A retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel who proudly served our nation for 28 years, died on March 22, 2016 after a fierce six-year battle with cancer.
He was 75.
Ron is survived by his second wife, Maria Reissfelder-Scharff; his daughters Rosie Harrison and Michelle Sims; as well as Maria’s children Andrea Dunn, Patrick Dunn, and Carolyn Reese.
He also left behind nine grandchildren: Jessica Boodt, Adam Harrison, Mathew Harrison, Hanah Sims, Molly Sims, Rees Dunn, Connor Dunn, Skyler Harrison, and Hayley Harrison.
He is preceded in death by his first wife Lieselotte Scharff, his father Leo Scharff, his mother Rose Johnson, his step-father Hilmer Johnson, and his sisters Barb and Sharon Scharff.
Born in St. Maries, Idaho, Ron grew up in a logging family where he learned at an early age that hard work and determination could bring great success in life.
An avid fisherman and baseball player, young Ron juggled various jobs to pay for his own Saturday movie matinee and ice cream at the Handy Corner store.
Throughout his life, he yearned for adventure, excitement, and travel.
Ron was the first person in his family to complete a college degree, which he earned from both North Idaho College in 1960 and Gonzaga University in 1963.
Ron also earned his Master’s degree from the University of Utah in 1978.
Ron paid his way through college by working with the State of Idaho Department of Highways as well as at Hudson’s Burgers.
After being commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, Ron embarked on an exciting career that took him all around the world to Germany, Vietnam, New Jersey, Arizona, Arkansas, Virginia and Washington.
After retiring from the U.S. Army, Ron worked with the State of Washington Employment Security Department and the Spokane Neighborhood Action Program, as well as WorkSource Spokane.
Ron was very lucky to love two very special women during in his lifetime.
For 38 years, Ron was married to Lieselotte Scharff from Pruem Germany, who passed away unexpectedly from pancreatic cancer in February 2004.
In October 2005, Ron married Maria Reissfelder from Balzfeld Germany, who tirelessly cared for him during his six-year battle with cancer.
Ron loved to dance, laugh, and sing.
Over the years, he loved his sports cars, from an MG Midget, MGB, and Sunbeam Tiger to a BMW Z-3 and a Mercedes 300.
An expert organizer and planner, Ron worked very hard to make the most of our every day and to protect and provide for his family and loved ones.
During retirement, Ron loved to travel to Hawaii, Germany, Canada, Washington, Idaho, and Arizona.
He was a devoted member of the German-American Society of Spokane and he loved his German heritage, treasuring his many years in Germany.
A viewing will be held at RIPLINGER FUNERAL HOME, 4305 N. DIVISION, SPOKANE, WA on March 25, 2016 from 6-7 pm.
A military burial will be held on March 26, 2016 at 11:00 am at Holy Cross Cemetery at the gravesite, 7200 N. Wall St, Spokane, WA 99208.
A Celebration of Life will follow at the Riplinger Funeral Home at 1:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Concordia Choir at the German - American Society, 25 W. 3rd, Spokane WA, 99201.
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