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Ronald Carroll Thomason, long-time Canyon resident, passed from this world into the arms of God on Thursday, February 21, 2019 at the age of 78 in Austin, Texas.
A celebration of his life will be held at University Church of Christ in Canyon on March 2, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. with David Lough and Bob Shepard officiating. Interment will follow at Dreamland Cemetery. Visitation will be held at Brooks Chapel in Canyon on Friday, March 1 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Arrangements are by Brooks Funeral Directors.
Ron was born June 29, 1940, in Hollis, Oklahoma to David Castleman (D.C.) and Lula Elizabeth King Thomason. His early childhood home was on the Oklahoma family farm along the Salt Fork of the Red River. Ronnie, as he was known growing up, spent days working cattle and cotton with his dad, swimming the river, hunting, and fishing. The farm was established in 1906 by his grandparents, Lon and Annie Castleman, and remains in his family as a historic Oklahoma Centennial Farm.
His family moved into Wellington, where Ronnie spent most of his time going from the farm to school, and even worked in the early mornings at the local grocery store. Ronnie graduated Wellington High School in 1958 where he played Skyrocket football, served as an athletic trainer, and boxed in Golden Gloves. His great smile and charm earned him the "Most Friendly" award from his classmates.
After graduating from Wellington High, he attended West Texas State College in Canyon, majoring in agriculture/plant science.
At the beginning of his junior year, he began dating Anne McCarver of Hereford. That spark ignited into a marriage between the two of them where their hearts became one forever. They were married at the Joseph Hill Chapel, on the campus of West Texas State, Nov. 3, 1961.
Ron's professor and friend Dr. Jimmie Green, encouraged him to attend graduate school. Ron received a National Defense Education Fellowship for his graduate education at Colorado State University.
In the fall of 1962, Ron and Anne moved from Canyon to Ft. Collins, Colorado. He received his Master’s Degree in 1964 and a Ph.D. in plant genetics in 1966. The four years spent in Colorado instilled a love for skiing in the Rocky Mountains, fly fishing on the Poudre River, and camping with church friends in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Ron completed ROTC at WT and the army postponed active duty until completion of his doctorate. After completing basic chemical corps training at Ft. McLellan in Anniston, Alabama, he was assigned to Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Denver, Colorado. Temporary duty was at Beale Air Force Base at Marysville/Yuba City, California, as Special Project Chief. Ron’s commitment to serving in the army ended in August, 1968. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Captain and received the Army Medal of Commendation for Meritorious Service, which he humbly accepted.
In Sept., 1968, Ron took a faculty position at the University of Missouri in Columbia. This position began what was to become his lifelong career as a college professor.
God blessed Ron and Anne with the birth of their first son, William David Thomason, the week after arriving in Columbia.
An opportunity was provided to teach in the West Texas State University agriculture department beginning in the fall of 1969.
In 1972, another blessing came with the birth of their second son, Mark Allen Thomason, in Canyon.
Ron retired in 2006 as a Professor Emeritus. The agriculture program, students, faculty and staff were special to him. His main accolades from his career were hearing about the successful lives of former students. He always wanted his students to succeed professionally and personally.
He was a man who listened to others and had a quick and likeable wit. He always said, “Normal is good.” Coaching his sons in all sports and watching his grandchildren in their activities, brought a smile to his face and joy to his heart. He was a loyal WT supporter and Buff athletics brought tremendous pleasure to his life. Saturday movie dates with Anne were fun times. Adventures in other countries with Anne and friends brought exciting times. He always wanted to take one road going and a different road coming back. His best trips were those where he was going to see family. He enjoyed farming, and called his version, “Farming in the 50’s”.
He was blessed with a wonderful University Church of Christ family. His love for the Lord and his Christian values established a firm foundation in his family. His heart was always open for those who were in need and felt called to help them anyway he could. That love is instilled in the hearts of his family and his legacy will continue in their hearts and lives. He will be greatly missed.
Ron was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Jimmy and Nelvis Knowles; sisters, Debra Pauline Knowles Aguilar and Janice Knowles McNeelie; and brother-in-law, Larry Pipins.
He is survived by his wife and best friend of 57 years, Anne McCarver Thomason; sons, William David Thomason and wife, Stephanie, Mark Allen Thomason and wife, Alissa; sisters, Cathy Elaine Thomason Pipins, Laverne Wilson and husband, Frank, and Linda Wolf; brothers, Lanny Knowles and wife, Dovie, Olan Moore and wife, Bo; sisters-in-law, Judy McCarver Lisewsky and husband, Ski, and Leslie Moore; grandchildren, Ashlee Thomason, Tyler Thomason and Aiden Thomason, Alexis Marriott Grubb and husband, Jason, and Blake Marriott; great-grandchildren, Blair and Charlotte Grubb; cousins, Elvoy Thomason, Troy Thomason, Joy Mimms, Anna Thomason, Juanema Fikes and husband, Charles, Mike Wilhite and wife, Julie, Rene and Caroll Duncan, Vivian Thomason Phelps and Floydene Kite; uncle, Gerald Wayne and wife, Pat King; aunt, Dorothy Morgan; numerous nieces and nephews; along with special family friends and church family.
Our family was blessed to be in Seton Hospital ICU Cardiac Care in Austin. Our prayers are continually with the families and heroes in that challenging place.
Thankfulness is extended from Ron’s family for all of the prayers from so many churches, friends and families on our behalf. Those prayers were supportive and answered in giving Ron the best quality of life.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Ron Thomason Scholarship Fund, WTAMU Box 60998, Canyon, TX 79016, Christian Relief Fund, PO Box 19670, Amarillo, TX 79114, or High Plains Children’s Home www.hpch.org/giving.