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Ronald "Ron" Wilkinson, 79, devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend, departed from this life on February 1, 2018 due to injuries sustained from an automobile accident. He was reunited with his eternal companion Darla who passed on seven years earlier to the very day. They now share another special anniversary.
Ron was born in Grass Valley, California, on July 26, 1938, to Alma Leroy and Evelyn Allen Wilkinson. He graduated from Orem High School’s first class (’57, participating in sports, orchestra, and choirs), LDS Seminary and later attended BYU (including an affiliation with the Opera Workshop). He was an Intermountain Boxing Champion (by TKO in 1960). He served in the Central States Mission (headquarters in Independence, Missouri) and active duty with the Utah National Guard. On June 2, 1961, Ron married Darla Herring in the Manti Temple. They had five children: Ron (Vania) Wilkinson, Ed (Becky) Wilkinson, Stephanie (Peter) Freeman, Teresa (Guy) Horn, and Jeff (Treasa) Wilkinson. He has 25 grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.
Ron was accomplished, energetic and “positively positive.” He owned and operated many restaurants and was a leading executive for several national restaurant chains. He was heavily involved in civic activities including the BYU Athletic Boosters, the Orem Key Club (acting as chairman of the Cancer Drive), the Orem Kiwanis Club (serving on the Board of Directors and acting as chair of the Business and Public Affairs Committee and the Orem Christmas Pageant, and led efforts to seek rehabilitation and employment for inmates), the Orem Jaycees (receiving the Distinguished Service Award in 1970 and 1971 and the Outstanding Young Man of the Year in 1970), the Orem City Chamber of Commerce (serving on the Board of Directors and elected as President in 1973-1974) when he assisted in bringing the University Mall and Utah Valley University to Orem, and the United Way (serving as chair of the Business Division). He was a published author of a national best seller, taught at Weber State College, and founded AIM for Excellence; ProfitMAX; Cost Control Systems; FOODCO; and other resources for restaurants and entrepreneurs. To Ron, these and other accomplishments were secondary to his most important legacy of being an AMAZING husband, father, grandfather and friend.
Ron was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in many capacities, including scout leader, seventy, bishop, and ordinance worker at the Mount Timpanogos Temple. His friends and family will forever remember his dedication and commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ, his contagious enthusiasm, and his famous barbeques. His children are eternally grateful for his example of hard work, “No Bears Are Out Tonight,” Father’s blessings, and an expectation of excellence. His grandchildren will always remember his playfulness, energy, humor, “birthday dollars” raining on their head each year, embossed scriptures to celebrate baptisms, chess lessons and holiday parties! Everyone was his “favorite.”
He is survived by his siblings: Dennis Wilkinson, Bonnie Anderson, Betty Wall, and Mike Morgan, as well as many extended family and loved ones. He was preceded in death by his wife (Darla), parents, step-father (Ed Morgan), brothers: Allen and Jimmy Wilkinson, and “Pete” Morgan, and his son Ed.
Funeral services will be held at the Heatheridge Stake Center, 450 East 2000 North, Orem, Utah, on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, at 10 a.m., with a viewing from 8:30-9:30 a.m. A viewing will also be held on Monday, February 12th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at The Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary, 495 South State Street, Orem, Utah. Interment will be at Orem City Cemetery.
The family expresses deep appreciation for the outpouring of love, support and service that has been given to his family at this difficult time, including the dedicated law enforcement officers who assisted at the scene of the accident. The family encourages friends and family to share their memories and photos of Ron by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Condolences may also be expressed to the family on this page.