Cover photo for Ronald Lee Acton's Obituary
Ronald Lee Acton Profile Photo
Ronald Lee Acton

Ronald Lee Acton

d. April 15, 2023

Kansas City, KS

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Ronald Lee Acton was born on a summer day in Russell, Kansas in 1933, in the same
house, in the same room, and in the same bed that his beloved mother, Isla, had been born in
years prior. Ron spent his early years between Russell and Onaga, Kansas. When Ron was 5
years old, Isla married Chester “Chet” Acton and the family moved to Kansas City, Kansas and
lived in an apartment at 7th and Ann Avenue. Ron attended Central Elementary School for
kindergarten, first, and second grades before the family relocated to Turner, Kansas. Ron began
third grade in Turner, where he met lifelong friends, like James Hayes, Gerald Moles, Robert
Carter, and Jay Robertson, and Jay Darling. Several Turner classmates, self-appointed as the
“Board of Directors,” continued to meet regularly for breakfast until just a short while ago.

Ron graduated from Turner High School in 1951 as an accomplished athlete in both
football and baseball. His name once appeared in the Turner Walk of Fame. Ron joined the
United States Marine Corps after high school where he worked as an aircraft mechanic. Ron
served proudly in the Marines until coming home in 1954 and joining Carpenters Union Local
168. In 1954, Ron met the love of his life, Joyce Adelle Rhodes, when he drove past her and a
friend walking home from work. Ron and his friend followed the girls home and refused to leave
until they agreed to a date. Ron and Joyce were soon married on November 19, 1955 and
remained devotedly so, until her passing in 2016. Ron and Joyce welcomed their sons, Gary in
the summer of 1956 and Larry in the fall of 1958.

The family lived in a rented house near 18th and Alden until 1959, when Ron took a job
overseas in Greenland. While Joyce and the boys stayed with her family in Yates Center, Kansas,
Ron lived on a glacier and helped build the footings for a radar station. When Ron came home
from Greenland, he used the money from that job to buy 10 acres at 55th and State Avene, where
he and Joyce built their first home. The family lived there until 1973, when Ron and Joyce
bought their forever home back in Turner.

As a union carpenter of close to 40 years, Ron was also involved with several heavy
construction and other projects across Kansas City. He worked insulating the Proctor & Gamble
plant, helped build the parking garage at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri, he
riveted all the numbers on the seats at Kemper Arena, he worked on every bridge that crosses I-
35 from Kansas City, Kansas to southern Johnson County, and many more. Ron retired from his
position as lead carpenter with the City of Kansas City, Kansas in 1991 after nearly two decades
working for the city. In his later years, Ron donated his skills to his family, friends, and
community by building homes, fixing toys, and installing grab-bars for the disabled and elderly.
He was frequently seen mowing lawns across Turner, including the cemetery and the church.

A lifelong member of First Baptist Church of Turner, Ron served as a deacon, trustee,
board member, key-holder, and friend to many members over his 80 plus years in the
congregation. Joyce, also a trustee and board member as well as church moderator, would often delegate tasks at church to Ron, their sons and daughters-in-law, and their five grandchildren. The Acton family often had a hand in church events, like Vacation Bible School, Hanging of the Greens during the holidays, the Mother-Daughter luncheon in spring, and the Father-Son dinner
in summer.

Ron was a founding member of the Wyandotte County Sports Association and served as a coach
for his sons’ baseball teams. Ron would run fielding drills by lining up his team in the outfield
and pointing to where he was going to hit the ball. An avid sports fan, Ron never missed a KU
basketball, Kansas City Chiefs, or Royals game. He could often be found in his shop eating
peanuts and watching a game.

Ron and Joyce spent their retirement years traveling. They took a cruise through the
Bahamas, toured northern Europe, and took several road trips across the US, including many
trips with their grandchildren to their lakehouse at Pomme de Terre.

Ron died peacefully on the afternoon of April 15 with his granddaughters by his side.
Ron will be missed the most for his quick wit and sage advice. “You know whatcha oughta do”
is a phrase many have heard before Ron gave his wisened perspective on an issue or problem.
Ron is preceded in death by his mother and father, Isla and Chet, and his wife, Joyce. Ron is
survived by his sons, Gary (Michelle) and Larry, five grandchildren, and nine great-
grandchildren.

Services will be held at the First Baptist Church of Turner on Saturday, April 29,
2023 at 11:00 a.m. with a luncheon to follow. Cremation has been provided by Kansas City
Funeral Directors. The family ask that memorial contributions be directed towards the
Community Blood Center at https://www.savealifenow.org/support-us/financial-
contribution/ways-give/.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ronald Lee Acton, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Ronald Acton Memorial Service

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

First Baptist Church of Turner

701 S. 55th Street, Kansas City, KS 66106

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