Richard Ronnie Testerman, age 75, of Jefferson City, Mo., passed away Sunday, November 24, 2019, at his home surrounded by family.
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Ronnie was born on August 6, 1944 in Joplin, Mo., the son Wave Testerman. He was married to Barbara Elbert in Seneca, Mo. on October 1, 1966 and his two children were born from this marriage. Ronnie was united in marriage on September 1, 2019 in Jefferson City, Mo. to Debra Ousley Welschmeyer, after 22 years of being together.
He was a 1962 graduate of Seneca High School in Seneca, Mo. Ronnie was quite the athlete in high school and played football, basketball, baseball and ran track. He later attended a Water and Wastewater School, Crowder College in Neosho, Mo., Missouri Southern and Lincoln University. Ronnie earned an associate’s degree in Environmental Health which he later used in his career at the Department of Natural Resources.
He proudly served in the United States Navy and was stationed on the USS Henrico during the Vietnam War.
In his younger years, Ronnie worked at the Eagle Picher in Joplin, Mo and later worked for the City of Seneca as a water specialist. He moved to Jefferson City in 1976 when he began his career with the Department of Natural Resources as an Environmental Specialist. His primary responsibility was testing many of the streams and rivers in Missouri to ensure safe drinking water. He retired from D.N.R. after almost 30 years of service. He was also a lifetime member of the Missouri Water and Waste Water Conference. During his retirement he worked part time with Krehbiel’s Engineering in Camdenton, Mo. for several years.
Ronnie continued to be a sports enthusiast and played softball for Arris’ Pizza and Pizzeria Napoleonian for many years. He bowled on several leagues in and around Jefferson City and even met his wife at the bowling alley. Ronnie cheered for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Kansas City Chiefs, and enjoyed watching many Mizzou basketball and football games.
More than anything, Ronnie was a family man and loved spending time with his family, especially his children and grandchildren. Ronnie enjoyed being outdoors and cherished time with them fishing, camping and on their annual float trip. He always loved going back to Seneca and visiting the Elk Creek Stream. Ronnie will be remembered for his generous heart, amazing sense of humor and being able to light up a room with his presence.
Survivors include: his wife and partner of 22 years, Debra Testerman; his children, Lori Miller (Mike Brown) of Westphalia, Mo. and Russell Testerman (Lindsey) of Culver City, California; his step-children, Christopher Welschmeyer (Rebecca) and Robyn Brand (Jamey) both of Jefferson City, Mo.; his sisters, Nella Young of Corpus Cristi, Texas, and Phyllis Curtis of Seneca, Mo.; one grandson, Christopher Miller; one step-grandson, Trent Welschmeyer; a great-grandson, Alex Miller; and numerous nieces and nephews, including his nephew, Bobby Martin (Judy) of Seneca, Mo. that he thought of as brother.
He was preceded in death by his mother; his sister, Julia Robbins; his brother, Ernest Testerman; and a grandson, Michael Miller.
A visitation will be held at Freeman Mortuary from 12:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. Saturday, November 30, 2019.
A memorial service will be conducted at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, November 30, 2019 in the Freeman Chapel with the Reverend Shane Crum officiating. Military honors will follow his services at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the Ronnie Testerman Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 95, Jefferson City, Mo. 65102.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Freeman Mortuary.