Ronald Arthur Parker

June 11, 1932March 3, 2019

Ronald A. Parker, 86, of Humboldt, passed away, March 3, 2019, at the Humboldt North Care Center in Humboldt due to complications related to dementia. Funeral services will be Friday, March 8, 2019, at 10:30 am at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Bode with Pastor James Borlaug officiating. Visitation will be Thursday evening, from 5-7:00 pm at Ubben-Lentz Funeral Home in Humboldt. Visitation will also be Friday, March 8, 2019, from 5-7 pm at McLaren’s Funeral Chapel in West Des Moines. Burial will be Saturday, March 9 at 11:00 am at Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines.

Ron was born on June 11, 1932, in Des Moines to Charles and Helen (Shover) Parker; he was raised by his maternal grandparents, Arthur and Bertha (Pickett) Shover. Serving his country sounded exciting to Ron, so he joined the Air National Guard at an early age and then enlisted in the Navy. He served on two different destroyers and served during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged in 1953. Upon returning to Des Moines, Ron met Marilyn B. Hanson on a blind date. On July 4, 1956, they were married. They had two children, and as a family, roller speed skating became a big part of their lives and provided many opportunities to travel and meet people from all over the country. Marilyn passed away on January 31, 1990.

Ron retired from Mid-American Energy in 1995 after 39 years of service. In his retirement, he joined a large group of fellow Iowans on a bicycle ride across the USA, where he met Janice Pflibsen from Bode. They were married at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Bode on November 8, 1997. They lived in Bode and wintered in Arizona. They moved to Humboldt in 2006.

Ron’s favorite pastimes were working out at the gym and eating ice cream straight from the carton. One of his philosophies of life, one that he cultivated while in the Navy was “If I had to shovel shit against the tide, I would find a way to enjoy it.”

Left to cherish Ron’s memory are his wife, Janice; children, Bradley (Kimberly) Parker of Pleasant Hill and Deanna Polson of Johnston; grandchildren, Kelsey, Matthew and Aiden Parker and Jady, Ty, and Shay Polson; half-sister Dianna (Robert) Vandervort of Des Moines and half-brother Jerry Parker of Des Moines. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Marilyn in 1990 and half-brother Charles Parker.


  • Visitation Friday, March 8, 2019
  • Burial Saturday, March 9, 2019

Ronald Arthur Parker

have a memory or condolence to add?

Larry Young

March 7, 2019

Sorry for your families loss. I would be remiss not to let Ron’s passing go by without some mention of his work ethic. Ron was one of my journeymen mentors during my apprenticeship at Iowa Power & Light Co. aka Midamerican Energy. We bumped heads on several occasions as most students and teachers do but he was truly dedicated to his skill in sometimes very stressful situations on the job. It was during those training times I became very familiar with the phrase “too soon we get old too late we get smart”. Ron was also a pretty good pinochle player which we played on our down time if he wasn’t cleaning or working on roller skates, Remember the past and cherish your memories.

Kelsey Parker

March 6, 2019

My Grandpa instilled a deep need to always be early when I have to be somewhere. He was always saying “If you aren't at least 15 minutes early then you are late.” That time increased as he got older to being 30 minutes early.
Thank you to my grandpa Ron for making it so that I will never be late anywhere.

Ted Anderson

March 6, 2019

Ron is one of the best people you will ever of had the opportunity meet. He not only raised two wonderful children but also many other children through his inspiration and dedication. Ron, Marilyn, Brad and Deanna brought me into their family and treated me as one of their own. They took an underprivileged kid and inspired me not to give up and continue to strive for excellence in every aspect and of life. Ron carted me to many skating events across the country and kept my skates a rolling on many occasions. Ron literally saved my life in more ways and more than one occasion. I’m sorry for running into your Van Ron 😉😉🤫. There is not enough one can say for what Ron has done for so many. Thank you Ron for keeping my wheels a rolling in every aspect of life... 😥🙏🍻

Trudy Nixon

March 6, 2019

Ron Parker was one of many icons at the Carousel Skating Rink in Des Moines, Iowa. He was my speed skating coach for several years. He was tough on all us kids. He wanted us to succeed as bad as we did. I was proud to call him my coach, mentor and friend. My sincere condolences to his family. ❤️

Jane & Wayne Hasek

March 5, 2019

Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Cherish the memories ❤️
Jane & Wayne

Linda Jones

March 5, 2019

All of the speed skaters looked up to Ron. They remember his practices after their normal practices, where the kids would skate outside and have a blast while working their tails off because he would push them in a fun way. He was a great man, Dad, mentor and cheerleader! We are so sorry for your loss! Hugs to your family!