Inventor, founder of E-Z Drill born in Humboldt
Ron Wittwer, 86, of Stillwater, OK, formerly of Humboldt, passed away on Monday, May 20, 2013, in Stillwater.
Ron was born Oct. 21, 1926, in Humboldt to David E. and Isabel (Hildebrand) Wittwer. After high school, he was inducted into the U.S. Navy on Oct. 5, 1944, and was honorably discharged on July 8, 1946.
On Nov. 25, 1949, he married Luella May “Dolly” Fankhauser. They raised five children and enjoyed 52 years of marriage before her passing in 2003. Ron and his brother, Sterling, farmed in Nebraska and began their construction career building terraces, waterways and dams in the early 1950’s. Their business later became known as Wittwer Bros. Inc. and in 1965, Ron formed Wittwer Construction Company, Inc. Among other major projects, Wittwer Construction played a integral role in a $286 million upgrade of Oklahoma State University’s Boone Pickens Stadium.
Ron, along with Leon Hake, designed and started the manufacturing of E-Z Drill, Inc. in 1987. E-Z Drill’s product line was made up of concrete drilling machines and is sold worldwide. With Ron’s guidance, E-Z Drill has grown from three employees in 1987 to 50 employees in 2013.
After retiring, he returned to his love of farming. On March 20, 2004, he married Jeralyn Campbell.
Ron was a member of the American Legion Post 0269, as well as a member of the Four Mile Church in Humboldt. In 1990, he became a founding member of the Oklahoma General Contractors Self Insurance Association. He also served as president of OGC. He continued to serve on the OGC board for many years.
He is survived by his wife, Jeralyn Wittwer, Stillwater; children, Connie (Danny) Griffin, Stillwater, Kay (Daniel) Fire, N. Tonawanda, NY, David E. Wittwer, Dallas, TX, Daniel R. (Tracey) Wittwer, Edmond, OK, and Carolyn (Rick) Walstad, Stillwater; three stepchildren; 13 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; six step-grandchildren; two step-great-grandchildren; and his brother, Sterling Wittwer, Omaha.
Preceding him in death were his parents, wife, sister, Elma Ruth Yaussi, and an infant brother and sister.
Funeral services were held Saturday, May 25, at the Four Mile Congregational Church, south of Humboldt, with Pastor Ron Russell officiating. Interment was in the Four Mile Cemetery, with military honors conducted by the Nebraska Navy Honor Guard.
Memorial contributions may be given in Ronald’s name to the OSU Foundation and designed to the Wittwer/E-Z Drill/Gary Hake Memorial Scholarship. Checks should be payable to the OSU Foundation and mailed to P.O. Box 1749, Stillwater, OK 74076, or you may go online to www.OSUgiving.com
Wherry Mortuary, Humboldt, was in charge of arrangements.