He was born on Friday, April 13, 1956, to Rex (Sr.) and Ruth Garringer in Anderson, Indiana. He married Monica (Schulte) Garringer on November 30, 1979, and they had two children, Christen and & Aaron. He dedicated his entire career as a professional retriever trainer. Ron is survived by his wife, Monica; children Christen and Justin Butler and Aaron and Lindsey Garringer; two grandchildren Eleanor Butler and Jackson Butler. He was preceded in death by his parents, Rex and Ruth Garringer.
A Memorial Service & Celebration of Life will be held in November 2022, at Stillwater Kennel in Silex, MO. A private family graveside service took place at Sulphur Lick Cemetery on September 23, 2022, with pallbearers Rex Garringer Jr, BJ Ross, Frank Johnson, Mel Schulte, Dennis Schulte, and Justin Butler. Barry Kraft officiated both services. Cards, flowers, or memorials can be sent to Stillwater Kennel, c/o Monica Garringer, 298 Stillwater Drive, Silex, MO 63377.
Ron grew up the youngest of four siblings in Anderson, Indiana. Ron's interest in animals began early in childhood when he had pets of all kinds including a skunk, raccoon, fox, and multiple family dogs. He taught the dogs tricks and also enjoyed exploring, fishing, & hunting.
In high school, he excelled in athletics - especially wrestling. He was one of the best wrestlers in the state of Indiana, earning him an athletic scholarship to Vincennes University where he briefly studied Conservation. During that time, his sister gave him a Labrador Retriever pup, and he hitchhiked around the state of Indiana, attending field trials and eventually acquired his first registered dog, Sampson of Stillwater. Ron left college to train dogs and guide duck hunts at Upland Farms, in Remsenburg, Long Island, New York. In 1977, he began training for Tommy Sorenson at the Old Casa Audlon Kennels, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Wallace in St. Louis, training gun dog and trial dogs.
In 1989, Ron founded Stillwater Kennel (named for his first dog, Sampson) in Silex, Missouri, with his wife, Monica. With the loyal support of several clients and still lifelong friends, the gun dog business grew to include obedience training, boarding and shuttle services, and a game bird farm that raised hundreds of ducks, chukars, pheasants, and quail. He especially enjoyed watching others learn and grow through dog training and was proud of those willing to put in the work to have a great finished dog. His style was a hard running dog that WANTED to put in the work.
Once the kennel business was established, Ron took to pursuing a variety of hobbies over the years to master skills required to “survive” including gardening, bred & raised cattle, mushroom identification, processing game, sausage making, curing ham, making cheese, making wine, making a bow, and many others. He loved camping with his grandkids and teaching them to hunt dove, squirrel, deer, turkey, and to fish. He planned all year for longer hunting trips with his sister and brother-in-law to pursue larger game such as elk, mountain lion, and bear, in New Mexico & Alaska, trips of his dreams. He also had the opportunity to do some ocean fishing with his nephew in Florida & more recently with his wife off the coast of Louisiana. Ron & Monica enjoyed road trip style vacations to many places in the United States.
Throughout all of the years, Ron never hesitated to host or co-host a fun event, and was always the entertainer with music, dancing, singing, and getting others to do the same, often with a harmonica in hand. The crew at The Crossroads were a strong team of friends that still to this day remain bonded like brothers and sisters and continue to have a fierce friendship. Although one not to travel far from home, the memories made at his events will be impossible to forget. To him, there was always reason to celebrate, and he held many annual traditions including a family multi-day Thanksgiving event, community deer breakfast on opening day of deer season, 4th of July with a “new” feature to look forward to each year, New Year's Eve, Superbowl, Mardi Gras, Easter, Christmas, ice skating parties, hay rides, sledding parties, you name it – if there was a reason to celebrate, he went all out! No one ever left hungry.
Ron included you, whether you wanted to be included or not. His charisma allowed for him to get you to laugh at yourself and relax. If you didn’t laugh at yourself, he would find someone who would. Kids were special to him. He adored his nieces and nephews, who somehow survived his more ornery moments. Friends of his children and grandkids quickly learned this was a different kind of dad and grandpa – one that was fun, playful, ornery, and happy, and just might chase you around the pond.
As a friend and neighbor, Ron was helpful and generous and would never hesitate to give an opportunity to someone who needed a place to go, work to do, or an ear to listen.
As a father, he loved his children and was very proud of all the accomplishments they made. He never discouraged new ideas or endeavors. He offered suggestions and counsel, but never applied pressure to make any particular decision. He was always excited to brainstorm new ideas and goals, and taught them that they could do anything they set their mind to. Ron regularly reminded them to keep priorities in order and that too much of anything isn’t good. He taught the value of your word, a handshake, and following through on commitments. Living with Ron as a father, they both learned the art of remaining calm and having a ‘poker face’ in nearly any situation.
As a husband, he was committed and faithful. Ron & Monica made an unbreakable team – a perfect balance of crazy & calm, great ideas & energy. They were, without a doubt, best friends.
Ron’s relationship with Jesus was intimate and for many years was, without question, the #1 priority in his life. As a result, his faith in where he was going after death was unshakable. He shared his testimony, usually one on one, and led many to a forever friendship with Jesus. When his cancer returned a second time, he was always at peace with it, saying that no matter what happens, we still win.
Ron lived his life with no regrets & encouraged others to do the same. He loved animals & accepted people right where they were. His reputation and wild stories will live on forever. He left a legacy that we will forever be proud of.
Ronald (Ron, Ronnie, Ron-Bo-Hood), Garringer, 66, of Silex, died peacefully on Monday afternoon, September 19, 2022, at his home surrounded by his wife and children after a second battle with cancer.