Ronald John Pfeifer: September 8, 1942 – October 1, 2015

October 2015 Posted in People

Funeral Mass at St. Paul Catholic Church, Silverton, Ore. Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.; grave site; St. Paul brunch; wake at Gene and Dona Pfeifer’s residence 1:00 on.

Ronald J. Pfeifer, son of John A. and Ida Pfeifer, was born in Texas. Throughout the War, John Pfeifer had built military facilities there. Both Ronald’s parents had grown up on farms in Kansas through the Depression and wished to improve the life of their family by moving to Oregon. In 1945, the entire family of John A. Pfeifer, his parents, and all his siblings moved to Silverton. John’s design build business and Square Deal Lumber Yard provided the fertile problem-solution environment in which Ronald grew up in, which initiated Ronald’s lifelong innovations in metallurgic geology.

Ronald went to school at St. Paul Elementary and Serra Catholic High School; both of which were built by his father. From the University of Portland, he went to St Louis School of Technology. As a licensed Oregon geologist, he successfully performed experiments in his large laboratory for 33 years.

The last 41 days of life were spent in St. Vincent Hospital. The astounding realization of his friendliness with people was very apparent in the recognition of his extensive knowledge of science, history, and stories (He was a friend of June Drake.) that the staff recalled from the last several years until the current stay. They remarked that they loved him and did not want to stop listening to his discussions.

Ronald was a confirmed bachelor who was proud of being an uncle. He was always giving to others, even when it meant sacrifice of himself and his simple possessions. He was down to earth and humble.

This man with these special and simple qualities was not so simple in mind. He was complex. His associates called him a genius. In 2005, he was stated to be in the top five in the nation in his metallurgy specialty. He served clients from Alaska, Canada, all the western states, and into Mexico. In 2007, Silverton’s own geological author, Dr. William Orr, Chairman of the Oregon board of Geologists, compared Ronald and his innovations in geology to Linus Pauling, scientist and Noble Prize winner.

Ronald is survived by his only sibling, Gene and Dona (Bigej) Pfeifer; nephews, Kevan, Bryan (Kristie Kleinschmit), Craig (Erika Wassom); niece, Megan (Joseph) Wentworth; 9 grand nephews and nieces.

Ronald will be dearly missed by many; especially those who have enjoyed his personal science discussions and storytelling. We love you Ronald.

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