Ronald Lee Brower, 79, of Girard passed away on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, at Mercy Hospital in Joplin, Mo. Ron was born on Jan. 20, 1944 in Chanute, the son of LeRoy Brower and Nellie Catharine Bower-Brower.
Ron graduated from Moran High School in 1962 and went on to Iola Junior College, graduating in 1964 with an associate of arts degree. Ron married Sharon Kay Boler of Elsmore on Sept. 6, 1964. Ron continued his education at Kansas State College of Pittsburg, now Pittsburg State University, majoring in industrial arts education and minoring in math and driver’s education. Ron graduated in 1967 with a bachelor of science in education, and received a master of science in education degree in 1968.
After graduating, Ron and Kay continued to live in Pittsburg, and he began his career by teaching math at Uniontown Elementary for two years, followed by teaching industrial arts at Carthage Junior High School for six years. In 1976, Ron and Kay purchased Tavella & DePaoli, which soon became the Frisco Shoe Shop. In 1984, they moved their family to Farlington Lake and relocated the shoe shop to Girard where Ron served the community as a respected master of the lost art of shoe repair until his retirement in 2022.
Ron was an avid sports fan, and his passion was supporting his alma mater Pittsburg State in football and basketball, #OAGAAG. Ron also loved spending time with his grandchildren and following all of their activities and high achievements throughout their lives.
Ron will always be remembered as a man who never met a stranger, loved having coffee with his friends and customers, watching golf, playing solitaire, following pop culture, and loving social media. He was also honored to be an organ donor. Ron, affectionately known as “Papa” by many, will be missed greatly by all who knew him.
Ron is survived by his wife Sharon Kay “Katy” of Girard; his daughters, Michele Brower-McFarland of Kansas City, Mo., and Becky Brower-Scimeca and her husband Nick of Nixa, Mo.; five grandchildren, Camden Vance McFarland of Columbus, Miss., (US Air Force), Delaney Jayde McFarland of Lawrence, (University of Kansas), Emily Claire Scimeca of Nixa, Mo., Chase McFarland and his fiancé Beth Keegan of Germany (US Air Force), and Kelci McFarland-Mar and her husband Shaun of Kuna, Idaho; and two great-grandchildren, Amelia and Miles Mar.
Ron was preceded in death by his parents, brother John Thomas Brower, nephew David Michael Brower, and sons-in-law William Dean Clark and John Michael Nauman II.
Per Ron’s wishes, he will be cremated, with no official services scheduled at this time. A celebration of life will be scheduled at a later date. Memorials have been suggested to Pittsburg State Athletics Foundation-Women’s Basketball Program, or to Pittsburg Alcoholics Anonymous Area 25-District 22, and may be left with or mailed to the funeral home. Online condolences may be left at: www.countrysidefh.com.
Services entrusted to Countryside Funeral Home 101 N. Highland, Chanute, KS 66720.