Ronald Gene Hilsinger 1940 - 2021

Ron passed away February 3, 2021, at his home in McMinnville, Oregon. His last days were filled with family and friends coming to give him another memory to keep close to him on his final journey.

Ron was 80 years old, born in Clinton, Iowa, to Tena and Orville in 1940. He married Kaye in 1964, they had four beautiful children, Thomas, Patricia, David (Judy) and Daniel (Wendy). He married his second wife, Carol, in 1974, which allowed him to become Dad to Sherrie as well. He married his third wife, Barbara, in 1979 and was widowed in 1984.

After graduation, Ron worked for the railroad, Crown Zellerbach and Boise Cascade. He retired from Boise after 35 years to chase planes, trains and automobiles across the U.S. When gas prices began to rise, he parked his fifth wheel and became a docent for the Evergreen Air Museum in McMinnville. There he used his lifelong love of planes and history to regale visitors with interesting facts about his favorites, especially the Spruce Goose.

After a stroke in 2015, Ron had two goals: to be able to drive a car again and to get back to the museum. He accomplished both goals. He loved the crew at the air museum like family and spent many joyful and memorable years there. Ron could talk about the crew there for hours, but the second you got him started on planes, trains or cars, you had better have some time on your hands. He loved these topics with all his heart.

Ron is survived by two of his nine siblings, Joe and Joyce; three of his children, Tom, Trish and Dan; eight grandchildren, Evan, Jacob (Sheena), Bryan, Joshua, Shante, Jessica, Todd (Amy), and James; and eight great-grandchildren, whom he loved with his whole heart.

Ron was a very giving man and did so with every opportunity. He did all his tours at the air museum for free as volunteer work, and he would happily give to or do anything for his family. He was an amazingly well-spirited man. May his soul rest in peace.

Due to current restrictions, a service is not being held at this time. To leave online condolences, please visit


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