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Obituary: Ronald Ahlgren

Ron Ahlgren of Cloquet passed away peacefully in his Texas winter home on Monday, April 24, 2023. He was born on Feb. 2, 1942, the middle child of seven (next to his twin sister Rose), to George and Senja (Ylikoski) Ahlgren. Ron grew up on a small farm near Cloquet, the town of his birth, and lived just down the road from his brother Bruce for most of his life. He met the love of his life, Kathy, in high school, graduating in 1960. Ron and Kathy were happily married on Sept. 8, 1962, the beginning of 61 beautiful years of being together. Ron attended the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he received his bachelor of science degree in biology in 1965. After graduating, Ron returned home to teach in the Cloquet school system for 32 years, retiring in 1998. While teaching, he also attended the University of Wisconsin Superior, where he received his master’s degree in teaching in 1969. Ron was voted Teacher of the Year several times, was known for his lab experiments such as the electric pickle and exploding purple nitrogen triiodide, and was a mentor and guiding light for hundreds of students.

Ron was a member of the Cloquet High School board, the Big Lake Improvement Association board, and a member of the Rotary Club. He enjoyed spending time fishing off the dock at Big Lake at his home, which he built with his own two hands after retiring. He was a friend to everyone he met, loved spending time with his family, friends and his wife, Kathy, watching the sunset on their deck. In keeping with his Finnish heritage, Ron always had his sauna hot in the summer or winter, and it was enjoyed by family and friends for decades. He enjoyed travelling with Kathy to visit his children and grandchildren, whom he greatly adored. He loved to cook, making his famous egg mcmuffins, baby back ribs, and ice cream malts.

Ron was preceded in death by his parents, George and Senja Ahlgren, as well as his brothers George (Elaine), Arnold (Kathy) and Gordon Ahlgren, and his sister Arlene (Dennis, deceased) Anderson. He will be greatly missed by his wife, Kathy; his two children, Karlene Hunt and Jason (Tammy) Ahlgren; his brother Bruce (Marla) Ahlgren; his sister Rose (Jerry, deceased) Manderfeld; his four grandchildren, Luke, Joshua, Arbor and Sean; numerous nieces, nephews and wonderful friends.

A Celebration of Ron’s Life will be held 2-5 p.m. Saturday, June 24 at their home on Big Lake. The sauna will be heated, and casual clothing is encouraged. The family requests those who wish to express sympathy to consider making a donation to the Ron Ahlgren Education Fund at https://www.cloquetedfoundation.org/endowed-funds.