Ronald was the first of fraternal twin sons delivered to Joseph H. and Velma E. Sutcliffe on Christmas Day, 1937, in Chanute, Kansas. The middle of four brothers grew up in the second generation of a family-owned pipe and supply/well drilling business. At elementary school age, Ron developed a keen interest in commerce and enterprised his own ideas into ways to profit. He was also a Boy Scout.
Graduating as a Class of ’55 Chanute Blue Comet, he loved his shop classes and wanted to learn more about business deals. With his 9th grade sweetheart, Leah Jean Wheatley, he followed his brothers to Wichita State University to complete a Business degree, pledge Phi Upsilon Sigma fraternity, and enlist in the R.O.T.C.
Ron and Leah married in 1958 before taking an Officer Commission in the United States Air Force at Stead Air Force Base in Reno, Nevada. Ron achieved the rank of Captain and received an Honorable Discharge in 1961. He took his family back to Chanute to continue in the oilfield and supply business. His business outlook, signature smile, and clean-cut approach allowed him to serve and contribute generously to his local community.
In 1971, Ron moved his family to Midland, Texas to pursue new opportunities. After working in the financial services industry for a couple of years that included a transfer wto Houston, he returned to Midland in 1973. Expanding oil patch opportunities allowed him to form a partnership building oilfield service machinery. He then branched off independently and formed Sutcliffe Industries, Inc. to continue equipment sales and leasing. In the early 80s amid declining oil prices, Ron took a position with the F.D.I.C. that took him and Leah on a career path across the United States for 15 years. After living in Arkansas, Texas, New Jersey, and California, they retired in Midland in 2000.
Ron and Leah traveled the country and loved spending time with family and friends. He could restore anything and make it shine like new. His dedication to his family as a provider was second to none and he was always willing to help a neighbor. A proud American patriot, he was a strong supporter of those in uniform for our country and he flew the American flag. He was a member of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church and Builder’s Sunday School Class. Ron also served in numerous organizations such as: Elks Club #806, Chanute; Master Mason 32nd Degree Cedar Lodge #103, Chanute; President of Kiwanis Club, Chanute; Jaycees, Chanute; Shriner Mirza Temple, Pittsburg, KS; American Legion, Midland; Habitat for Humanity, Midland. Following Leah’s passing in 2016, he relocated to Granbury where he lived until he passed into eternal life on November 25, 2019. Ron is survived by son, Daniel J, Sutcliffe; daughter, Penelope L. Sutcliffe; brothers, Donald L. Sutcliffe and Terry J. Sutcliffe; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and his favorite grand dog, Cody. He is preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Dale Dean Sutcliffe.
The family would like to express their gratitude to UT Southwestern/Zale Lipshy Hospital (Dallas), Encompass Health & Hospice and Bridgewater Memory Care (Granbury).
A private service/interment will be held at Resthaven Memorial Park in Midland, arrangements under the direction of Resthaven Memorial Park (Midland) and Martin’s Funeral Home (Granbury).
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, or a charity of one’s choice.