Obituaries of Ronald Musgraves (1939 – 2021) – Tucson, AZ

Ronald Ray Musgraves obituary
On December 30, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona, Ronald Ray Musgraves passed away peacefully with his family by his side after a battle with bile duct cancer. Ron was born in Dent County to Agnes and Carl Musgraves near Salem, Missouri on October 1, 1939. He spent his youth growing up with his younger brother, Rodger, in the countryside with the freedom to roam wherever good seems to him. His entrepreneurial spirit was already flourishing at that time. He started selling garden seeds door to door at a very young age, trying to corner the local tomato market, cutting timber for resale, all the while taking over his father’s milk transport route to the age of 16, when his father fell ill. In high school, he played basketball and was active in animal husbandry for the FFA and served as president in his senior year. After graduation, he enlisted in the Navy where he served 4 years of active duty in Jacksonville, Florida and two years in reserve. He married Ellen Mae Leonard on May 13, 1962 in Jacksonville. When his Navy service ended, they moved to Salem to the Musgraves’ family farm where they started their family of 3 children, Rocke, Angela and Bradley.
Ron’s next entrepreneurial journey began when he accepted a position as a sales manager for Kemper Insurance, which led him and his family to live in Farmington, Missouri for 3 years. His desire to start his own business brought the family back to Salem where he started Musgraves Paint and Glass with locations in Salem and Rolla. He was later joined in the business by his brother, Rodger. While in Salem, he also served on the Salem School Board in addition to serving as a deacon of the First Christian Church.
In 1976, health issues brought the family to Tucson, Arizona, leaving many wonderful memories, friends and family in Salem. Business ventures there included estate agent for Fairfield Retirement Homes in Green Valley, owning and operating Musgraves Window Products and project manager for Olander Glass, overseeing the installation of glass on skyboxes in the University of Arizona football stadium and La Paloma Resort.
In his early 50s, he followed his desire to see more of our country and signed on as a bus driver for the international performance group Up With People. He was an excellent driver and the safety of his passengers was his priority. During this time he traveled across the States and most of Canada. Ron was like a father figure to these UWP students, forming many relationships and memories, which he would cherish for the rest of his life. A quote from his good friend and coffee buddy, Jerry, sums up Ron’s UWP experience: “He really found meaning in riding that bus, connecting with all those young people and all the places he went to really changed give it to him.”
After his travels with Up With People, Ron bought a franchise with a new start-up, Filter Services International, in Springfield Missouri. During this time in Springfield, he also cultivated his passion for home renovations. The filter business flourished and he partnered with his brother-in-law, Rick Leonard. Together, the two operated screening businesses throughout the Midwest and as far west as Washington State.
Thinking it was time to retire in the mid-2000s, Ron moved back to Tucson and moved into his first manufactured home at Far Horizons Senior Community. He took his passion for remodeling and started buying and renovating manufactured homes in the community. So much for retirement, he redid a total of 7 apartments. He also became an avid day trader, forming an LLC partnership, TOFI (The Old Farts Investors), with several Far Horizons friends and helping all of them make money in the market. He loved his life at the park and the many wonderful friends he had made there. He had coffee every morning with a great group of “Guys at the Park” and played poker with them on Wednesday nights.
To Ron, otherwise known as GP (short for Grandpa), family was very important and he adored his children and grandchildren. He was the biggest cheerleader in his family, traveling around the United States to cheer them on as they continued their activities playing college volleyball, marching in a high school band, playing baseball, basketball, soccer, and acting in high school plays. A highlight for Ron was supporting and traveling with the LSUS Pilots, a team his son Rocke coached. He also loved to talk business and was known to offer a word of encouragement to Angela and Rick in running their photography studios while supporting Ellen and her interior design business. He will be remembered by his family as a kind and gentle soul who always had a positive word to lift them up. To sum up, he was super proud of his family.
He is survived by his friend and wife Ellen Musgraves; his son Rocke and his wife Mitzi; his daughter Angela and her husband Rick Bettinger; grandchildren Allie (aka Alice) and Luke Bettinger, Libbi and Eli Musgraves and his brother Rodger and his wife Peggy. He is predeceased by his parents and his son Bradley.
A Celebration of Life will be held March 6, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. at the Far Horizons Park Community Center, 5000 E. Grant Road, Tucson, Arizona. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in her name may be made to any of the following: -Shriners Hospitals for Children, 855-401-4897 [email protected] -Up With People Scholarship Fund 6800 Broadway, Suite 106, Denver, CO, 80221 or upwithpeople.org/give Email for notification: [email protected]
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Posted by Oasis Cremation & Funeral Care on January 31, 2022.

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