Ronald Dean Gilson, Sr.
Ronald Dean Gilson, Sr., 73, of Cedar Rapids, passed away Friday, Nov. 30, at home following a short, courageous battle with cancer. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Papich-Kuba Funeral Service is serving the family.
Ron was born on Oct. 31, 1945, in Waukon, Iowa, to John and Evelyn Gilson. He graduated from Waukon High School in 1964 and shortly after enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served four years as a Radarman. Ron was aboard the USS Liberty when it was attacked in 1967 in Israeli waters during the Six-Day War. He was injured and was awarded the Purple Heart.
After serving his country, he settled in Cedar Rapids where he lived the remainder of his life. He was employed by Cryovac where he worked for more than 40 years until his retirement in 2007.
It was in Cedar Rapids where Ron met Dixie, the love of his life. They were the parents of one son, Ron Jr. The family spent many enjoyable years at their cabin in Harpers Ferry, fishing and spending time with family and the many friends they made there.
Ron leaves behind his loving wife, Dixie; his son, Ron Jr. (Ashley); and a daughter, Cheryl, all of Cedar Rapids. He was "Grandpa" to 13 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. Ron is also survived by three stepchildren, Doreen, Sue (Vic) and Royce; three sisters, Diane (Don) Nelson of Rochester, Minn., Peggy (Dennis) Dixon of Stone Lake, Wis., and Michelle Gilson of La Crosse, Wis., and several nieces and nephews.
Ron was preceded in death by his parents; and a stepson, Carl.
Special thanks to Doreen, Sue and Ashley for the time and care they provided to Ron during his illness.