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Ronald "Ron" Eugene Gillum Sr.


Ronald (Ron) Gillum Sr. Passed away peacefully at home on March 3, 2022 surrounded by loved ones. Ron was born to Guy “Pete” and Goldie Gillum on February 27, 1936 in Des Moines, IA. Ron was the 2nd oldest of 6 children, Guy Gillum Jr., Anna Mould, Linda Bates and Terry Gillum of Des Moines and Marcia Able in Omaha.


In 1952 Ron met Janet Wade (Jan) at Kresge’s Drug Store in downtown Des Moines where Jan was working behind the counter serving soda and ice cream. She quickly fell for his James Dean looks and smooth talking personality and on February 27, 1954 they were married. On December 16th, 1954 they welcomed their first child Ronald Jr. (Karen) then 3 years apart came the other 3 of the “Four Rs” Roxanne, Robin (Susane) and Russell (Brenda).


God and family continued to be their top focus. Ron’s relationship with God started when he was young and newly married and began to shape his life’s journey and led the foundation for raising his family. He and his family became active in the Open Bible denomination attending Bethany Open Bible. He served with joy and became a Sunday school teacher, then Sunday school superintendent and served as a church board member for a number of years. He later attended First Assembly of God on Merle Hay Road. He was proud that he and Jan established a foundation that would impact his family for the rest of their lives. Ron was a hardworking and dedicated employee of Iowa Power and Light (Mid American Energy) for 34 years, retiring as an electrical inspector in 1991.


When not working, Ron and his family enjoyed very memorable vacations every year traveling often to Lake of the Ozarks (Osage Beach) and Estes Park, CO. In their later years Ron and Jan vacationed as often as possible in Marco Island, FL, Scottsdale, AZ and visiting family in southern CA. Ron also loved cars, especially Cadillacs and enjoyed working on cars and shining them up as well in his free time. This interest led to him building PowerWash systems car wash after retirement and he could spend all day tinkering with machines and taking great pride in cleaning the place as well as making friends of all the patrons.


Ron was known for his constant humor. He enjoyed his life and his life was all about his family. He was a great story teller and quite the jokester which always had the attention of his grandchildren Danielle Sikes, Kristin Sumpter, Crystal Sikes, Lindsay Peterson, Staci Larsen, McKara Johnson, Wade Gillum, Karis Johnson and his 10 great grandchildren. Ron was engaging and never knew a stranger and quick to offer a helping hand. He will forever be known by two famous Gillum sayings “I love your bones” and “You pray for me, I’ll pray for you”.


Ron was preceded in death by his parents, sister Linda Bates, niece Heather Gillum and great grandson Anthony Gillum.


On Wednesday, March 9, 2022 at Sunset Memorial Chapel the visitation will be held from 9:00-11:00am with a funeral service to follow from 11:00am-12:00pm. Following the service, a luncheon will be held from 12:00-2:00pm. Ronald's final resting place will be at Sunset Memorial Gardens at a later date in May.


In an expression of sympathy and compassion, please make memorial contributions and gifts made to the Gillum family.

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