Ronald Heeringa

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 5.20.48 PM  Ronald Lee Heeringa was born to Luke and Lucy Heeringa on April 11, 1936, in Lynden and passed away peacefully on Nov. 11, 2015, after a short fight with lung cancer.
  He was born into a dairy family, married Marie Mellema in 1955 and served in the U.S. Army as a radar technician in the Hanford area. When he came back to Lynden, he started his own dairy. After 12 years of working with his father, uncles and cousins in the dairy industry and raising a couple of champion milk producers, he decided he needed a change. He went to work for a young concrete company called Bode’s Ready-Mix & Gravel. In 1970 he sold the farm and invested into the company. In those early years of Bode’s he took on a short job with Sumas Transport as their tire technician during the building of the North Cascades Highway, along with some work for Dale’s Electric. He returned to work with his partner at Bode’s, and ended up restructuring the company with the help of his brother-in-law Len Honcoop and built it up to eventually specialize in precast concrete products. With his good friend Jay Lucas, he started a second plant in Chattaroy, Washington (Spokane County). In 1988 he changed the name of the company to Bode’s Precast and eventually partnered up with sons Ray and Rick.
  His innovative sense and determination to make a product idea work carried the business into something that was of great pride to him.
  In 1988 Ron married Jean Wagter. The two of them had a great love for growing dahlias. Their dahlia farm on Vista Drive in Ferndale became the experimental grounds for developing the Vista line of dahlia varieties with which they have won many championship ribbons. They moved their “hobby” to Birch Bay-Lynden Road where they delighted passersby with bouquets and the lovely vision of acres of championship flowers.
  Ron’s hobby of working with wood and his jigsaw has produced some incredibly beautiful items he gave as gifts and memorials. He had a talent for water-witching that helped many find water where they didn’t know there was any. He rarely missed a Seattle Mariners game, and his uncanny ability to spot mole activity and eradicate it is legendary among family and friends.
  He was a very private and very talented man. He shared his many gifts freely in the community and leaves behind a legacy. He will be so greatly missed.
  His wife Jean, his children Barb Pitman and husband Gary, Ray and wife Liz, Char Wagter and husband Gord, Rick and wife Lynne, Tami Winterberg and husband Lloyd, honorary daughter Melissa Dykman, and his 16 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren invite all who knew him or whose life he touched to celebrate his life with them on Nov. 21 between 1 and 4 p.m. in Faith Community Church, 586 Birch Bay-Lynden Rd., Lynden.
  We ask in lieu of flowers to please donate to Whatcom Hospice at 2800 Douglas Rd., Bellingham, WA 98225; or a charity of your choice.