El Dorado Springs Senior Center
Ronald M. Sewell, 89 years old, was born October 8, 1933 to Jesse Ray (Jack) and Wanda (Holman) Sewell in Cedarville, MO. He attended a one room school at Cedarville, the same area he trapped and sold furs along Cedar Creek. He graduated from Stockton High School in 1951 where he played basketball and football. He attended the University of Missouri until he was drafted into the army from 1954-1956 where he was stationed in Japan. He returned to the states where he received his degree from MU in Agricultural Economics with an emphasis in banking. He was also a member of Farmhouse Fraternity. He met Evalyn Kay Bird in Lockwood at the K & D Drive In and were married December 31, 1958. They would have celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary at the end of the month.
Ron's first banking job was in Lockwood before returning to get his degree. Next, they relocated to St. Louis where Ron worked for Farm Credit Administration (FCA). St. Louis was special as he was baptized at the 3rd Baptist Church and he and Kay also had both of their sons, Steve & Greg.
However, they couldn't wait to get out of the city. Their next and final stop was El Dorado Springs where Ron was the President of Tri County State Bank. He was with the bank for almost 40 years. He opened the location in Stockton and spent many miles and hours driving back and forth with his trusty secretary, Rita Farris. Ron always said he retired at the right time when he was supposed to decide whether to loan someone money based on a computer program instead of looking them in the eyes. During his banking career Ron was President and Chairman of the Board for banks at Bolivar, Windsor, Osceola, Appleton City, Humansville, Stockton and El Dorado Springs. He also served as President for Tri-County Bancshares, Inc, a multi-bank holding company. His banking knowledge was respected and well regarded throughout the region. During his leadership, assets of Tri-County State Bank went from $4 Million 1964 to over $100 Million Dollars. Ron was first to admit that the success of his banking career was based on surrounding himself with an incredible group of dedicated employees, many of which were with the bank for over 25 years.
During his time in El Dorado, Ron contributed greatly to the growth of the community as a member of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) which was instrumental in bringing in new industry such as Laminated Beam and Foam Fabricators. He was also Treasurer of the El Dorado Springs School Board for many years. He served as President of the Chamber of Commerce and was a Rotarian with 100% attendance for over 20 years.
While banking was his occupation, his passion was the farm. Ron and Kay purchased the farm in September of 1966, the same time their daughter, Shannon was born. Sewell's Bar S Limousin Ranch, one of Missouriís first Limousin ranches and one of the first breeders to incorporate AI into their program. It was known throughout the country as having quality seedstock with the personal guarantee behind it. Ron was so proud of the Production Sales that the family put together for many reasons, but first and foremost, they did all of their production sales without the assistance of any marketing/sale companies. Ron's attention to detail and his personal connection with breeders throughout multiple states created a winning strategy that propelled their sales to some of the top averages in the nation, without any syndicate buyers. It was quite a sight to see all of the bulls, open heifers and bred heifers tied at halter and walked into the sale ring. Steve & Greg helped in the back getting the cattle ready and Shannon served as the auctioneer. Ron would sit on the block and give out the pedigree information as well as personal notes that would assure buyers they were making a great decision. Necessary paperwork and EPD's convinced him to leave the purebred industry and enjoy the commercial aspect, all while keeping a great buyer base on his bull crop. One of his favorite pastimes was driving around and checking cows. Seeing the little speckled calves gave him enjoyment from the Longhorn bulls he put with the last of his cows. Next to his family, his cattle were his pride and joy. He owned cattle up until August of 2019 when he sold the last of his cattle as he didn't feel he could get them through the winter.
With the extra time he started playing Texas Hold-Em at some of the area casinos. He earned quite a reputation as a credible card player and won several tournaments. He loved playing poker and wearing his lucky watch. He also enjoyed playing golf with his good friend, Ron Zimmerman.
It's hard to sum up someone's life in a few paragraphs, but it wouldn't be complete without saying that Ron was respected and admired for his ability to help people. There are a lot of folks in the area that attribute their first home, their job, or a major purchase with his help. He was loyal to the core. To this day, Ron was still loaning money and helping people. He loved his children and was so very proud of their achievements and the fact they all have their college degrees. His children would tell you their Dad had an incredible work ethic that he instilled in them.
Survivors include his wife, Evalyn Kay Sewell of the home, sons Ronald Steven (Steve) and wife Denise Sewell of Kansas City and Gregory Neil (Greg) and wife Ellen Sewell of Warrensburg, daughter Shannon Kay and husband Brian Eason of El Dorado Springs. His very special sister and her husband Mariann and Jim Carrier of Monett, MO. Grandchildren- Kelsey (Kyle) Sewell-Gagnon, Daniel Sewell, Wraye Royle, Jamie Caume, Lauren Mays, Landon Mays, Mattison Eason, and Cory (Bethany) Williams. Also surviving are a host of nieces, nephews and his sisters in law, Dixie Finley and Barbara Bird with husband Larry Heintz. The little sparkles in his eye are his great grandchildren, Beckett, Huxley,Wyatt. Skylar, Berkley and Cohen.
Preceding him in death were his sister, Patsy and her husband Eldon Heiskell and his parents Jack & Wanda Sewell.
Ron always liked to help people and his children saw him delivering turkeys anonymously during the holidays and supporting families in need. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the El Dorado Springs Senior Center. Funny note, Ron thought the senior center was for old people so he didnít go.