Ronald Hugh Standiferd was born April 28, 1951 in Belleville, KS to Golda Mae & Malcolm DeCoteau and later adopted by Raymond Standiferd. He died July 7, 2023, peacefully, after a short battle with lung cancer. He is preceded in death by his parents and his sister Ramona. He was a father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle, brother, friend, and husband. He is survived by his wife (Betty Ann Standiferd), brothers (Lonnie Ray & Jon Freund), sister (Carol Sue), and Children (Rachel, Christopher, Shannon, Andrew, Adam, and Preston).
Ron grew up interested in sports and music. Excelling at academics, athletics, and music, he proved to be a man of many talents. He was an excellent piano player, beginning guitar learner, and was even part of the “Trumpet Trio” in high school. At 6’1”, his height and build allowed him to be a star at both basketball and football. Ron graduated from Lebo High School in 69’.
After graduating, he volunteered for the Navy. He was exempt from the draft for being Native American of the Yankton Sioux tribe, but he served anyway and was in Vietnam as part of the NAVCAT8 team. He was known as a Sea Bee (construction & fighting unit). Started out mixing concrete, he put his aptitude for math to use with surveying. It was there he fell in love with construction, building houses for the dependents of Vietnamese officers. After being wounded, he got out in May of 71’ and attended the Kansas State Teacher’s College and then began his career in construction with surveying.
In 1979, Ron met the love of his life, Betty Ann Anderson, and they shared a wonderful 44 years together. They were married on Halloween and for five years; they adventured all over the midwest, eventually settling down in Moriarty, NM in 84’. They moved to Albuquerque in 92’, where the family continued to expand, even today, with the plethora of grandchildren and great grandchildren. Among the many years of little league baseball, soccer, and football, were the trips to lakes, fishing, boating, camping, skiing (water and snow), and racing. Building race cars and teaching his granddaughter, Althea, to be the best quarter-midget racer in the region brought him great pride and joy. Don’t forget golfing with Rol and Sam, his best friends. He also loved talking on the phone with anyone willing to chat, whether that was family, friends, business, or Rodney, his best friend from high school. He was always willing to lend an ear.
The many trips to Heron Lake and Elephant Butte, where he proved you could do donuts in a boat, were highlights to him as they usually combined many of his favorite activities. Being able to take his family to Malibu, Block Island, Yellowstone, and the Ozarks, brought him immense joy as well. In his retirement, he got to visit some of the most beautiful places in the country. The Hawaiian Islands may have been his favorite. Those wonderful memories are the result of a life hard worked to provide for his family. With everything he did, the one continuous thread through all of it was the love for his family.
Over his lengthy career, his entrepreneurship can be seen throughout all over New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas. Dozens of apartment complexes, car washes, restaurants, along with too many miles of roads and bridges to count are underneath his catalog of work. Among that includes being featured in newspaper articles and even on TV. Being a proud Native man himself, many of these were contracts with Native organizations, thus giving hundreds of jobs to Native Americans. He was also president of GMEDA (Greater Moriarty Economic Development Association) in 1990. Chances are very high that you have set foot in a building he laid the foundation, crossed a bridge, or driven on a road he built.
If you find yourself down and missing him, just remember the four words he would tell everyone,
“Don’t worry about it”.
Ron always wanted to fly and thus loved this poem by WWII pilot George Lee Hunsaker, “Take Flight. Don’t carve my name in stone, somewhere and put me in the ground. Tho body’s here, the soul has gone to a better place it’s found, among the ash and dust, where it has spent the happy hours, of life, of love, and trust. Then take me to that special place, and on a windy day, just let me go, with no sad heart, and let me fly away”.
A graveside service will be held July 28, at 11am at the Santa Fe National National Cemetery and a celebration of life at the Heights First Church of the Nazarene, Albuquerque at 3pm
Santa Fe National Cemetery - 501 N Guadalupe St, Santa Fe, NM 87501
First Church of the Nazarene - 8401 Paseo Del Norte NE, Albuquerque, NM 87122