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Ronald Hvezda, 81

Ronald DeVere Hvezda, loving husband, father and grandfather, died August 4, 2014 at Knute Nelson in Alexandria. He was 81.

A dedicated, hard-working family man who loved to laugh, he was often the first one to a family gathering and the last to leave.

Born to Rueben and Elsie (Erickson) Hvezda in Starbuck on April 6, 1933, he grew up in Lake Mary Township, attending country school through eighth grade before going on to graduate from Morris High School.

Ronald met the love of his life, Betty Bentley, at a dance in Glenwood, and they were married March 1, 1953, in Alexandria. A week later, Ronald, who had been drafted into the United States Army, left for training camp.

After Ronald fulfilled his time in the Army, he and Betty raised three children, Mark, LaWana and Vickie Jo, in the Alexandria area.

He worked as a linesman for Runestone Electric Association for 40 years before retiring in 1995.

He relished the outdoors, especially hunting, fishing and snowmobiling. Family vacations meant camping and traveling by RV, always along the back roads. Multiple trips to Canada for fishing and Montana for downhill skiing were particularly memorable.

Back home in Alexandria, Ronald loved nothing more than spending time with his family. He went dancing with Betty, family and friends. They often played cards until late into the night. Ronalds reserved demeanor melted away when he cracked jokes, told stories and played the part of curmudgeonly sports fan, always happy to gripe about the Minnesota Twins, Vikings and Golden Gophers. If there was a family gathering, no matter how distant the relation, hed be there. And you couldnt find a more expert wood splitter. Ronald loved chopping wood to feed the stove and keep the house (and the garage) warm and toasty.

Ronald was preceded in death by his parents, Rueben and Elsie; and nephews, Brent Hvezda and Todd Anderson.

Ronald is survived by his loving wife, Betty, of Alexandria; son, Mark (Ramona) Hvezda of Farmington; and daughters, LaWana (Mike) Mullen of Carlos, and Vickie Jo (Brian) Hoppe of Miltona. He will be dearly missed by many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Tila (Aydemir) Basar and daughters Alanya and Leyla; Sarah Mullen and her children, Shantayl and Riley; Leesa (Levi) Bainum and daughter, KayLynn; Eric Mullen; Karla (Ron) German and son, Mark; Brad Hvezda; and Bryan (Katie) Hvezda. He is also survived by his siblings, Ivy Hills of Alexandria; Tom (Mavis) Hvezda of Alexandria; John (Lillian) Hvezda of Council, Idaho; Nick (Lottie) Hvezda of Poplar Grove, Ill.; Karolynn (Mike) Doherty of Kensington; Reed (Kay) Hvezda of Alexandria; Kay Jefferson of League City, Texas; and Sandra (Kardell) Schmidt of Hillsboro, Texas.

A funeral service was held Friday, August 8 at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Alexandria with the Rev. Jerry Lanes officiating. Karen Tolifson and Linda Muchow provided special music for the service. Interment was at Lake Mary Cemetery. Casket bearers were Brad Hvezda, Bryan Hvezda, Ron German, Aydemir Basar, Levi Bainum and Eric Mullen.

Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria;