Rev. Ronald Warnes

April 6, 1960 ~ July 3, 2020 (age 60)


“A Life Well-Lived”

Rev. Ronald M Warnes passed away peacefully into the arms of Jesus on July 3, 2020 at the age of 60 at Ridgeview Hospital in Waconia, MN with his family by his side.  Deeply loved by his family and highly respected by his friends, colleagues, members of his congregations. Ron lived life to the fullest with compassion and care for everyone around him.  His dedication to the church and his Lord was present even into his last hours of life.  His infectious curiosity and love for people will never be forgotten.

Ron was born on April 9,1960 to Martin O. and Carol Warnes in Hastings, MN.  He grew up in Minneapolis, MN where he attended Roosevelt High School.  He was active at Trinity Lutheran Church of Minnehaha Falls for much of his early life.  Following high school, he attended the University of Minnesota graduating with a BS in Agricultural Economics.  While in college he was active on the National Crops Judging Team and played water polo.  Following college graduation in 1982, he attended the Lutheran Bible Institute and spent two years in Kenya, East Africa on the mission field.  There he did church planting and agricultural teaching.  In 1986 he entered Wheaton Graduate School working toward a masters in Missiology.  These years of study were followed by attending Luther-Northwestern Theological Seminary.  In 1992 he graduated from Seminary with a Masters of Divinity degree.

In 1988 Ron proposed to Rev. Janet Warnes after 2 weeks and 4 dates.  They were married on August 13, 1988 at Trinity Lutheran Church of Minnehaha Falls.  They began their work as a clergy couple in 1992.  Together they worked side-by-side serving congregations in Minnesota and 1 in South Dakota.  Pastor Ron served Lutheran, Methodist, and Presbyterian worshiping communities. 

On February 18, Ron and Janet welcomed the best addition to their lives in the birth of Alisa Christine Warnes.  Alisa was the apple of her Dad’s eye.  Ron taught and gave Alisa her love of reading, musicals, travel, exploration, curiosity, sports, cooking and more.  He took special delight in attending Alisa’s athletic events all the way to Alisa’s college basketball days.  He traveled a lot of the world with Alisa always pointing out the beauty of God’s creation and the uniqueness of cultures.  In the last year of his life Alisa, now a nurse at the University of Minnesota Hospital, took care of her Dad as he underwent treatment for cancer.  Together with his wife Janet they walked with Ron through his cancer treatment.

While in ministry, Pastor Ron was active in numerous church and community organizations.  Some of these service opportunities included:  Two years of Chaplaincy with Health East Hospitals, Secretary of Conferences, Treasurer of Conferences, Synod Assembly Leadership, Missions Committees, Synod Planning teams, Board member of numerous community organizations included Augsburg College, organizer of mission trips to Kenya, India, Belize, and Jamaica, Men’s retreats, ecumenical services, Ministerial and Conference Committees, Chaplain of nursing homes,  member of Food Shelves, homeless shelters, Liberian Fellowship creator and more.

He worked for a short time with the Marshall County Group Homes. 

Pastor Ron was a great teacher, compassionate pastor and learned theologian.  He was a great story teller.  He was blessed with an uncanny wit and wonderful sense of humor.  He had a special place in his heart for those on the edge of society.

Pastor Ron had numerous hobbies and interests.  He traveled extensively through-out the world visiting most of North America, Central America and portions of Africa.  He has visited in over 30 countries.

Pastor Ron enjoyed collecting world coins, swimming, snorkeling, shelling, biking and golf.  He was a prolific reader, reading 1 to 2 books a week.  He enjoyed building computers and anything electronic.  He was handy and able to fix nearly anything.  He had a special interest in photography.  He found pleasure in strawberry pie, ice cream, and anything Asian. 

Ron was a loving, caring husband and a tremendous father.  He whole-heartedly embraced the simplest moments in life with child-like wonder and deep appreciation for all God has created.

Celebrating his life are his beloved wife of over 30 years, Rev. Janet Warnes and his loving daughter Alisa Christine.  His sisters; Sue (Jerry) Quam, Debra (John) Jarzynski, and brother Steve (Tanja) Warnes, brothers-in law Rev. Daniel (Rachel) Tengbom, and Rev. David Tengbom.  Scientist and sister-in-law Judith Tengbom Collins (Barry) and many nieces and nephews and dear friends.

Pastor Ron was proceeded in death by:  Grandparents, his father Martin O. Warnes, mother Carol Warnes, and father-in- law Rev. Dr. Luverne C. Tengbom and mother-in law Mildred Tengbom.

A Committal Service will be held in July, 2020 at Chisago Lake Cemetery in Center City, MN where he will lay to rest with his relatives the Hasselquists and Tengboms.

A Memorial Service celebrating his life will be held in September at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Warren with Bishop Bill Tesch of the Northwestern Minnesota Synod and Warren Ministerial officiating.

He is not dead, he is alive.  “Jesus said, I am the Resurrection and the Life” John 11:25

Blessed be his new beginning in the kingdom of God.


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 Warnes, Ron - Graveside Service Folder


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