Ronald Sisson ’58

Ron Sisson, 84, ended his battle with Parkinson’s disease on Wednesday, April 22, 2020.

He was born on December 11, 1935, to Darford and Mabel Van Lente Sisson. He grew up in St. Joseph, MI, where he was very active in all sports and the National Honor Society. He attended Hope College where he played basketball. He transferred to University of Michigan and received an Engineering Degree in 1959. He received his MBA from MSU.

His death was preceded by his sister, Joyce Wilson.

He is survived by his wife, Karlyn Zick Sisson, with whom he recently celebrated his 59th wedding anniversary. He is also survived by his children, Scott (Amy) Sisson, Ronalyn Sisson, Karin Noel Sisson, Steve (Lauri) Sisson; brother, Dr. Gary (May) Sisson; grandchildren, Lindsey (Rob) Hicks, Hayley (Yamil) Pietri, Wyatt Sisson, Alex (Erin) Cochrane, Michael Calistri, Hannah Calistri, Will and Ben Sisson, Caroline Sisson, John MacDonald and Shari (Michael) Marchbanks; great-grandchildren, Emery Hicks, James and Ellia Cochrane and Blair Marchbanks.

Ron was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Macatawa Bay Yacht Club, Bonita Bay Tennis and Marina Clubs, GR MI Peninsular Club, Singapore YC, US Army National Guard, NSDJA, WDMA, DHI, AWI, U of M ALUMNI, MSU ALUMNI and SJRYC. Ron was a true visionary and entrepreneur. He designed and built several sailboats during his lifetime. Ron was an example of the “Great American Dream.” He was successful through his hard work, intelligence, dedication and blessed in whatever he pursued. He used his engineering knowledge for 20 years at Clark Equipment where he designed many patents. He then went to work at Haworth as a VP. From Haworth he became the President of Arrow Door Company. His dream was to own his own company. He purchased the assets of a millwork company with 10 employees and formed KARONA INC, named after his two daughters Rona and Karin. KARONA Door was sold to JELD WEN in 2015 due to Ron’s failing health.

Ron started the MBJA sailing program at MBYC. He and his wife lived Summers on Lake Macatawa and winters in Bonita Bay, FL. Ron’s main hobby was racing his sailboat, “ZOO,” and eventually relaxing on his power boat “ZOOKEEPER”. He participated in multiple Chicago Mac and Port Huron Mac races and also enjoyed playing tennis. He and his children were avid sailors, traveling to many regattas and winning many trophies, including the MORC International Championships twice.

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