Ronald Worden

Obituary of Ronald Wilbur Worden

With great sadness, we said a final goodbye to our dear father and grandfather, also known fondly as, “Bopidy.” He left us early Friday, August 30, 2019 surrounded by family and lots of love. He was 91.

       Ron was born on April 18, 1928 in San Jose, CA to Roberta Glenn and Wilbur Worden. He lived his childhood in Saratoga, CA and graduated from Los Gatos Union High School where he excelled in many sports, lettering in track, tennis, basketball, and football. He attended San Jose State College where he was a founding member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (when that was something to be proud of!) There, he met Barbara Sullivan, the love of his life. 


       Drafted into the Army in 1951, he attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, GA, and on commissioning was awarded the duty of training new officer candidates. Ron and Barbara were married in San Jose on May 31, 1952 and had six days to get back to Ford Benning in a 1947 Chevy. Not quite the desired honeymoon! At the end of his tour, Ron joined the Third Army Rifle Team where he participated in the National Rifle Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio, achieving an Excellence in Competition badge. On discharge as a 1st Lieutenant, he and Barb returned to California where he took a job with the California Fruit Exchange in Exeter. Ultimately, Ron moved into sales in Sacramento becoming Export Sales Manager in 1962. In 1967, he made a career move to join A. Levy and J. Zentner Co. in South San Francisco, to manage their export business. This resulted in business travels throughout Asia and Europe, frequently to Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Japan. Barb was able to come along occasionally making these long trips much more enjoyable.

     Over the years, Ron and Barb developed a great interested in sailing and tested all of the water in the San Francisco Bay, Sacramento River and out the Golden Gate. Their sailing highlight was a Caribbean charter with friends. After a corporate move to Sacramento, they made their home in El Macero, and they replaced sailing with golf and they took it up with a vengeance! Ron joined the Country Club board and served as president in 1987. The highlight of his golfing career came on May 31, 2001, posting a 73 score at age 73! They enjoyed many wonderful golf trips throughout the world, and even participated in a People to People golf trip to Europe where they met many interesting golfers.

     Retirement from Levy Zentner as CEO in 1990 gave them full summers to spend at their cherished home in McCall, Idaho, where golf, fishing, and boating were paramount. A permanent move to Idaho in 2006 allowed them to spend many memorable hours with their adored grandchildren whom he impacted greatly.

     Ron was forever grateful for his good health that allowed him to continue his favorite activities with good friends and family. It was pretty remarkable when he shot a 76 at age 86 (from regular tees!)

     Throughout his adult life, Ron was encouraged and supported by his loving Barb, wife of 64 years. He was preceded in death by Barbara in 2016; his parents and brother Terry. He is survived by son; Stephen, daughter; Susan (Phil) McCain; his nephews and their families. Ton leaves behind many dear friends who brought him immense joy and who made a huge impact on his life. He was respected and loved by many for his kindness, honesty, and good nature. His laugh and great sense of humor will be missed by all. If we all could look as good and have the energy that he had! He lived his life to the fullest and was still golfing at 90, and regularly scored below his age.

     The family would like to thank the nurses and staff of Harrison’s Hope Hospice, especially, Naomi, Dara, Summer, Eileen, and Lisa who provided such loving care and support.


A celebration of life is planned for later in the fall.

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