Obituary for Ronald H. Sprehn

sign guestbook

Image of
Ronald “Ron” Henry Sprehn, 78, devoted husband, father and grandpa passed from this life to be with his Savior on Monday, January 21, 2019, from a sudden and unexpected heart attack. His father lived to celebrate a 100th birthday and thoughts were that he would do the same.
He was born February 26, 1940, to Maurice Roberts and Elaine Dorothy (Achterkirch) Sprehn and grew up in Bangor, Wis., attending St Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran School and graduating from Bangor High School in 1958.
After graduation, Ron chose to join the 32nd Engineer Co National Guard and served for 22 years. It was at the dedication of the new Onalaska Armory that Ron met the love of his life, JoAnn Marie (Johnson), asking her if she’d like to drive his car, a 1959 Ford Skyliner Galaxie 500 Retractable Hardtop. That was his favorite car. They married May 19, 1962, at the First Lutheran Church in Onalaska and enjoyed 56 years with children, Melissa (Jeff) Holthaus, Jonathan (Kristen) Sprehn, Matthew (Stephanie) Sprehn, and grandchildren Kaylin (Jake) Hillestad, McKenzie (Brandon) Rude, Laura (Naul) Segovia, Emma, Grace, Daniel (Shannon) Sprehn and great grandchild Stella, Nathan, Rebecca (Nathan Stetzer), Olivia and Sophia Sprehn.
Making their original home in Bangor, Ron worked at the Sprehn Feed Mill where he had helped his dad from early teenage years. He later worked as a lineman for the Bangor Utilities. Moving their family to a new home addition in Onalaska in 1971, he was working at KMart as department manager, leaving for the beer business, working at G. Heileman Brewing Company later City Brewery, until his retirement in 2005. In his “retirement”, his social personality and knowledge of the rural Coulee Region lead him to be a courtesy driver at Brenengen Automotive-West Salem, which he enjoyed for 14 years and had just “parked” on Dec 27, 2018. He also took time in the spring to help his cousins, Ron and Robbie Tenner with corn seed deliveries and loved visiting the farming community.
Ron’s interest in woodworking was sparked by Pastor Arden Stuebs, who was Pastor at St Paul’s Lutheran Church. He bought a table saw and setup his first workshop in the basement of his Grandma Lil’s home. He was always there to help family and friends with projects or home remodeling and was very proud of his work, as he should have been. He left his skilled footprint with his sons. Through the creativity and designs of JoAnn, Ron’s craftsmanship in wood adorns every room in their home. His love for wood carried over to his days of cutting and splitting trees to fuel the woodstove in their home, where family could enjoy 90 degrees on sub zero days!
Ron enjoyed gun and bow deer hunting with Matthew and Daniel, trap shooting, boating, bowling in couples league with JoAnn, duck hunting with his long time friend Dick Bedessem, snowmobiling, and family time at his parent’s cottage in Hatfield, WI. There were trips to Canada fishing with his father, sons, grandsons, son-in-law, and McKenzie. He especially loved those “let’s go for a ride” days with his wife and trips with travels by car north, east, south and west on the back roads so they could stop at quaint restaurants or antique stores. Each trip included coming home with some treasure for their home or yard. Every month there were luncheons with his neighbors, having gone to 109 different locations, with his last luncheon on the Monday of his death.
He is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren; his brother David (Edie) Sprehn of Nekoosa, WI, nieces, Keri Sprehn Durkin and Kelly Brauns; brother-in-law Dennis Johnson of Janesville, WI, niece Diane (Tom) Durrant and nephew Erik (Amy) Johnson; sister-in-law Sharon Lemke Mahlum of Onalaska, WI, niece Lisa Lock and nephew John (Melissa) Lemke and his cousins that were dear to him. Family who passed before him were his parents; grandparents Arnold and Lillian Sprehn, Henry and Phoebe Achterkirch; sister-in-law Judy Johnson; brother-in-law Pete Mahlum; and many special relatives.
Funeral services for Ron will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan 30, at First Lutheran Church, 410 Main St in Onalaska. Pastors Jason Stanton and Karyn Brodenschatz will officiate. Burial will follow in the Onalaska Cemetery. A visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. until the time of service on Wednesday at the church. Dickinson Funeral Home will be assisting the family with services. Online condolences may be sent at
The family wishes to thank first responders and emergency staff for the care provided to Ron at the accident scene. There will remain places in our hearts for this kind, sensitive and compassionate man who dearly loved his wife “Josie”, children, grandchildren, family and friends. He was a proud grandpa and would do anything for anybody. Rest in peace, we are sad and know that you would be sad for us. We will love you forever.