Last month, longtime Rotarian and club member Ron Jones gave his classification talk at a Friday meeting and the following is his write-up. Ron's diverse career path and his dedication to volunteering are great examples of "Service Above Self."
 
I grew up in Sparta, WI on a 240 acre dairy farm located very near Fort McCoy. I have been able to drive a tractor since age 5 and a pick-up truck since age 10. I attended Grades 1-8 in a one-room/one-teacher country school with 38 students called Bush Prairie School. At age 8, I joined the local 4-H club and became club president at age 12. I graduated high school at Sparta Senior High School and after graduation I attended University of La Crosse for 2 years…then I went on to St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing in Racine. In 1969, I graduated there as a Registered Nurse and earned a BS and MBA degree in Health Care Administration from 1980-1994.
 
I have two adult married daughters: Tamara who has 3 children and Robin who has 4 children.  My first wife Camilla passed following her 15-year battle with breast cancer. I then met Barbara on-line through “Senior People Meet” and have been married to her for 4 1/2 years. Together, we have a total of 18 grandchildren.
 
In 1955, I had polio and because of all of the fantastic nursing care I received, it left me with a favorable impression in my mind that I could become a Registered Nurse. So from my freshman year in High School I believed that my education would prepare me to be a Registered Nurse. My nursing career began as a Kidney Dialysis Nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital Milwaukee, Staff RN, Nurse manager, Research Nurse studying the Drug L-Dopa with Neurologist Dr. John Baker, Night Supervisor, Director of Nursing, Vice President of  Patient Care Services, and Vice President of Professional and Support Services at Elmbrook Memorial Hospital (24 years all total).  I changed professions and my career by becoming President of the Siebert Lutheran Foundation, a $100 million Dollar foundation which funds Lutheran ministries and Lutheran schools in Wisconsin. I served the organization as President for 21 years and will be officially retired from the Foundation on December 31, 2015.
 
Dr. Sri Vasudevan, a physician at Elmbrook Hospital introduced me to Rotary and we launched the start-up of the new Brookfield Sunset Rotary Club. On October 22, 1986 The Sunset Rotary Club was chartered with 26 members. At the event, Dr. Edward Cadman, who was past president of Rotary International in 1985-1986, was the key note speaker. Jim Dunn and I were charter members and present at the Charter ceremony and I was President-elect. Other Brookfield Sunrise Rotary members who, together with Jim and I, became members of the Elmbrook Rotary Club on November 2, 2001 include: Gary Gilmore, Tony Consiglio, Linda Wickstrom, and Mike Hogan. I have been a Rotarian for 29 years and since 1986. 26 of those years with perfect attendance.  
 
Today, my daily schedule includes playing Sudoku and doing whatever Barbara has planned for the day.  We do volunteer work at Serenity Inns which is a half-way home for men in recovery, as well as a non-profit called New Threads of Hope in addition to taking part in church committees. I also love polishing and taking care of my car. 
 
My Rotary Friends and involvement with our community have kept me attracted to Rotary. Involvement with the Scholarship committee for 11 years along with grilling and cooking at Spikes and the 4th of July events are a few of the things I’ve enjoyed while being part of our club.
 
Ron Jones