Obituary Details

Ronald "Ron" Francis Thon

(05/11/1946 - 08/12/1999)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 08/18/1999

Ronald Francis Thon

Ronald Francis Thon, 53, died Aug. 12, 1999, in his home in Riverton after a three-year battle with cancer. The rosary was recited Aug. 16; funeral mass was held Aug. 17 at St. Margaret's Catholic Church with Rev. Bill Espenshade and Deacon John Aloisio officiating. Cremation and private burial will take place at a later date.

Ron Thon was born May 11, 1946, in Lusk, to Bernard F. and Roberta (Rockriver) Thon. He grew up in the Keeline area and attended Keeline School until 1958, when the family moved to Lusk. After graduating from Niobrara County High School in 1964, he attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where he was a four-year varsity wrestler. He graduated in 1968 with a B. S. in history.

He served in the U.S. Navy from 1968-1972, taking part in the space capsule recovery mission of Apollo 10 while aboard the USS Princeton. While in the Navy, he married Carole Christoff on June 12, 1971.

Upon his discharge in 1972 he began teaching in Riverton, where he coached junior high wrestling and high school golf. In 1978 he earned an M. Ed. Degree in counseling from the University of Wyoming and took a job at Wind River High School as counselor and wrestling coach. The following year he was rehired by School District 25 as a counselor and became head wrestling coach at Riverton High School. His coaching career included all levels of wrestling through middle school and high school and continued until the spring of 1996. In 1997 he was given a distinguished service award by the Wyoming Coaches Association.

In 1989 he became involved with the TARGET program, a peer-mentor program begun by the National Federation of High School Associations, and served as a TARGET Ambassador for several years. He was elected to the Central Wyoming College Board of Trustees and served for nine years, two as the board's chair.

He was recently active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Riverton High School, and was a member of St. Margaret's Catholic Church community.

He is survived by his wife, Carole, and two daughters, Rebecca Catherine Engel and husband Mike of Nebraska; and Jessica Frances Ralph and husband John of Riverton; a brother Robert and wife Darlene of Winnemucca, Nev.; his mother and father-in-law, nine nieces and nephews and other family members.

He was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Greta; his parents and an infant brother.

The family requests no flowers. Contributions may be made to the Central Wyoming College Foundation, 2660 Peck Avenue, Riverton, WY. for the Ronald F. Thon Memorial Scholarship.

Davis Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

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Ron and Carol were married June 12, 1971.
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