Wisner, former dean of students, dies in bike accident

By Staff

Ron Wisner, dean of students at UCCS from 1979 to 2003, died Friday, May 21, in a mountain bike accident in an open trails area between Monument and Castle Rock, according to family members.

Following his retirement from UCCS, Ron served as an instructor for the Semester at Sea Program and recently rejoined the university on a part-time appointment to assist with student affairs.

The obituary, as prepared by family, follows:

Ronald E. Wisner, born June 18, 1942, adored husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle, died May 21, 2010.

Ron led a full and adventurous life. Born in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, he graduated from Wittenberg University and joined the newly created Peace Corps to teach agricultural practices to farmers in Niger, West Africa. From this experience, he developed a lifelong love of world travel and interest in exploring cultures.

After his return from Africa, Ron attended Michigan State, where he met Jane Haven. After a six-month courtship, they married. Ron earned his master's degree at Michigan State and began his career at UM-Flint as assistant dean for student services. Ron and Jane welcomed Sara and Mark into the world, and moved their family West – for Ron to accept a position at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs as dean for student life, and to enjoy a sport-filled lifestyle. At UCCS, Ron also served posts as executive director of student affairs and dean of students. Concurrently with his academic positions – and in between running marathons, skiing Colorado's resorts and living life to the fullest – Ron achieved his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. A Fulbright Scholar, he was as intelligent as he was lovable.

Ron and Jane were exemplary models for retired life. They spent a year teaching in Copenhagen, Denmark, twice traveled around the world as staff of the Semester at Sea program, and embarked on cycling, skiing and hiking trips with family and friends. Ron was a serial volunteer, giving of his time and talents to the Pikes Peak Marathon, Garden of the Gods running club, U.S. Olympic Committee, Vail Music Festival, Pikes Peak Library, Tri-Lakes Transportation Services for Seniors and Citizen's Project. He served as a board member of the Karen Possehl Endowment for Nontraditional Women's Scholarships, the UCCS Chancellor's Leadership Class, the Pikes Peak Area Peace Corps Alumni, and his latest passion, the Kids on Bikes project.

Ron never met a dessert or beer he didn't enjoy. Scheduled to the maximum, above all else family came first in his heart and calendar.