Ronald Gene Hiles, 76, died Thursday, May 24, 2012 at his home in Hay Springs, surrounded by his loving family. Ron was born May 20, 1936 in Galesburg, Ill., to J. T. “Terry” and Delma Hiles. Ron and his parents moved to Alliance in 1938. He attended public school in Alliance and graduated in 1954. After working for the C.B. & Q Railroad and the City of Alliance, he attended Western Illinois University. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree from Chadron State College in 1963 and received his Masters Degree in Educational Administration from Colorado State College in Greeley, Colo. in 1967. Between educational endeavors he served in the U.S. Army from 1958 to 1960, stationed at Wiesbaden, Germany for 18 months and was Honorably Discharged.
Ron married the love of his life Judith “Judy” Dunbar on August 8, 1964. The couple made their first home in Brighton, Colo. where they both held teaching positions for three years. From there they moved to Culbertson Neb., where Ron was the head basketball coach and Jr./Sr. high school principal for three years. The next year they lived near Greeley while Ron worked toward his doctoral degree. After that Ron moved his family to New Raymer, where he served two years as Superintendent of Prairie Schools. He completed his career in education by serving as superintendent of Hay Springs Public Schools for 23 years.
Ron was not only an educator, but also an entrepreneur. In the fall of 1972 he, in partnership with his Uncle, V. R. “Red” Johnson, bought land and began developing the Meadows Mobile Home Park in Alliance. After a few years Ron bought his uncle’s interest in the park and completed development of the 160 units. He and Judy owned and operated the park until September of 2010.
Ron was a lifetime member of the United Methodist Church, and Phi Delta Kappa educational fraternity. He was also a member of the Elks Lodge and the American Legion. Ron enjoyed hunting, fishing, golfing, coin collecting, and “coffee time” with his many friends. He was a great supporter of both the Hay Springs and Alliance communities and was an avid sports fan, especially when it came to the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the Chicago Cubs and any team that his grandchildren played on. Ron’s greatest enjoyment in life was spending time with his family.
Ron is survived by his wife Judy, his son Jon (Amanda) Hiles of Louisville, Colo.; daughters Kristi (Ken) Smith of Kimball; Nancy (Mike) Sutcliffe of Norwalk, Iowa. He is also survived by his eight grandchildren: Brenden, Kayli, and Britten Rageth; Max, Grace, Noelle, and Isaac Sutcliffe; and Hunter Hiles; plus step-granddaughter Allison, and step-great-granddaughter Carliegh. He is also survived by his sister Bev (Don) Hanks of Hemingford, two brothers-in-law and families and many friends.
Ron was preceded in death by his parents, his parents-in-law and a nephew.
Celebration of Life will be held Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at the Hay Springs United Methodist Church, officiated by Pastor Rod Heilbrun. Graveside Service will take place on Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at the Alliance Cemetery. Memorials may be given to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Hay Springs United Methodist Church, or the Hay Springs Volunteer Fire Department.
Chamberlain Chapel of Chadron is in charge of arrangements.