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Ronald "Ron" Donelson '61 December 8, 2020 10:48 AM updated: December 8, 2020 11:31 AM

Ronald Ray Donelson
JUNE 21, 1939 – DECEMBER 4, 2020

Ronald Ray Donelson, beloved husband, father and “Papa,” passed away at the age of 81 on Friday, December 4, 2020, after bravely battling complications from Covid-19. Ron was born on June 21, 1939, in Sweetwater, Texas, to Pauline and J.D. Donelson. He is preceded in death by his parents and older brother, Duane Donelson. Ron is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Benjy Donelson; his daughters Jennifer (and son-in-law Trent) Childress of Georgetown, TX, and Leslie (and son-in-law Mitchell) Holzer of Sugar Land. He took great pleasure in his four grandchildren: Brady Childress, Wyatt Childress, Lance Holzer and Faith Holzer. Ron and Benjy grew up together, attending the same church and schools in Kress, Texas. After graduating from Kress High School in 1957, he left West Texas for College Station. As their love grew, Ron made many 500-mile trips back home to see Benjy. He graduated in 1961 from Texas A&M University where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets and Squadron One. He was always proud to be a Texas Aggie and so pleased when his daughters followed in his footsteps. He and Benjy dated for four years before they married on August 19, 1961. He was drafted by the US Army just a few months later, and they moved to Fort Sill in Lawton, OK. Upon his discharge, they moved to Gonzales, Texas, where he was employed by Ralston Purina Company. An entrepreneur by nature, Ron started the first State Farm Insurance Agency in Gonzales in 1966. In 1972, he became a State Farm manager, and the family moved to Lubbock. Ron returned to agency in Bellaire in 1980 when he and his family moved to Missouri City. He retired at the age of 77 and, in 2016, Benjy and Ron hosted a party to celebrate his retirement as well as 50 years with State Farm and their 55th wedding anniversary. The Donelsons have loved living in Quail Valley, their home for more than 40 years, where Ron enjoyed golfing and hit two holes in one on the same hole in 1989 and 1996. His passions were everything the grandkids did: swim meets, volleyball and baseball games, as well as many memorable vacations in the family’s beloved motor home in the 1980s and 90s, monthly luncheons with his State Farm Lunch Bunch, his twice yearly golf trips with his Quail Valley golf buddies, and hitting “four of a kind” at the Mississippi Stud tables in Coushatta. He will be remembered as a witty gentleman who was full of integrity, loved his family and friends, and never met a stranger.

He was a member of The Bridge Church, the Houston A&M Club and the Rotary Club - University Area in Houston where he had perfect attendance for more than 40 years and was a Paul Harris Fellow. The family wishes to thank the incredible staff who cared for him on the Fifth Floor East at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital. Friends are invited to a socially distanced celebration of life scheduled for 1:00pm on Saturday, December 12, at The Bridge, 802 Brooks Street, Sugar Land, Texas 77478, with lead pastor Kenny Dean presiding. A graveside ceremony will follow at Morton Cemetery, 401 N. Second Street, Richmond, Texas 77469. Masks will be required. The family asks for friends to join them in wearing Ron’s favorite color – Aggie maroon. For those who cannot attend in person, the service will be live-streamed. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations in his memory to the Texas A&M University Association of Former Students; Rotary Club of University Area Foundation; The Bridge; or a charity of your choice.

Words of condolence can be left at


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