Ronald Wimmer Coble was born in Mansfield, Ohio on February 14, 1936, and grew up in Richmond, Indiana, where he graduated from Richmond High School.
Ron lived in Pinehurst, NC during World War II while his father was a medical doctor in the Army. Ron attended Purdue University for three years before transferring to the University of Wyoming, graduating with a degree in Geology.
Ron was a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity at Purdue. He was instrumental in starting a DU chapter at NC State University, and he received the Founders Medal for dedication to the fraternity.
While at Purdue, Ron met Nancy Shafer, who was a sorority sister of Ron’s oldest sister. Ron and Nancy were married December 27, 1958, in Gary, Indiana, and recently celebrated their 64 th wedding anniversary. Soon after marrying, they moved to Cincinnati, where Ron earned a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati.
Ron worked for the US Geological Survey as a hydrogeologist, in Iowa City, Tampa, and Raleigh.
Ron served as a Webelos Cub Scout leader for his son’s troop in Iowa City. This allowed to him to pass on his many outdoor skills, and he is remembered for his primitive yet functional hot dog cooker made from supplies from his woodworking table. He was also a member of the Optomist Club in Iowa City.
Ron’s hobbies included spelunking, hiking, woodworking, bicycling, and reading history of the world wars and the American West. Ron and Nancy enjoyed traveling with Elderhostel groups, particularly trips to Glacier Park and Lewis & Clark’s trail through Montana. They also traveled to Great Britain and Spain. They took many trips with their grandchildren to the Outer Banks, Pennsylvania’s Amish Country, Niagara Falls, Ottawa, and Montreal, always ending at Hershey Park. For years, Ron and Nancy joined friends in Wrightsville Beach every fall.
In the summer of 1982, Ron took a solo bicycle trip from Raleigh to Boone, where his older children attended college. The trip covered more than 200 miles, took three days, and included a 15% grade up the mountain from Lenoir to Blowing Rock. His journey was featured on the cover of the Watauga Democrat, Boone’s local newspaper. He served his bicycle community as a member of Raleigh’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission.
He was a long-time member of Raleigh Moravian Church, where he had many close friends and played the tuba in the church band.
Ron and his family moved to Raleigh in 1975, and Ron and Nancy moved to Capital Oaks retirement community in 2020, selling their house just weeks before COVID 19 shut everything down! Ron was very happy at Capital Oaks, playing Euchre (always hoping to win his quarters back), joining a book club, attending (and even leading) exercise classes, and leading singalongs with Nancy playing the piano. He especially loved singing the fittingly titled “So Long, It’s Been Good to Know You”.
Ron is survived by his wife Nancy; son Rick Coble and wife Tracey of Lawrenceville, Georgia; daughter Susan Humphreys of Duluth, Georgia; and daughter Stacey Williamson and husband Jim of Glen Allen, Virginia. Also surviving are grandchildren Kate Coble, Murphy Williamson, Hannah Eyre, Laura Williamson, John Humphreys, and Claire Williamson.
He is also survived by two sisters, Carla Stidham of Richmond, Indiana and Coleen Coble of Dunedin, Florida.
One of Ron’s joys was ringing the bell for the Salvation Army during the holiday season. He was a member of the Optomist Club in Iowa City
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Raleigh Moravian Church Band, 1816 Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607.
Burial will be Saturday, June 3 at 9:00 am at Oakwood Cemetery. A memorial service will follow at 11:00 am at Raleigh Moravian Church.
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