Ronald William Denker
Ronald William Denker was laid to rest on Feb. 24, 2020 in the Sydertown Community Cemetery having peacefully passed on Feb. 21 at the age of 86.
He was born on Oct. 10, 1933 in West Patterson, N.J. to the late Christian Wilhelm Denker and Emma Krause Denker.
In addition to working the family nurseries throughout his childhood, Ronald was a young avid sportsman having played basketball, wrestling, and finishing as the top New Jersey third baseman in 1951.
A farmer at heart, Ronald declined a recruitment scholarship offer from the Boston Red Sox due to the lack of a dairy science degree at the school; choosing instead to continue his schooling at Pennsylvania State University where he worked three jobs and graduated in 1955 from the College of Agricultural Science with a dairy science concentration.
In this same year, Ronald married his childhood neighbor and high school sweetheart Barbara Bokor. The young couple soon relocated to Fort Jackson, S.C. to fulfill his ROTC officer commission in the United States Army (1956-1957).
Shortly following the birth of daughter Kathleen Ronni, he began a 37 year career with Kraft Foods in natural cheese production and product management that brought stints throughout Upstate New York, Allentown, Pa., and finally the Chicago area.
The couple spent much of their free time traveling the Midwest antiquing and preparing for their eventual retirement to Nittany, Pa.
Officially retiring in 1993, fulltime renovation began of the home farm purchased 12 years prior. Never one to slow down, Ronald began breeding Belgian horses, expanded farming operations, participated in Tressler Garage’s “Breakfast Club,” antiqued & vended in Bellefonte’s Plaza Centre, served on the Walker Township Planning Board, regularly attended PSU football games, and continued his childhood passion for the New York Yankees.
Ronald is survived by his wife Barbara Denker; daughter Kathleen Nelson and husband, Roy Nelson, of Pennington, N.J.; grandson Matthew Nelson of Nittany, Pa.; and granddaughter Bethany Nelson of Southern California.
Memorial contributions may be made in Ronald’s name to Nittany Valley Volunteer Fire Company, PO Box 508 Lamar, Pa. 16848; Walker Township Fire Company, PO Box 110 Mingoville, Pa. 16856; or Centre Crest New Building Fund, 502 E. Howard St., Bellefonte Pa. 16823.
Arrangements were entrusted to Kader-Neff Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc. 135 Main St., Howard.
An online guest book can be signed or condolences to the family available at www.kader-neff.com.