Absent from the body, present with the Lord! What a trip this is going to be! One-way flight to the city of God. Ronald Donis Stromberg was born on a farm one mile east of Vici, OK on December 28, 1931, the last of five children born to C.A. Stromberg and Arta Mae Pierce. His parents owned the Vici Stockyards at that time. After his parent’s divorce, he and his mother lived with her parents, Olden and Rosa Mae Pierce in Vici. During World War II when Ron was in sixth grade, he and his mother moved to Vancouver, Washington where his mother worked in the shipyards. His father moved to the area also, where he was employed by the shipyards as well and was able to spend free time with Ron. After the war they moved to Portland, OR, where he attended junior high. While in high school, Ron lived with his brothers and sisters until he graduated in 1949, in Lenoir, NC. For the next two years he attended Bible college in Springfield MO, and Fort Worth, TX, until the dean of students called Ron in and asked if he had kissed a girl in the parking lot. Because of this, it was decided that a different path in life would better suit him. In 1951, at the age of 19, Ron chose to enlist in the Air Force in lieu of being drafted. After visiting four branches of the military, he asked his mother which service she thought would be best. She said, “you always look good in blue.” So, the Air Force it was. Ron went through basic training then was sent to Moody Air Force Base in GA to work as an administrative clerk typist for the wing commander. Several months later the commander asked Ron why he wasn’t out on the front lines flying jets. Ron pointed to his glasses and replied, “these must be worn at all times.” The wing commander challenged him to see the flight surgeon who told him he would never need the glasses again and crushed them under hisheel. Three months later he reported to flight school. Ron earned his wings on April 28, 1954, at Reese AFB in Lubbock, TX. His first tour of duty was as co-pilot on General Maxwell Taylor’s plane in Seoul, Korea at the end of the Korean War. In August 1955, Ron reported for duty at Whiteman AFB in Sedalia, MO, and there he met his future wife, Leslie Parsons, who at first didn’t give him the time of day. A couple years later, she was transferred to Omaha, NE, and a few months after that Ron arrived with new orders as an instructor pilot. One of his duties was to give annual flight checks to senior officers. One of these senior officers suggested to Ron that there was a young lady he might be interested in. The next week he arrived at the Officer’s Club for lunch with the Colonel and Leslie. The Colonel conveniently excused himself and left Ron and Leslie alone. Leslie had come back into his life! Ron waited three nights before he called her., as she was currently dating another officer. After a couple of years apart, it became apparent they wanted to be with each other. They soon fell in love and after Ron was promoted to captain and was financially ready to marry, they did just that on April 1, 1961, at Randolph AFB chapel in San Antonio, TX. In October 1962, Ron’s job during the Cuban Missile Crisis was to ferry the classified top-secret films, taken by the U-2, from a base in Florida to the Kodak Film Processing Office in Rochester, NY, then bring back the days film to Andrews AFB. In 1963 Ron applied to the U-2 Pilot Program and was accepted to begin flying in July at Davis- Monthan AFB in Tucson. Ten years later, he was promoted three times while assigned temporary duty in Vietnam, Australia, Alaska, Cyprus and Argentina. And had nearly 7,000 flying hours. During his 28 year Air Force career he earned 23 decorations and awards including the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and 5 Air Medals for U-2 missions. If the Lord were to ask Ron what He could have done to make his life better, Ron’s answer would be, “absolutely nothing”. The Lord blessed Ron with a loving family, a wonderful wife and daughter, an exciting 28 plus year career in the Air Force flying the planes he loved, retiring as a Colonel, followed by 26 years managing high rise office buildings in Oklahoma City. Most importantly, the Lord placed him in Bible Baptist Church, where he sat in Mrs. Bond’s high school and college Sunday School class watching and learning as she made God’s Word come alive. It was during this time Ron accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior. Ron is survived by his loving daughter, Greta, a registered nurse in Oklahoma City, who took wonderful care of him and his wife during the last years of their lives. He is also survived by 13 nephews and one niece who continue to share their parent’s wisdom in honoring God in their lives.
Viewing will be at OK Cremation & Funeral Home, 2415 N Walnut, Oklahoma City from 9-11am on July 5, 2019 and will be followed by a Memorial Service at Grace Bible Church 10301 Lakeside Dr, Oklahoma City at 1pm the same day.
In lieu of flowers I would like donations sent to The George Whitefield Society, 6608 N Western Ave #182, Oklahoma City, OK 73116 or Wounded Warriors at support.woundedwarriorproject.org