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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Ronald Eugene Appleman was born in Ponca City, Oklahoma to Stratton and Edna (Howarth) Appleman on July 30, 1933. He attended Alva Public Schools and then Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University) on a track scholarship where his team won the National Cross Country Championship in 1954. He received a Master’s of Education degree from the University of North Carolina and a doctorate in Higher Education from Oklahoma State University.

Ron married Billie Jean Alley and both taught at Comanche schools and then Northern Oklahoma College where Ron taught physics and mathematics and later became Vice President of Academic Affairs. They had two children, Velma Jean (Jeanie) and James Richard (Jim). Some time after Billie lost her fight with cancer, Ron married Teresa Park and adopted her two children, Ransom and Boomer. Teresa also passed away from cancer. In 2006, Ron married Nancy Jackson. They traveled and greatly enjoyed their retired life together.

Ron was very active in serving his professional organizations and his community. He served as president of the Oklahoma Junior College Association and president of the Kay County Retired Educators. He was a member of the United Methodist Church beginning in 1959 where he served as treasurer for many years. He served on the Wesley Foundation Board from 2007 as treasurer until his death. He served on Tonkawa city council and was mayor of Tonkawa for eight years and municipal judge for ten years. He often would give young speedy drivers a deferred sentence if they could avoid getting another ticket for several months.

Ron was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Jimmy and Raymond, sister Norma Lee, daughter Ransom White, and wives Billie and Teresa. He is survived by his wife Nancy, son Jim (Evelyn) Appleman, daughter Jeanie Appleman, son Boomer (Andrea) Appleman, step-children Katherine (Ken) Webb, Chad (Sonja) Jackson, grandchildren Ally (George) Graves, Kay (Tristan) Davis, Jeremy (Vanja) Appleman, and Vaughn Appleman, great grandchild Rainbow Appleman, sister Nancy (Jim) McClure, and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Ron was an avid athlete, a wiz at numbers, a skilled game and card enthusiast, and a loyal and trusted friend to many. He never met a situation that couldn’t be improved with a good spreadsheet, happily charting the results of everything you can name. He had a great sense of humor and loved telling jokes. He enjoyed cheering for his alma mater more than almost anything. Watching OSU football or basketball made him very stressed at times but very happy as well. Most of all, Ron loved his friends, family, church family, and his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Ron went to be with his Savior on July 26, 2021, surrounded by his family. While he will be greatly missed, his family is comforted knowing that he is now with Jesus.

A Celebration of Life service in honor of Ron will be held at the Tonkawa United Methodist Church on Thursday, July 29, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. Reverend Lois Bartley and Reverend Mike Brannon will officiate the service. Visitation will be held at the Methodist Family Center immediately following the service. The family welcomes all friends to attend and requests that, out of an abundance of caution and respect for all attendees, everyone wear masks or face coverings. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to the Wesley Foundation at NOC where Ron served on the board and as treasurer for many years. Donations may be sent to Wesley Foundation at NOC, P.O. Box 387, Tonkawa, OK 74653.