Ronald M. Sterr

Ronald M. Sterr, age 91, of Tomahawk, WI, passed away on Monday, November 21, 2022, at his home.  Ron was born in Fond du Lac, WI, on February 7, 1931, to the late Roman and Adelheid (Bartelt) Sterr.  He was married to his high school sweetheart, Donna Luedtke, on June 20, 1953; she passed away on April 17, 2022. Ron was a talented and well-known multiple-sport high school athlete.  Upon his graduation, he turned down a minor league contract offer from the New York Yankees to pursue a college education at Ripon College, lettering in football, basketball, and track (they had no baseball team at the time).  Ron was president of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity as well as a member of the Reserve Officer Training Corps.  He served his country in the United States Army as a Company Commander at Fort Gordon, GA. After his active duty, he stayed in the Reserve Corps.  He graduated from Basic Officers Leaders Course, Command and General Staff Officers’ Course, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.  At times, he served as a Command and General staff instructor where he was sent to instruct at many Army posts.  Ronalso served as the West Point Liaison Officer for Northern Wisconsin.  In 1981, Ron retired from the military as a Lieutenant colonel.  In 1955, he started a teaching career at Merrill Senior High School where he taught history as well as served as an assistant football coach and head baseball coach.  Ron led his baseball teams to many successful seasons, winning numerous championships.  In 1974, his team finished second in the state championship game.  Ron resigned after 20 years of coaching to become the chairman of the high school social studies department.  In 1991, he retired after 36 years of teaching, and in 2010, he was inducted into the Merrill Baseball Hall of Fame as an inaugural member.  Ron was a faithful member of Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church where he and Donna were joyfully involved with their church family.  He was a sports enthusiast and a lifelong Chicago Bears and Cubs fan…1985 was a very good year!  Ron was a gifted public speaker, known for interesting antidotes and numerous cartoons and stories and injected a bit of humor into each day.He truly was the family patriarch, always there for advice, practical support, and loving encouragement.

Survivors include his son, Gary (Gwen) Sterr; his daughter, Rhonda Kaplanek; his sister, Gloria Ferguson; and his sister-in-law, Virginia Sterr.  He is further survived by his grandchildren, Stephanie Kaplanek, Andy (Lu) Kaplanek, Michael Kaplanek, Joey Kaplanek, Jenna (Jorna) Sterr, and Jamie Sterr; and his great-grandchildren, Kayden, Sofia, and Layla.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Roman and Adelheid; his loving wife, Donna; his son, Scott Sterr; his daughter, Terry Jacobs; and his brother, Douglas Sterr.

Memorial services for Ronald Sterr will be held on Saturday, December 3, 2022, at Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church.  Rev. Mark Gass will officiate.  The family will receive friends for visitation from 12:00 Noon until the time of services at 2:00 PM.  Inurnment will be held at Greenwood Cemetery in the spring.  Generations Funeral Home & Crematory is assisting the family.  You may view Ron’s obituary and leave online condolences at

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top