March 15, 1946-Nov. 30, 2018
The family of Kenneth (Ken) Ronning are saddened to announce his passing on Nov. 30, 2018. Ken was a true Butte boy and Montana man. He was born in Butte on March 15, 1946 to Maye and Clarence Ronning and raised on Hobson Street. He spent his childhood learning to hunt and fish with his father and these passions remained with him forever.
Ken had a compassionate nature for others and this lead him into a chosen career of teaching. Ken taught 6th grade at Blaine School, then taught history and economics at Butte High School. He retired from teaching in 1996, however continued mentoring students with the school districts Home Bound program. He also taught Drivers Education. There are many in Butte who have benefited from his tireless efforts to encourage education. Ken also served in the National Guard for 10 years as a Scout Section Leader and Training Sergeant, and made many life-long friends from his service.
After getting out of education, Ken worked for a short time working for Avis Car Rental returning cars and traveling through Montana and Idaho. Retirement certainly did not slow him down. Ken now had more time to pursue his true passion of the great outdoors and all his beloved Montana has to offer. Ken was an avid fisherman and hunter and loved to travel and explore new experiences. Camping was also a favorite pastime along with floating and the rivers in his raft and taking his boat to nearby lakes and reservoirs to relax with friends and cast a line. Anyone who shared these pleasures with Ken will attest to the great times! A great story teller and jokester, we would all laugh until our bellies ached. He was also able to live out a lifetime ambition by floating the Smith River several times. He loved to organize the float trips and taking people down the Smith was truly a dream come true for him.
Ken was able to pass on his outdoor skills and experiences to his grandson, Luke and granddaughter, Addy. He rarely missed a basketball game for either, cheering them on from the bleachers. They were truly the loves of his life.
Ken was also an active and valued member of the Butte Skyline Sportsmen’s Association for over 10 years. This organization fights to preserve the land and water rights of all Montanans. Montana was indeed his home in every way.
Ken was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Fred and his best friend, “Moose" Jorgensen.
He is survived by his partner, Wendy Linville; daughters, Carrie (Ike) Heaphy and Callie (Ryan) McIntosh; grandchildren, Luke and Addy Heaphy; sister, Bev Crowley and the late Dennis Crowley and brother, Dave (Rita) Ronning of Butte; nieces, Lisa Curran, Lindsey Caile and Melissa Masters; and nephew, Dennis Jr. Crowley. Ken had made many friends throughout the years in education and through all his outdoor adventures. The family would like to thank you for your friendship throughout the years.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, at Duggan Dolan Mortuary. A reception will follow at the McQueen Club. In lieu of flowers the family is asking that a donation be made to the Sportsmen’s Association in Butte or to the Arthritis Foundation.
Ken has left the Big Sky Montana for the Big Sky in Heaven. Your infectious laugh, twinkling eyes and generous love will remain in our hearts always.