Ronald Fernelius Pace passed away surrounded by his family December 31, 2018. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, educator, and friend.
Born November 25, 1936 to Elda Iris Fernelius and Ralph William Pace in Hoytsville, Utah, Ron was raised by his small community to value faith, education, family, and hard work. He was known for his athletic prowess and his work ethic. Though Alzheimer’s took his memory and his life, his deep and abiding love for his wife, children, and family proved untouchable.
Ron graduated from North Summit High School in 1955. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve for nine years. During that time, he earned his associate degree in 1957 from Weber State Junior College, served a 2 ½ year mission from 1957 to 1959 to the North Central States for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and in 1962 earned a composite bachelor’s degree in geography, history, and political science from Brigham Young University (BYU). In 1969, he earned a master’s degree in public administration from BYU.
Ron married Ellen Marie Bonelli on September 21, 1960 in the Salt Lake City Temple. The couple raised their six children to be faithful members of The Church, as Ron fulfilled many church callings including Elders Quorum President, Sunday School Presidency, and Executive Secretary. He was unfailingly loyal to his friends, his family, and his faith. He was devoted to his wife. He cherished time spent with family and friends, doing farm work, playing basketball and ping-pong, discussing history and politics, and raising his children. He collected cows, horses, sheep, and pigs. He viewed his children as an heritage of the Lord. He loved his sons- and daughters-in-law as his own. His tendency to express high expectations for and a strong belief in others’ abilities inspired them to become better, stronger, more capable people.
Professionally, Ron taught high school in Oregon and California, serving as head basketball, baseball, and assistant football coaches, before returning to Utah where he taught and coached at his alma mater North Summit and helped lead the basketball team to win the State Championship in 1968. He also taught night school classes, where he helped his mother complete her high school degree. Ron went on to teach AP Law and Government, Economics, American and World History at Bonneville High School in Ogden, Utah for 28 years, totaling 33 years as a public educator. He willingly served on local, state, and national teacher associations. He also served as mock trials advisor and Academic Olympiad Championship coach. Ron co-owned Pace Male Chauvinist Pig Farm, R&E Trucking, and Pace Oil.
He is survived by his loving wife Ellen; his children James Ronald Pace (VaDon), Jonathan Bonelli Pace (Christine), Laura Ellen Burke (Ryan), Maria Leah Kammeyer (Matthew), Diana Ami Dillingham (Danial) and Ronna Jan Marker (Travis); 27 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; and siblings Wayne Pace (Gaye), Leah Camp (Baxter), and Joye Williams (Robert). He was preceded in death by his brother Elden Pace; and grandson, Martin Pace Kammeyer.
Funeral services will be held Friday, January 11th at 12 noon at Trapper’s Loop Ward LDS Chapel at 5378 W. Old Hwy Rd, Mountain Green, Utah. Burial will follow at the Mountain Green Cemetery, with Military Honors rendered by the United States Army. Viewings will be held Thursday, January 10th from 6-8 p.m. and Friday, January 11th from 10-11:30 a.m. at the same location.
Funeral Directors: Utah Valley Mortuary. Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.uvfuneral.com.