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J. Ronald "Ronnie" Ireland

J. Ronald "Ronnie" Ireland, age 59 of Kadoka, SD, died suddenly on Saturday morning, April 24, 2010, at the Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital in Philip.

James Ronald Ireland was born November 9, 1950, at the old Kadoka Hospital, the son of F.H. "Shorty" and Betty N. (Mansfield) Ireland. He grew up on a ranch southwest of Belvidere, attending grade school at the Buffalo School and grades 7-12 at Kadoka, graduating from Kadoka High School in 1969. 4-H was a big part of his growing up years. After graduation, he attended one year of college at Black Hills State.

Ron married his high school sweetheart, Thesa Wolfe, on June 10, 1970, in Kadoka, and to this union were born four children, Holly, Naomi, Callie, and Terry. The couple worked on ranches in the Badlands, Mission, Robbs Flatt, and Valentine, NE, before returning to ranch in the badlands, raising quality Angus cattle and quarter horses.

Ron was a lifetime member of the American Quarter Horse Association, and American Angus Association, a Mason for 33 years, a member of the Easter Star for 32 years, and also belonged to the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, Jackson County Bootstraps, R-Calf, Lions Club and the Kadoka Presbyterian Church.

Ronnie was a longtime participant and supporter of high school rodeo, competing as a rough-stock rider at the National Finals High School Rodeo in 1969. Later, he was a clown and bullfighter for local high school rodeos. He boxed Golden Gloves for four years in his teens, placing regionally.

He was well known in eight states as an experienced freeze brander and AI man, and always ready to give the neighbors a helping hand. Ronnie loved trail riding and along with his family, has hosted riders in the Badlands for 20 years, entertaining riders from almost every state in the union.

Ronnie believed anything was possible and spent numerous hours traveling to his children and grandchildren's sporting events and extracurricular activities.

He will be sorely missed by all and is survived by his wife, Thesa Ireland, Kadoka; three daughters Holly Clements, Murdo, Naomi Dobson and her husband, Matthew, Sioux Falls, and Callie Rhead and her husband, Tim, Canton, SD; one son, Terry Ireland and his wife, Kacey, Kadoka; 12 grandchildren, Henry Ireland, Earl, Christena, Audra (Harold) and Geona Clements, Dylan Westman, Tyler, Trace, and Tallon Dobson, Marcus Ireland, and Keandra and Veronica Rhead; two great-great-grandchildren, Adilyn Ireland and Jason Moran; his father, F.H. "Shorty" Ireland, Kadoka; four brothers, Jerry Ireland and his wife, Pam, Miami, OK, Howard Ireland and his wife, Cathy, Belvidere, Kenny Ireland and his wife, Lyndy, Philip, and Harold "Hal" Ireland and his wife, Edith, Piedmont; one sister, Connie Holso and her husband, Seig, Cody, WY; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Ron was preceded in death by his mother, Betty Nell Ireland, on May 31, 2004.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 28, at the Kadoka City Auditorium, and one hour preceding the services on Thursday.

Funeral services will be held 11:00 a.m. Thursday, April 29, at the Kadoka City Auditorium, with Pastor Gary McCubbin and Pastor Gus Craven officiating.

Music will be provided by JoAnn Stilwell, pianist, and Lyndy Ireland, Boyd Porch, Carl Bauman and John Kaiser, vocalists.

Ushers are Lyle Klundt and Joe Stratton. Pallbearers are Jay Bigge, Clee Brakke, Jim Herber, John Herber, Patrick Solon and Kevin Winter.

Interment, with Masonic Rites, will be at the Kadoka Cemetery.

A memorial is established.

Arrangements are with the Rush Funeral Chapel of Kadoka.

Online guestbook available at www.rushfuneralhome.com