July 7, 1929 - January 30, 2020

 

A Celebration of Life will be held for Ronald Almen, age 90, at 11:00 AM on Saturday, February 8, 2020, at First Congregational Church in Princeton, MN, with a visitation one hour prior to the service. Pastor Bill Marschall will officiate. Interment will take place in Oak Knoll Cemetery in the Spring. Arrangements have been entrusted to Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home, Princeton.

Ronald Dennis Almen was born along with his twin brother, Richard, on July 7, 1929, in Minneapolis to Eric and Martha (Carlson) Almen. As a boy, Ron was active in the Boy Scouts and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He graduated from Washburn High School in 1947 and the University of Minnesota in 1951 with a degree in Forestry and Wood Technology. Immediately following college, Ron joined the Navy and graduated from Officer Candidate School at New Port, Rhode Island, in 1952 with the rank of Ensign. Ron married Bev Bryant in May 1952, enjoying a three-year honeymoon in Hawaii where he was stationed. To this union, two children were born.

He served aboard the Destroyer Epperson DDE 719 with two cruises off the coast of Korea and one in the Marshall Islands where he witnessed the first of the “H bomb” that was detonated. In 1955 with a desire to fly, he joined the Anti-Submarine Patrol Squadron in Minneapolis, then to Glenview Naval Air Station near Chicago, Illinois. He received his wings in 1959. He received 12 service ribbons and six medals, one of which was the Presidential Unit Citation. He retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander in 1981, after 30 years of service to his country.

Ron’s civic activities in Princeton included Chairman of the airport commission, Justice of the Peace, and City Forester. He was an honorary life member of the American Legion. He was a devoted member of First Congregational Church where he directed the choir for a time. Music was a big part of his life and Ron sang with several barbershop quartets. He was a member of Fraternal Lodge, Eastern Star, Shriners, and The Chanters Male Chorus. He was a Civil War buff, attended several tours with the Minnesota Association, learning about the battles in which Minnesota was involved. He gave lectures on the Civil War to the local high schools and library. He also had a love of woodworking, making everything from furniture to his famous cutting boards. He loved traveling in the RV and hunting.

Ron will be deeply missed by his wife of nearly 70 years, Bev; son, Dennis (Kris) Almen; daughter, Barb (Mike Lueck) Almen; grandchildren, Alex Pieles, Elizabeth Keane-Cook, Danielle Pieles, Rebecca Keane-Russell, Sydney Pieles, Ryan Keane, Dani Lueck; six great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Margaret Almen; nephews, Bob (Peggy) Bryant, Rick Johnson (Nancy), David (Sharon) Johnson. He is preceded in death by his twin brother, Richard Almen.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Mille Lacs County Historical Society, 101 10th Avenue S, Princeton, MN, 55371.