Obituary of Ronald D. Mielcarek
Ronald D. Mielcarek, 87, passed away in the early morning hours of Sun., Oct. 8, 2023, in Denver, Colorado, at the assisted living home he shared with his wife.
Ron was born on March 4, 1936 in Pittsburgh, PA., — where he grew up, graduated from St. George’s High School and enlisted in the U.S. Army at 18 years of age. As a young man and into his early adult life, he played the accordion in local bands. Blessed with a great head of wavy dark blond hair and aqua blue eyes, he also had a beautiful baritone voice with near perfect pitch.
Ron was a proud veteran who looked upon his service during both the Korean War and Vietnam with a great sense of duty and accomplishment. He was particularly proud of his involvement and contributions within SHAPE (the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe), for which he received formal commendation and spent time in Paris — an experience that was near and dear to his heart. During his Army service, he was awarded both a Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Medal for his dedication and conscientious work ethic.
Upon his honorable discharge in the summer of 1957, he accepted a job working for Gulf Oil Corporation, where he worked until his retirement as manager of data processing, during the earliest beginnings of the “IT” era. Shortly after joining Gulf Oil, he married his high school sweetheart, Clara P. Wilding — also of Pittsburgh — and they welcomed three daughters; Joyce Elaine, Nancy Jean, and Laurie Ann. Ron was a true-blue family man whose dedication to his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchild was pure and unwavering. He was the epitome of a good man who would proudly tell you that he took two vows in his life that he held sacred — the first to his country, and the second to his wife.
Through multiple transfers, his job took him and his family to many U.S. cities — including Pittsburgh; St. Louis; Bellmore, Melville, Merrick, and Hicksville, NY; Houston; and ultimately, Littleton. For nearly 25 years, Ron was an avid golfer, who was once fortunate enough to play with former golf-great Al Geiberger.
Ron was preceded in death by his mother and father, Margaret and Stanley Mielcarek; his father-in-law Jacob Wilding, his mother-in-law Philomena Wilding, with whom he had an unbreakable bond; sister-in-law Rosanna Mielcarek, and two brothers-in-law, Frank “Bud” Wilding and James Vogel.
He is survived by his wife Clara, his three daughters — Joyce (Steve) Smith, Nancy Fenimore, and Laurie Whittier, all of Littleton; grandchildren — Skylar “Sky” (Nicole) Smith, Derek (Jamie) Smith, Leah Fenimore, Alexandra “Alex” (Kaden) Colby, Race Fenimore, and Lucas “Luke” Whittier — great-granddaughter Emery Joy Smith, all of whom reside within or close to Littleton — older brother Stan Mielcarek of South Carolina; and a large extended family of brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews. He is also survived by Dave Hamel of Green Mountain, CO., a faithful and trusted family friend Ron worked with for decades at Gulf Oil.
Also known as Gramps, Grandpa and Pappy, Ron will be missed by all who were fortunate enough to experience his thoughtful nature, sharp wit and infectious laugh. His family will fondly remember his steadfast text reminders to disconnect hoses ahead of freezing fall temperatures, and the personalized greeting cards he created on his trusty computer without fail for all of his loved ones’ special events.
Ron’s ashes will be interred at Ft. Logan National Cemetery following a brief service with full honors at 10:30 am on Friday, Nov. 17th, 2023. To ensure making it in time for the honors presentation, attendees should enter the cemetery by around 10:15 am using the funeral entrance off of Sheridan Avenue, and go to staging area C. A reception will follow at VFW No. 9644 — 2680 W. Hampden Ave, in Englewood — from 11 am to 1 pm, where those who wish to pay their respects are welcome to celebrate this fabulous man and watch his life unfold through a series of pictures on video.