Eltiste-Kaiser Web Site
Ronald Gene Eltiste
Born - January 23, 1944
Died - June 14, 1994
Ronald G. Eltiste
Thursday, June 23, 1994
Eltiste’s Legacy Will Live On
As we gather here today, we pay tribute to a loved one and friend. Let us remember and hold in memory those cherished moments that each of us shared in some way with our departed one.
By Brian Taylor
Arbor State Managing Editor
He cared about his family, his community and his school. He loved life and those he came into contact with and he had the ability to bring out the best in everyone.
He’s not with us anymore, but the legacy he left behind will continue to live and grow in those who knew him, and in those who didn’t.
Ron Eltiste was a lot of things to a lot of people. That’s why his death on June 14 hit the community he loved so hard.
“He went out of his way to make people feel like a part of the community.” Said Southern School District Superintendent Larry Humphrey. “I don’t know how you replace a Ron Eltiste.”
Eltiste cam to Wymore in 1966 as a school teacher and coach. But he was more than just a teacher. He was also the student’s biggest cheerleader.
“He did a lot for us.” Said 1994 graduate Hillary Snyder. “He got really involved. He was more than a teacher to a lo of us.”
“There was no way you couldn’t like the guy. He had a great sense of humor and he praised people for what they did right and didn’t put anyone down for what they didn’t know.”
Reaching out to the student’s through both the good and bad times is what set Eltiste apart from the “normal” teacher.
“What he brought to Southern was a caring atmosphere.” Said Humphrey. “The kids all knew he cared about them.”
“He meant stability. He was always there to help with whatever needed to be done.”
Which is something, Humphrey said, people haven’t really given much thought to until Eltiste’s death.
“When you’ve been around so long and have done so much, it’s kind of taken for granted, which isn’t right.” He said. “He did a lot for Southern over the years. A lot of good things.”
He also made contributions to the community. He served as a volunteer firefighter and on the rescue squad. He also is a former mayor and city councilman for the City of Wymore.
“Ron will be missed,” said Terry Lewis, captain of the rescue squad. He cared about people and had a lot of compassion for the members of the rescue squad.”
Lewis said Eltiste would follow up on a lot of the rescue calls and let the members of the squad know how the patients were doing. Lewis said that helped a lot of people on the rescue squad.
“He gave the Wymore Rescue squad 100 percent,” Lewis said.
Lewis, though, believes it was in the classroom where Eltiste made his greatest contribution to the community.
“His main impact, as I perceive it, was with the youth.” Lewis said. “In his classroom, he strived to teach kids self esteem and self worth. He taught a lot of life skills, stuff that wasn’t in the text books and that they all had some net worth.”
The impact that Ron Eltiste made on this community, and on his students, both past and present, and even those of us who hadn’t known him for long was quite evident at his funeral Saturday. People from all walks of life and all ages packed Our Saviors Lutheran Church to pay their final respects to a man who had touched their lives and had made a difference.
“It really hasn’t set in yet, “ Snyder said. “It probably won’t hit until this fall. Even though I won’t be there, its going to be real tough because he was so involved.”
Humphrey said the sadness of the first day of school in August would be quite evident. “I think you’ll see some tears that first day when everyone comes back to school and he’s not here.” Humphrey said. “That’s OK for students and staff to do.”
“I don’t know how you replace a Ron Eltiste.”
Let us join hands and hearts together in this service so that it may lend comfort and solace to the family and serve as an inspiration to all of us in the months and years ahead.
Father - Warren Kenton Friedrich Eltiste
Mother - Caryll Jane (Briar) Eltiste
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Last Up-Date 01/15/2012 09:15:50 AM