Ronald “Ron” Debatin, age 73, of Pocahontas, Illinois, passed away Thursday, June 29, 2017 at Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis. He was born May 11, 1944 in Highland, Illinois, the son of the late Nelson and Hulda (Wegmann) Debatin. He married Rebecca “Becky” Paternoster. She survives. Also surviving are three children: Julie (Chris) LaFrance of Highland, Jackie Debatin of New York, NY and Brian (Cathy Kronk) of Edwardsville; two grandchildren: Phillip LaFrance and Mallory LaFrance, both of Highland; one brother, William “Bill” (Marilyn Debatin of Greenville; and one sister-in-law, Judy Debatin of Greenville. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Richard Debatin.
Ron was a graduate of the University of Illinois with a Master’s degree in Animal Nutrition. He was a past president of the Illinois Holstein Association. He was a past board member of Select Sires and Bond Madison Water Company.
After 27 years of dairy farming in Greenville and Alhambra, Ron and Becky retired. Ron pursued a 2nd career as a “rough specialist” and “part-time arborist” for 23 years at The Woodlands Golf course in Alton.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, July 3rd at 1pm at Salem United Church of Christ in Alhambra, Illinois followed by a Celebration of Ron’s life at their home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations will contribute to the scholarship fund for students enrolled in the dairy program at the University of Illinois. Make check payable to: University of Illinois Dairy Judging Team. Mail to: Jackie Debatin, 8306 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills CA 90211. The family will then submit to the university as a package. The family looks forward to presenting the scholarship to a student each year.