Ronald Duane Bollig passed away at home in the loving arms of his family on Sunday, May 20, 2012.
Ron was a good story teller. His family enjoyed his tales of growing up in the Brainerd lakes area. He told countless stories of hunting and fishing. In the week preceding his death, the told the tale of the “runaway duck boat,” and how when he was 16, he was hauling his grandpa’s duck boat home on the top of the car. The boat few off of the car and when he looked in the rear-view mirror, all he saw were sparks and a duck boat sailing down the highway behind him. His grandpa “gave him hell” and made him repaint the boat. His stories will be greatly missed.
Ron was a skilled carpenter. He built every house his family lived in. He built his first house using only a handsaw. He was especially proud of the house he built for his daughter, Chrissy. He drew up the plans himself, using only a pencil and ruler.
Ron was very caring and honest. He was honest even when it meant not getting ahead. It was impossible for him to tell a lie.
Ron’s favorite holiday was Christmas. He was a Santa at heart. Every Christmas the pile of presents seemed bigger. He gave meaningful gifts and wanted everyone to have something special. He always enjoyed giving rather than receiving. He had a big heart.
Ron was a great father and grandfather. He made childhood fun. He spent countless hours doing fun things with daughters Julie and Chrissy. He taught Julie how to fillet crappies, dress a grouse and play cribbage by age 7. He took them ice fishing and boating, built snowmen and made box kites and forts. He enjoyed camping with his family on Leech Lake. He also took his family to his Aunt Jean’s cabin on North Long for fun summer adventures. He taught his granddaughter Maddie how to fish and play cribbage. He loved to visit with his grandson Levi on his lap and talk about cars. In recent years, he shared a fishing boat with Chrissy and kept it at her home on Hardy Lake. He enjoyed spending time on the lake with his family, especially granddaughter Maddie. He was looking forward to fishing this summer.
Ron had a strong will to survive. He loved his grandchildren more than anything and wanted so badly to see them grow up. He was able to share 11 birthdays with Maddie and only one with Levi. Ron was very close and precious to his wife and daughters. He did not want to leave his family and we wanted him here forever. He left a big hole in our hearts. All is not lost, however, as we know that he is watching from above.
During his battle with cancer, he enjoyed visiting with the oncology department staff. He was especially fond of Dr. Debranin, who often comforted Ron with a shoulder rub.
Ron was born to John and Virginia Bollig on Feb. 20, 1942. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; children, Julie Bollig and Christine (Chrissy) Schuld, and son-in-law Bob Schuld; grandchildren, Maddie and Levi Schuld; sister, Vickie Bollig, all of Brainerd; aunts Twyla Danzig of California, Jean Bliss of Brainerd and Juanita Lind of Brainerd; and several cousins and nephews. His sister Bobbie Niemela and infant brother Daniel died earlier.
Ron is also sadly missed by his special dog Daisy and cat Mercedes, who spent many hours on Ron’s lap comforting him throughout his illness.
A celebration of Ron’s life will be held this summer for family and close friends.