Ronald Wayne Sagen (Ron or Ronnie) passed
away peacefully into the arms of the Lord on Friday, April 29, 2022, at Big Sandy Medical Center.
Ron was born on May 15, 1954, in Whitefish, Mt. He was the first child of three, born to Kay Mlinar. Around the time most kids start to walk, Ron’s mom found this to be a challenge for him. He was later diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. After his diagnosis, they left Whitefish and moved to Spokane, WA. He had several surgeries at the Shriners Hospital to straighten his legs and he wore braces for several years.This was the beginning of many surgeries to come. He lived in Spokane, in a Group Home for a couple years.
Ron’s next journey in his life, took him to Chester to the Nursing Home. At that time, Marilyn Tempel was the Physical Therapist. She was so encouraging to Ron and had him on his feet with the help of his walker. Ron and Marilyn went up and down the halls everyday. This adventure was the first of many for Ron. He made many friends and touched countless lives along the way.
He later moved to the Shelby Group Home and next to the Shelby Nursing Home. Ron was often seen in Shelby going out for milkshakes and hamburgers (two of his favorites) with his mom and sister. After spending several years in Shelby, a new opportunity came to the table to move to Libby.
Libby had an Intensive Care Home that better fit Ron’s needs. While there, he attended Achievements Activities and worked sorting socks. He made enough money to purchase a vending machine. This was exciting for Ron as now he could earn a little extra cash. He enjoyed many activities. Libby has an abundance of lakes and streams which allowed Ron to take full advantage of fishing and camping. He was an Honorary Libby Logger, a volunteer at the animal shelter, participated in Special Olympics, and was the biggest cheerleader for the their Special Olympics basketball team, the Wolfpack. He was also very proud to be a Jaycee and part of his community. Ron had an extensive church family at the Christ Lutheran Church. He quickly became friends with everyone there. Being in Libby it allowed him to travel. Something near and dear to Ronnie’s heart was going to Kalispell for, Relay for Life, each year. His mom passed away from cancer and he was “walking for her.”
While in Libby, Ron connected with his stepmom and decided to move to Vancouver, WA to be close to her. Awhile later, when Ron was in his 50’s, he decided to move back to the Chester Nursing Home to live close to his sister and her family. This was his home for the next 9 years. He went to Church in Chester and met new friends and reconnected with old ones. Ron had many good days in Chester and enjoyed his time with loved ones that came to visit often.
On quiet days, Ron enjoyed passing the time by watching WWE Wrestling, old westerns, Riffleman, and Adam 12, just to name a few. He had a large movie collection and loved to share it with others. While he loved his movie collection, this didn’t compare to his love for music. Which he listened to everyday. Elvis Presley was his favorite. He was very knowledgeable about music and could name artist after artist, song after song. While watching movies or listening to music he would always draw. He loved giving his masterpieces to all his friends and family.
Towards the end of his time at the Chester Nursing Home, things started to get harder for Ronnie physically, and he was in and out of the hospital in Great Falls many times. After an extensive stay at the hospital Ron ended up moving to Big Sandy for the last year and a half of his life. He met many, many friends, as he did everywhere he went. His friends enjoyed his company, wit, and knowledge. Though he described himself as a “quiet man”, Ron was very social and able to communicate with everyone. He had acute hearing and knew the person walking down the hall by the sound of their footsteps, often saying their name correctly before even seeing them.
Ron never married or had children…Oh, but, how he loved his nieces and nephews. They meant everything to him.
God was always first and foremost throughout his life. He gave Ron the strength and courage for everything he endured. While Ron never had it easy, he never lost his faith in God.
Ron was an amazing man. He didn’t have a traditional life, but he always had a positive outlook to every situation. Ron said, “The man in the wheel chair, that man is me and without my God, I wouldn’t have made it through. It's a tough life and it isn’t easy at all. Always keep God in mind and you will get through.” His family and friends will forever be grateful to have him as a part of their lives. He will be deeply missed and never forgotten.
Surviving family includes, brother, David Mlinar (Jan), sister, Lori Ramberg (Ray), 10 nieces and nephews, Jessica Snyder (Miles), Amanda Mlinar (Garrett), Zach Ramberg (Rachel), Kord Ramberg (Kelsey), Cody Ramberg (Brenna), and 15 great nieces and nephews, Ryden, Breckin, and Paisley Snyder, Hazel Horton, Jayla, Mariah, Ryan, Jace, Ashlynn, Harper, Willow, Knox, Navy, Nash, and Crew Ramberg.
He is preceded in death by his mother, Kay Mlinar, his stepdad, Ed Mlinar, and numerous aunts and uncles.
The family of Ron wishes to thank all the healthcare providers for the exceptional care he received through the years.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, May 5th at 4:00 at the Assembly of God Church in Chester, MT. Reception will follow the service and burial will be at the Joplin Cemetery.