev. Matt Simonar officiating. Please visit and scroll down to the YouTube channel to watch and pray with the family.  Entombment will be in the Shrine of the Good Shepherd Mausoleum.  Online condolences may be expressed at A memorial is being established in Ron’s name.

The family extends a special thank you to Unity Hospice for their loving, respectful care of dad.

Dad, we thank you and Mom for the perfect example of a blessed and loving marriage and a life lived with dignity and honor. Dad and Mom can celebrate their 69th wedding anniversary together on January 24. We love you both! Rest in Peace.

“Across the years, I will dance with you, in deep green forests, on shores of sand. And when our time on earth is through, in Heaven, too, you will have my hand.” – Robert Sexton