Ronald John Nachtwey, age 83, entered into the nearer presence of his Lord and Savior on December 28, 2020, following a lengthy illness. Ron was the first of nine children born to Gerhard and Marjorie (Van Egeren) Nachtwey. He was born on September 12, 1937, in the Town of Bellevue, Brown County, Wisconsin. From a young age, Ron took on many responsibilities on their family farm. He attended St. Philip the Apostle Grade School and continued his education at Central Catholic High School, both in Green Bay. When his family moved to their farm in Black Creek in 1951, he transferred to Seymour High School, graduating in 1955.
Ron’s first job was at Hoida Lumber in Green Bay. This was followed by employment at Kurz & Root in Appleton, Giddings and Lewis in Kaukauna, and Appleton Manufacturing. He then signed on at Paper Converting in Green Bay where he worked for 32 years. Before retiring in 2005, his talents as a Mechanical Field Service Technician led him to assignments throughout the country, as well as to Great Britain and Australia.
When a senior in high school, Ron joined the U.S. Naval Reserves for an 8-year term including two weeks of active duty each year. He trained on several naval vessels, including the destroyer escort U.S.S. McClellan and the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Bon Homme Richard. He spoke highly of that time, appreciating the opportunity to travel and experience other countries and cultures.
On October 11, 1969, Ron was united in marriage to Sharon Jens at St. Mary’s Church in Appleton. They resided in the Little Chute area for a couple of years before buying their home in rural Black Creek in 1972. Three daughters were born to them: Jodi Lee in 1970, Amy Suzanne in 1972, and Rachael Lynn in 1976. Their family expanded in 1998 with Amy’s marriage to Scott Lemke and again in 2007 with the birth of their granddaughter, Autumn Rae Lemke.
Ron’s hobbies included wood-working, reading, and gardening. He made the benches that grace the Seymour Museum’s grassy area surrounding the gazebo, as well as many of the display units inside of the museum. Always curious about how things worked, he patiently studied his projects and theorized possible options, typically finding the best solution for the problem at hand and often creating his own tools in the process! He shared his wood-working and creative problem-solving talents with many community organizations, such as the Seymour Museum, Seymour High School’s Odyssey of the Mind Program, Fallen Timbers Nature Center, and the Freedom Moravian Church. In one particular case, he spent countless hours constructing mobility and safety aids to make a friend’s home handicap accessible.
Ron was intellectually curious about the sciences, geography, history, and the political issues of the day. From newspapers to encyclopedias, he found it important to educate himself on a myriad of topics and to learn about other countries’ histories and governments. He supported causes that espoused a strong sense of tolerance, open-mindedness, and social justice, sharing those views in several newspaper editorials. These interests often gave him the advantage in heated family games of Trivial Pursuit and difficult crossword puzzles. A man of few words, he was reserved and contemplative, yet showed his care and concern through so many acts of kindness for which he will always be remembered.
Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Shari; his three daughters, Jodi Nachtwey of Sun Prairie, Amy (Scott) Lemke of Black Creek, and Rachael Nachtwey of Madison, and his one grandchild, Autumn Rae Lemke. He is furthered survived by his siblings: Carol Connors, Madison; Suanne (Tom) Gritt, Appleton; Marge Doty, Black Creek; Mary Ellen (Ed) Gritt, Black Creek; Michael Nachtwey, Black Creek; Patrick (Sharon) Nachtwey, Black Creek; and Cindy Nachtwey, Neenah. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Robert Nachtwey.
Due to the COVID pandemic, funeral services for Ron will be private at St. Mary Catholic Church in Black Creek. Burial will take place at Highland Memorial Park in Appleton. Please share your memories about Ron via letter and mail to: Muehl-Boettcher Funeral Home, 358 S. Main Street, Seymour, WI 54165. Muehl-Boettcher Funeral Home, Seymour, is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed to Ron's family at www.muehlboettcher.com
In lieu of flowers, a memorial is being established in his name for the Seymour Community Historical Society.
Special thank you to Nathan Peters, his home care nurse, and to the staff at Cherry Meadows, for their kind and supportive care.
“Grandpa I will miss our time together in the workshop,” Love, Autumn.