COLUMBUS -- Ronald John Fairbairn, 91, of Columbus, went to heaven on March 18, 2013, at the Nebraska Masonic Home in Plattsmouth.
A memorial service will be 11 a.m. Monday at Grace Episcopal Church with Rev. Ellie Thober officiating. Private graveside services at the Columbus Cemetery with military honors by The American Legion Hartman Post 84 Honor Guard will be held prior to the service.
There will be no visitation. Memorials can be made to the Columbus museum, the Masonic Home in Plattsmouth, or Grace Episcopal Church of Columbus.
Ronald John Fairbairn was born Feb. 28, 1922, in Tottenham, United Kingdom, to John Alfred and Rose Ann (Swan) Fairbairn. The family came to the United States, settling in Columbus, and Ron became a citizen in 1938.
Ron graduated from Kramer High School in Columbus in 1941 and studied industrial engineering, attending the Wentworth Military Academy, Kearney State College, Northwestern University Midshipmen School, and the Gustavus Adolphus College’s Navy program in St. Peter, Minn.
Ron met and married the love of his life, Betty Lorraine Davis, in St. Peter on June 26, 1946, and two children were born, Patricia Jo and John Alfred. Ron served in the United States Marines during World War II from Sept. 1, 1942, to March 14, 1944. On March 15, 1944, he entered the United States Navy and was honorably discharged on January 26, 1946. He was awarded the Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, European- African- Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Ribbon.
He and Betty lived in St. Peter where he worked as a manager of a plumbing business and later had his own plastering and cement finishing company until 1953, when the couple moved to Columbus. Here Ron was in a partnership with the Columbus Brewing Co. that eventually brewed his beer, Ronz beer, and led to managing the Columbus Beverage Company with Mission Orange Pop. Ron also worked for Loup Engineering, Dale Electronics, and Becton Dickinson who he transferred with to Broken Bow in ’63 and later to Puerto Rico in ’66. The couple returned to Columbus in ’69 where Ron was President of Optic Science Ind. and employed by the Gerhold Concrete Co. He then established the Wholesale Auto Co. and retired in the year 2000.
Ron was a member of Grace Episcopal Church, OFC, BPOE, Nicollet Masonic Lodge of St. Peter, Minn., Shriners, American Legion, Nebraska York Rite of Freemasonry, Eagles, Pawnee Shrine Club, VFW, SCORE, and numerous other organizations.
Ron married Virginia “Ginger” Bartlett, a Columbus school classmate, on Dec. 11, 2010 and moved to California where he fell, striking his head in December 2011. Unable to recover from this accident, his daughter brought him back to Plattsmouth to be closer to her. Ginger became ill and passed away on March 2, 2013.
We will miss you dad, grandpa and poppy, as the Loyd boys all called him.
Ron is survived by daughter Patty (Steve) Loyd of Plattsmouth; grandchildren John (Wynette) Loyd of Papillion, Steve (Angela) Loyd of Omaha, Greg (Dawn) Loyd of Papillion, Michael (Erin) Loyd, of LA Vista, Chris (Samantha) Fairbairn of Wheatridge, Colo., Elizabeth (Wade) Fluckey of Berlin, Md., Lindsay (Kyle) Zimmer of Lincoln; and 16 great-grandchildren.
Ron was also preceded in death by: Parents – John and Rose Fairbairn, first wife of 67 years, Betty Fairbairn, second wife – Ginger Fairbairn, and son - John Fairbairn.
Condolences may be sent to www.gasshaney.com.