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Obituary: Seibel, Ronald John


Seibel, Ronald John

Dr. Ronald John Seibel, of Adelphi, MD, passed away suddenly on Monday, March 16, 2020, two months’ shy of his 85th birthday. He passed at home with his beloved wife of 60 years, Rosann June (Peters), by his side.

Ron was born on May 18, 1935, in Streator, IL, to Katherine Winifred Taylor and Edward Leo Seibel. Ron lost his father at age 4, and at age 6, he was blessed with a loving stepfather when his mother married Henry Arvid Gustafson, who raised Ron and his baby sister as his own.

Ron was a beloved father, grandfather, and great-grandfather who dedicated his life to helping others and in service to the ideals of agricultural education. He loved hunting, fishing, tending his garden, and traveling with Rosann.

Ron is survived by his two children: Gary Edward Seibel and his spouse Dr. Sherry, DVM, Laura Jean (Seibel) Salers and her spouse Greg; four grandchildren: Julie Anne (Salers) Witzgall and her spouse Michael, Emily Rose Salers, Mary Beth Salers and her fiancé Jeremiah, and Matthew Edward Seibel; great-grandchild Logan Wyatt Witzgall; and his brother Dale F. Gustafson. He was preceded in death by his mother, father, stepfather, and sisters, Carol (Seibel) Stenzel and Jane (Gustafson) Peverly.

Ron began his lifelong commitment to agricultural education in 1958 at Crescent Iroquois Community High School after receiving his B.S. in Agriculture Education and an Advanced Certificate in Education from the University of Illinois. He then moved on to Dwight Township High School and Joliet Junior College before leaving for the University of Maryland in 1967 with his bride to conduct graduate work leading to a Ph.D. in Agricultural Education. Upon graduation, he assumed leadership of the University of Maryland’s Institute of Applied Agriculture, a position he held until his retirement in December of 1998. Ron also served for 10 years as the acting assistant dean for the UMD College of Agriculture. During his 31 years at the University of Maryland, he served on the advisory committees of 75 graduate students, served on the Governor’s Commission on Education in Agriculture, and developed the Scholar’s Day Program, the Student Ambassador Program, and the Alumni Ambassador Program. He was a lifelong member of the Maryland Vocational Association, the American Association of Teacher Educators in Agriculture, the National Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association, the National Education Association, the Maryland Agriculture Teachers Association, the Maryland Farm Bureau, the National FFA Alumni Association, the National Association of Colleges and Teachers in Agriculture, Phi Kappa Phi, and Alpha Gamma Rho. Ron served on several boards including the Maryland Agriculture Education Foundation, of which he was a founding member, bringing the state its beautiful AG tags. He was instrumental in the formation of the Maryland FFA Foundation and a board member of the National Alpha Zeta Foundation. He was the recipient of the Honorary American Farmer Degree, the Blue and Gold Award, the Vocational Educator of the Year Award, and just recently the Maryland Agriculture Teachers Association Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ron was a dedicated, active member of the College Park Lions Club for 47 years. During this time, he selflessly served in numerous leadership roles at the club, district, and international levels. He led as club president, vice president, director, membership chair, and secretary for several terms and had been the club treasurer for the past 6 years. Ronald chaired a long list of community service projects including the scholarship program, blood drives, eyeglass and hearing aid program and community vision/hearing screenings. He served the Lions of District 22-C as the assistant cabinet secretary/treasurer, zone chairman, webmaster, and LCOF board member. Ronald attended international Lions’ conventions all over the world, representing his club as a delegate. Over the years, he was recognized for his commitment to his community, earning numerous awards and recognitions. Ronald was selected as the College Park Lion of the Year several times, he was a Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow, a Roaring Lion, was honored with the highest district award, The Distinguished Service Award, and was selected for the District Honor Roll. Ronald had been a Maryland Rotarian for 7 years, a member of the Fraternal Order of the Moose and was a 61-year member of the Knights of Columbus. He lived by the Lions’ motto, “We Serve.”

All those who had the pleasure of meeting, knowing, and loving Ron will miss his kindness, generosity of spirit, quiet leadership, sense of humor, brilliant intellect, and selflessness.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date when friends and family are able to gather. Memorial contributions may be made to the Dr. Ronald J. Seibel Scholarship Fund, which supports students attending the Institute of Applied Agriculture at the University of Maryland or to the Lions Community Outreach Foundation.

Dr. Ronald J. Seibel Scholarship memorial contributions should be made payable to Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation (MAEF) and mailed to P.O. Box 536, 403 Oakington Road, Havre de Grace, MD 21078. Please note “Seibel Scholarship” in memo.

Lions Community Outreach Foundation memorial contributions should be made to “LCOF” and mailed to LCOF of District 22-C, Inc., 5606 Dower House Road, Room #L-1, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772. Please reference “Lion Ron Seibel” on the memo line.

Photo Caption: Dr. Ronald John Seibel

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