Ronald A. Flugum
On Nov. 9, 2022 Ronald A. Flugum, 85, formerly of Anchorage, Alaska, and Spencer, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, at Bickford Cottage, Sioux City, where he enjoyed many activities. Visitation will be held Friday, Nov. 18, from 5-7 p.m. at Warner Funeral Home in Spencer. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 18, at Bethany Lutheran Church, Spencer, with Rev. Deb Mechler. Inurnment will be held in Riverside Cemetery, Spencer, with lunch to follow at the church. Memorials may be donated to St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn.; Bethany Lutheran Church, Spencer; or Central Lutheran Church, Anchorage, Alaska, or a memorial of your choice. Warner Funeral Home, Spencer, was in charge of arrangements.
Ron was born to Agnes (Rusley) Flugum and William Flugum, Sept. 12, 1937 in Spencer, where he was raised. Ron was baptized at First English Lutheran Church by Rev. O. Geisler in Oct. 1937. Ron was confirmed in May 1951 at the old church by Rev. J. M. Jensen. Ron was active in the youth group and the church choir.
When Ron was 13 years old, he sang in the Spencer Messiah Chorus with his mature bass voice. Later Ron, his dad, and Ivan Reed, Sr. and Lou Reed, Jr. had a father and son quartet.
In Ron’s teen years, he developed his love of music, taking photos, and family tree history and technology.
In 1955, Ron graduated from Spencer High School. At his class reunion, he almost always received the award for coming the longest distance–all the way from Alaska.
The fall of 1955 found Ron enrolled at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., where in 1959, he earned a business degree. While at St. “O,” he sang bass in Chapel Choir for about two years and then he sang with the famous St. Olaf “A” Choir for two years. Ron was the only non-music major to give a senior recital. He was a loyal St. Olaf alumnus, as he always knew where the choir was traveling and when the next Christmas concert would be. He attended as many concerts as possible.
After college, Ron studied one year, 1959-60 at the U. of Minn. and then he studied for one year, 1960-61 at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn.
Ron was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he worked from 1962-64 as a chaplain’s assistant while he was stationed at Fort Ord California.
While living in St. Paul, Minn., Ron became interested in computers. He took a class in the early 60s at Control Data Institute, where he learned programming and accepted a position with that company where he worked for six to seven years, before his wandering foot led him to Alaska. His computer skills went from computers that filled a wall, used punch cards, and used “COBOL” language to small portable laptops.
While Ron was in St. Paul, he became an original member of the Dale Warland Singers, a professional chorus. He, also, was a member of University Lutheran Church of Hope in Minneapolis, Minn., where he sang choir.
Ron’s first trip to Alaska was in 1973 with a group of friends driving the Alaska Highway on an adventure. He returned to Alaska in January 1975 and accepted a job offer from Alyeska Pipeline Co., which he said in his Christmas letter was a job he couldn’t refuse. So Anchorage, Alaska, became his home for the next 44 years.
After searching for a new church home, Ron found Central Lutheran, which he joined in March of 1976. He served as Central’s treasurer from 2002-10. He also helped distribute scholarships for Alaskan students to study music at Pacific Lutheran University. Ron sang bass in the church choir for 44 years. When the choir director was absent or there was none, he stepped into the leader role. He often volunteered as an assisting minister.
While in Anchorage, Ron sang with the Community Choir, the Russian American Colony Singers, the Trattoria Singers, the Madrigal Singers, and the Anchorage Opera where he sang several leading roles. He was active in the Anchorage Youth Symphony in an administrative position as well as musically.
He honored his Norwegian heritage while being a member of the Sons of Norway, which included eating lutefisk and lefse.
When Ron retired from the pipeline company after 17 years, Jan. 1975 to Sept. 1992, he opened a business, Computer Tots, and taught small children how to use computers. Then he opened a “B&B” called Internet Lodging, in his home for 15 years.
Ron loved to travel. He enjoyed many trips around Alaska, many other states, as well as Madagascar, China, Russia, the Middle East, Australia, Japan, Czech Republic, Norway several times, to see where his ancestors had come from and to gather information for his many family trees, which he put together by using his computer. Ron developed a love of the Norwegian and Russian languages which he studied.
Ron enjoyed company and he always tried to show his guests the Alaska he knew and loved. He had his camera with him most of the time. He had hundreds of slides/photos of people, places, and events.
If anyone is interested in Ron’s extensive photo collection plus other memorabilia, it may be viewed in the private collections section of the Consortium Library, University of Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska, during regular library hours. (NOTE: His sister, Helen, hopes to add one copy of each family tree.)
Due to health problems, Ron moved from Anchorage to Sioux City, in April of 2019. to be near his sister.
Ron leaves his sister, Helen Schuck, Sioux City; uncle, Stanley Rusley, Lake Mills; his Rusley and Flugum relatives; and a host of friends.
Ron was preceded in death by his grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, other relatives, and friends.