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Ronald “Ron” John Rivett, 83, of Aberdeen, SD, passed away on Saturday December 9, 2023, at Baptist Medical Center in Miami, FL. A student of life, passionate Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather, entrepreneur and outdoorsman, Ron’s life and legacy are as large as his personality and smile.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Ron will be at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 4, 2024, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Aberdeen, with Father Jordan Samson officiating.
A time of fellowship and refreshments will follow at the parish hall immediately after Mass.
Visitation will be one hour before Mass.
Carlsen Funeral Home and Crematory, 1708 8th Ave NE, Aberdeen, is in charge of arrangements. Family and friends may sign the online guestbook at www.aberdeenfuneralhome.com.
Ronald “Ron” John Rivett was born August 2, 1940, in Aberdeen, SD, to Ronald Leslie “R.L.” Rivett and Amelia Clara “Amy” (Wika) Rivett (Reinbold).
To Ron, family was paramount, and our family has been so truly blessed to have shared so much with him during his 83-year journey through life. So many characterizations can be used to describe Ron and the legacy he leaves behind; he was a student of everything that crossed his path, a builder of relationships and creator of great stories. Ever in search of family, Ron embraced business partners, friends, and employees as family, perpetuating a culture which esteemed people as the most valuable aspect of life. “It’s all about the people” Ron would commonly remark. “It’s all about the people.”
Ron lived his entire life in Aberdeen, South Dakota. He dearly loved the city, always proudly proclaiming it to be home. In his life, Ron completed college at Northern State University, raised three daughters with his first wife and began his professional life in banking, becoming a trust officer at First National Bank in Aberdeen.
Ron embraced Sharon, the love of his life, and her two sons to share his last forty years. Sharon meant the world to Ron and by his side every day, she cared for him so deeply and beautifully. Together, Ron and Sharon enjoyed the wonderful gift of seven grandchildren and nine great grandchildren, numerous dogs, and a few cats, caring for each so generously. From Alaska to Costa Rica, and Australia to Europe and Africa; Ron and Sharon travelled the world always in search of adventure, a truly intended pair, they complemented each other in a way that could only be described as “meant to be.” She always caught more fish than him though… a fact that made him grin proudly every time it was brought up. Their mastery in the love languages of gift-giving and quality time defined an un-bridled affection for one another that was impossible to overlook… “Forever My Love… Forever, My Love…” they would tell one another.
Immensely passionate about hunting, fishing, and flying helicopters, Ron’s passions became the premise for sharing great adventures with family, friends, and business associates. Ron was an entrepreneur in every sense of the word and every endeavor he took on; always successfully finding ways to improve what he approached. His foresight was uncanny and his ability to cast vision remarkable to say the least. From hotel sites and backyards to corn fields and duck blinds, and from young corporate executives to grandchildren and farm hands, Ron’s ability to see the potential value of a bare landscape, or an inexperienced person led to the development and success of so many acres and so many lives.
Co-Founding Super 8 Motels in 1973 and growing the business into one of the world’s largest hotel chains and later founding My Place Hotels with his Grandson Ryan in 2011, “as a rule”, Ron’s pursuit of success in business and hospitality spirit were among his greatest attributes. In this, his 50th year of business leadership, Ron’s inputs continued to be tremendously valuable and highly regarded. In his ever-pragmatic approach Ron diligently ensured that the value and integrity of the businesses he created would be well positioned to proceed long after he was gone. While we mourn the loss of our patriarch in so many ways, we press on without hesitation because of the values he instilled and the culture of constant improvement he created. With an unmatched and ever-present confidence, Ron would remind those he cared for often to keep going… “The only way you’ll fail is if you quit trying.”
Quick witted, charming, intelligent, and fiercely loyal, it’s difficult to know what Ron would say if he were here today. He loved his country, his home, his family, and his business out loud and completely unapologetically. His ring tone was “Only in America…” by Brooks & Dunn and he always did things his way. His memory and legacy will go on providing value for generations, and we will miss him dearly.
Ron is survived by his wife Sharon (Perman) (Bender) Rivett; three daughters: Rhonda Tanner, Carrie Rivett (Welk), Leslie Prescott; two step-sons, Randee (Tammi) Bender, Ryan (Susan) Bender; seven grandchildren: Ryan (Sara) Rivett, Natalie (Jamil) Moore, Cameron (Alyssa) Prescott, Andrew Welk, Lucas Welk, Lexys Bender-Vershure (fiancé Joshua Crankshaw), Madeline Bender; and nine great-grand-children: Jaxon Rivett, Keira Rivett, Logan Rivett, Layla Rivett, J.C. Prescott, Jace Kimzey, Laila Jean Middleton, Jack Prescott, and Sarah Bender-Vershure.
Ron was preceded in death by his father, Ronald Leslie “R.L.” Rivett and mother, Amelia Clara “Amy” (Wika) Rivett (Reinbold), and Step-father, Walt Reinbold.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials in Ron’s name be made to one of the following charitable organizations: the Aberdeen Boys & Girls Club, 1121 1st Ave SE, Aberdeen, SD, 57401; Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 502 2nd Ave SE, Aberdeen, SD, 57401; the Aberdeen Humane Society, 2511 385th Ave S, Aberdeen, SD, 57401; or Tunnels to Towers Foundation at www.t2t.org.