Professor Ronald L. Shilling, age 81 of Belle Plaine and formerly of New Ulm passed away on May 24, 2023 at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. Funeral Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 at Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church in Belle Plaine. Visitation will be held from 9 – 11 a.m. at the church. Following the luncheon, interment will be in St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery at 2:30 p.m. in New Ulm, MN.
Ron was born on December 17, 1941 to Lester and Grace (Bormuth) Shilling in Tiffin, OH. He was baptized and confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Findlay, OH. Ron attended Findlay Senior High School. Upon graduation, he attended Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN graduating with the class of 1964. Between his sophomore and junior years he served as an emergency music tutor at Northwestern Lutheran Academy in Mobridge, SD. After graduation he was assigned to teach in Mobridge for an additional year. In 1965, Ron was assigned as a music instructor at Dr. Martin Luther College until he was called to be Professor of Music three years later. Ron married Karen Breiling on August 22, 1971 at St. John Lutheran Church in New Ulm, MN.
As a Professor of Music at DMLC and later MLC, Ron taught music theory courses, organ, piano, and directed choir. His love for learning led him to the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, OH where he received a Master of Music in 1971. Later he attended Concordia College in River Forest, IL where he received a Master of Church Music in 1986. During his years, Ron used his talents to compose choral numbers, organ selections, and arrange hymn settings. After retiring from MLC in 2012 he continued serving as Adjunct Professor teaching organ and piano lessons. He served the Lord for 54 years.
Ron’s love for music began at an early age. After his first-grade teacher discovered he had perfect pitch, he started piano lessons. While he was still 8 years old, he played organ for his first church service at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Findlay, OH. Ron continued serving the Lord as a church organist for 73 years. For many years he served as head organist at St. John’s in New Ulm, MN. He also served as an organist for St. John’s in Sleepy Eye, MN, Trinity Lutheran Church in Belle Plaine, MN, as well as a guest organist for multiple other congregations throughout the area and the Wisconsin Synod.
He was preceded in death by an infant brother, his parents, two sisters, two brothers-in-law, and wife, Karen in 2015.
Ron is survived by his son, David (Laura) Shilling of Cape Coral, FL and his daughter, Debbie (Dan) Peterson of Racine, WI and 4 grandchildren, Joshua and Emma Shilling and Ella and Jack Peterson. Additional survivors include his sister, Mary Colburn of Findlay, OH, and sisters-in-law Janet (Joel) Fredrich and Naomi Hardman, nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.
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