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November 23, 2020

11/13/2020 7:30:00 AM
Ronald D. "Ron" Appling

Ronald D. "Ron" Appling, 83, of the Town of Crescent, passed away on Tuesday evening, Nov. 10, 2020, at his home with his family at his side and under the care of Ascension at Home Hospice.

Ron was born in Pottawattamie County, Iowa on Jan. 29, 1937, to Ralph and Ruth I. (Reynolds) Appling. He was raised in Des Moines, Iowa. He attended a trade school in Des Moines where he learned how to paint. This led him to serve an apprenticeship with a painting company located in Des Moines.

Ron had a love for horses, and it was during this time while living in Des Moines that he met his future wife Janet Z. Degris who also had a love for horses. The couple met at a stable where they kept their horses which happened to be right next to each other. Their dates consisted of horseback riding together. Janet was in the military and was stationed in Des Moines as a recruiter. The couple got to know each other by horseback riding for a year and a half. They were united in marriage by a Justice of the Peace on July 20, 1968 in Indianola, Iowa.

Janet was transferred to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and for the next four years the couple lived there.

Before Janet met Ron, she had purchased land on Peninsula Road in the Town of Crescent. Upon her completion with the military, the couple then moved to Rhinelander.

Ron was employed as an industrial painter and happened to paint at the Beehive Mall Bakery. The owner of the bakery, Jerry VanBeymen, offered Ron an apprenticeship as a baker. Ron changed careers and from that time on became a baker. Jerry purchased the Dutch Oven and Ron was employed there. He enjoyed baking and took pride in his craft and was well known for his apple fritters. Ron later was employed with Five Flags, Cirilli's, Reeves and Trig's as a baker. Ron worked 16-hour days and seven days a week. After retiring he decided to open his own donut shop on Brown Street called "The Donut Shop" which he owned for two and a half years. Unfortunately, some health concerns caused him to close the business.

Even though Ron worked long hours, during his spare time he and Janet raised and bred Paso Fino Horses. He also had a hobby farm raising goats, rabbits, ducks, pigs, a fawn and peacocks.

Ron and Janet worked with Inter Cambio, which is a Catholic Cultural Exchange Program. This led to their traveling to Mexico to chaperone 150 children to the United States and Canada. This led to many friendships with one special friendship which turned into the couple having an unofficial adoption of a Mexican son and his family. Ron and Janet were also involved in "TEC", Teens Encounter Christ for eight years assisting wherever they could.

Throughout his life, Ron enjoyed horseback riding. He also enjoyed fixing and collecting clocks.

He was a member of Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church.

He will be dearly missed by his loving wife Janet of fifty-two and a half years, a son from his first marriage to Sharon Anderson, Mark (Marjorie) Hilliard of Traverse City, Mich., two sons from his and Janet's marriage: Aaron (Connie) Appling of Rhinelander and Brion (DeAnn) Appling of Bloomington, Minn., six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter. Also surviving are two brothers, Ray (Nancy) Appling of Oklahoma City, Okla., Paul (Beverly) Appling of Yuma, Ariz., sister-in-law Louise Appling of Downers Grove, Ill. and a brother-in-law, Don House of Pacheco, Calif. Ron is further survived by nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother, Eldon Appling, and by one sister, Carolyn House.

Ron's family suggests that memorial contributions in his memory may be given to the charity of your choice.

The visitation for Ron will take place on Saturday morning, Nov. 14, 2020 at the funeral home from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church, located at 125 King Street, Rhinelander, with Fr. Chris Kemp officiating.

For the safety of the family and the Rhinelander community, when arriving at the funeral home please use the Davenport Street entrance. Upon arriving at the funeral home everyone's hands will be sanitized, and the wearing of masks and social distancing will be required.

When you arrive at church, please sanitize your hands, wear your mask and immediately enter church and be seated.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Hildebrand Funeral Home & Cremation Specialists, 24 E. Davenport Street, Rhinelander, Wisconsin, 54501, 715-365-4343. Everyone is invited to sign the guestbook, or leave an online condolence at

Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, November 14, 2020
Article comment by: Bruce Kotila

Dear Janet and family,
I have fond memories of Ron from our many years of healthcare. I send my sympathies to all of you. He’ll leave lasting impressions on all of us.
Sincerely, Bruce Kotila MD

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