Ronnie Trentham was born on August 1st, 1964, in New Orleans, Louisiana and entered his eternal home in heaven on May 15th, 2023, in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
Ronnie encountered many challenges early in his life, from the age of 5 to age 14, he lived in the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home after being removed from his childhood home. But even as a child, Ronnie didn’t let his circumstances define him. He said that all he ever wanted was a family, and he made the decision that he would be the best father and husband he could be if he ever had the chance to have a family of his own.
In 1978, Ronnie moved to Stilwell, Oklahoma with his Dad and brothers, and Stilwell became his home. He fell in love with the community and its people and began looking for ways to give back to the place that had made him feel so welcome. Over the next 45 years, Ronnie found many ways to serve his community. He had a passion for helping people, and the unique ability to make everyone feel valued and loved. He spent over 20 years on the Stilwell Volunteer Fire Department, only retiring when his health no longer permitted him to serve. He spent 4 years as a Stilwell city councilman and 4 years as the mayor. He spent several years volunteering for the Adair County 4-H and FFA Booster Club. Ronnie spent 18 years as a member of the Stilwell Kiwanis Club, serving on various committees and as Kiwanis President in 2017 and 2018. He was a Hero of Hope for the American Cancer Society in 2010 and a Global Hero of Hope in 2015. His passion for helping people continued to grow as he began traveling with the Cherokee Nation’s Tobacco Tour program, speaking to over 20,000 students about the dangers of using tobacco. His philosophy was always that if he could help just one person live a better, healthier life, then his own struggles would not have been in vain.
The one thing that Ronnie loved above all else was his family. He married the love of his life, Lorie, on March 29th, 1985, and they have loved each other unconditionally for 38 years. They truly lived out their vows, and when Ronnie was diagnosed with cancer in 2003, they clung together through the hard days and celebrated each other on the good days. They had two daughters, Kyla and Kelsey and Ronnie flourished in the role of “Dad.” Over the years, he was not only loved and admired by his daughters but became a bonus Dad to the many kids that would spend time in their home. He never failed to make every child feel welcome and important.
Of all the titles Ronnie held in his lifetime, the title of “Papa” was his favorite. Becoming a grandparent was the highlight of his life. His grandchildren adored him and will forever carry his love in their hearts.
Ronnie loved hunting, but it wasn’t just the lure of bagging the trophy deer or turkey, it was the camaraderie he experienced, and the time spent with friends that was the most precious to him. Nights spent at the cabin swapping stories or road trips to Kansas provided time with men whose friendship was so important to him and was truly why he loved it so much.
Ronnie also loved his church family. He volunteered as a greeter on Sunday mornings and loved being part of making everyone feel welcomed. He served as a board member for the church and took the responsibility very seriously, striving to honor God in all his decisions. But his Wednesday night men’s class held a special place in his heart, he looked forward each week to spending time with a group of men who were all seeking to strengthen their relationships with God and each other.
Ronnie was truly one of a kind, his love for God, his family, and his community showed throughout his life and we take comfort in knowing that he is healed and whole while walking the streets of gold.
Ronnie is survived by his loving wife, Lorie, his daughter Kyla Lundberg and husband Colt, daughter Kelsey Patton and husband Austin, four grandchildren, Lily, Molly, Taya and Archer, and one bonus granddaughter, Jaeda Eubanks. His brothers, Darrell Trentham and David Trentham, and niece Alecia Bradshaw and family. He is also survived by a host of family, friends and loved ones whose lives have been touched by his positive attitude and caring spirit.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Kiwanis Club - Ronnie Trentham Scholarship Fund. To donate, family and friends can call or visit Carson Community Bank in Stilwell, OK.