Ronald G. Michaelis passed into the arms of Jesus on July 21, 2023. He was born on October 25, 1936 in Russell, Kansas. He graduated from high school in Osborne, Kansas, joined the army and served in Korea for two years playing trombone in the marching band. Ron married Joellen Dee (Jodee) Waite in 1959 and together they had three children, Pamela (Charlie), Julie (Jeff) and Rod (Donna). In 1986 Ron married Judy Brooks (Rule) welcoming three more children into the family, Mike, Deanna (Felicia), and Debbie (Greg). Together, Ron and Judy are blessed with thirteen grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Ron graduated from Kansas State University with bachelor degrees in engineering and business. He brought his family to Tennessee when he was hired by 3M as an industrial engineer. Family ties pulled Ron to California, moving to Modesto in 1964 and working at Gallo Winery for thirteen years. Ron pursued his contractor’s license and launched Tierra Development in 1977 designing and building custom and multi-family homes. He quickly garnered the attention of the local industry, winning Builder of the Year in 1980, as well as one of his homes being awarded Custom Showcase Winner in the Parade of Homes. Ron also ventured into other projects including founding Wood Tech Products Corp., a truss manufacturing plant, co-founding Learning Stuff, a local company dedicated to producing cutting edge learning materials for grade-school children, and volunteering as project manager for two years during the development of Camp Tuolumne Trails, a camp devoted to helping those with disabilities.
Ron and Judy loved to travel and went on many trips, their favorites including a road trip through the northern United States and Canada, and a European river cruise on the Rhine. Tennis was another passion of the couple with many happy and competitive hours spent on the courts. They were annual season ticket holders with Sierra Repertory Theatre enjoying many wonderful performances throughout the years. Ron also loved a good game of Bridge and Cribbage.
Ron was a connoisseur of big band music as well as Dixieland jazz. He loved attending the annual Dixieland Jazz Festivals in Sacramento and Monterey. He was thrilled to attend the Glen Miller Orchestra with his grandchildren over the years, as well as watch his grandchildren play in marching band competitions, jazz ensembles, and school band concerts. Ron was not only a listener of Jazz music, but loved to dance with his wife Judy. He was a lifelong fan of the Kansas State Wildcats basketball and football teams and could often be seen wearing Kansas State purple. Ron and Judy lived in a custom home that he designed and built in Pine Mountain Lake before retiring to Turlock in 2020.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at Trinity United Presbyterian Church in Modesto, California on Saturday July 29 at 11am, with a reception following. The service will be live-streamed and can be accessed at the following link: https://boxcast.tv/view/ron-michaelis-memorial-q3hzejx1al6lvum1f4eg
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Covenant Living of Turlock Benevolent Care Fund. 2125 Olive Ave. Turlock, CA 95382.