Tuesday, December 1st, 2020 was a sad day
for all of us at GCMA and for everyone that knew and loved Ron Ditzfeld.
He was a great supporter and friend, of not just GCMA, but many others.
The Sedalia Democrat published the below article that talks about
just how many lives he touched.
Please join us in praying for the family during their time of mourning.
Sedalia loses beloved leader, friend with death of Ron Ditzfeld
The Sedalia community lost a beloved business leader and philanthropist, but more importantly, a family member and friend with the death of Ron Ditzfeld on Tuesday.
Ditzfeld believed it was important to give back to the community that had given so much to him and his family. Throughout his life, he strived to do that.
A man of few words, Ditzfeld chose to let his work and care for others speak for him. He donated to and assisted countless Pettis County organizations, whether nonprofits, schools or fellow businesses.
According to the company’s website, Ditzfeld Transfer Inc. began in 1960 with Ditzfeld’s parents, Jon and Bernice, founding the company with two straight trucks. In 1968, the company purchased its first tractor-trailer rig. 1968 also marked the year Ron Ditzfeld and his brother Donnie began working in the family business.
The third generation of the family is employed at the business that now is a “multi-faceted” business organization including a 1 million-square-foot warehousing division, more than 50 power units, 160 trailers, a container/trash service and charter bus service. The multi-million dollar company provides trucking service, bus transportation, a warehouse and distribution service as well as trash pick-up and container services throughout the United States. The business employs more than 80 employees, who Ditzfeld considered family.
It is that type of commitment that sets Ditzfeld apart, according to Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County Director Jessica Craig.
“I just don’t know how I can put into words how much Ron means to this community and to me, personally,” Craig said via email. “Day by day and out of the goodness of his heart, Ron touched every part of our community and will do so for generations to come.
“He was a common thread that allowed businesses to thrive locally and drove such great prosperity which will forever have a ripple effect in Sedalia,” Craig added. “From selflessly donating his time to lending an ear when anyone needed it, the positive impact Ron has had in this community is endless. He always answered his phone and always had one of those bear hugs waiting when times got tough.“
Long a champion of education and youth in Sedalia, Ditzfeld gave generously to State Fair Community College and high schools throughout the area including Sedalia School District 200.
"Ron Ditzfeld was a pillar in our community and the Sedalia 200 district was fortunate to benefit from his influence and generosity,” Sedalia 200 Superintendent Steve Triplett said via email. “He supported our students and staff members consistently, often quietly but at times more publicly, such as his funding for the Susie Ditzfeld Memorial Soccer Complex, named for his late wife.
“The charter service owned by Mr. Ditzfeld and Don Weaver has transported the Smith-Cotton JROTC and Team SCREAM robotics team to national competitions, with Ron often driving legs of the trip,” he added. “We join our community in grieving this great loss, and extend our most sincere condolences to the entire Ditzfeld family."
On March 23, 2017, Ditzfeld shared his experiences in life and business with students at Whittier High School as part of their Lunch and Learn program. Offering to bring one of his trucks to school, Ditzfeld spoke to the students collectively for more than 45 minutes and individually after that. After he finished taking a few groups of students on rides in the truck, Ditzfeld told the Democrat it was an “honor” and a “privilege” to be asked to participate in Lunch and Learn at Whittier.
“Not everybody’s going to be a chief, we need Indians — you gotta have people who drive trucks, you need people to teach school, not everyone can be a principal,” Ditzfeld said. “These kids just need a chance, so many of them, they need an opportunity. They need to believe in themselves so they can go grab that opportunity that comes their way.
“Trucking is a way for a lot of people, men and women anymore, to make a decent living. The salary range and benefits for drivers are pretty respectable wages to be able to raise a family with,” he said. “Whether it’s trucking or welding or some of the courses offered at State Fair College, we need people that are workers that can get the job done. That’s what I see these kids, the opportunity for the future for them, go to State Fair for a few years and learn a trade.”
From the early years of a child’s life, Ditzfeld looked for ways to help youth, according to Gary Beckman, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri.
“It is a very sad day,” Beckman said via email. “Ron certainly was one of the good ones and will be missed by many.
“Ron, being a champion for youth, always had time for the Boys & Girls Club and was especially generous with his support for the kids,” he added. “But his extreme generosity extended across Sedalia and touched so many lives. His infectious smile and laughter will be missed.”
Ditzfeld’s friend, Center for Human Services Development Director Susan Mergen, noted the sadness she and the community are experiencing with Ditzfeld’s death.
“I have fond memories of Ron,” Mergen said via email. “He was a great friend to so many, a larger than life personality and a heart of gold. I first met Ron when he became a CHS board member (2006-2016) and I called him for a lunch meeting so I could get to know him.
“After we discussed business and chatted about one another, it was time to leave,” she continued. “I reached for the check, he absolutely would not let me pay for lunch. He said his father raised him to always pay for a lady’s meal! His contributions on our board were enormous. Aside from the financial contributions to support CHS, Ron’s business advice and experiences were so valuable. Ron and his family support countless organizations in the Sedalia area. He will be greatly missed by so many from all walks of life.”