Roland Spencer Strawn, of Tempe, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on December 31, 2008. Dr. Strawn was born September 23, 1931 in his grandparents' farmhouse near Canton, Illinois, to Eugene and Catherine Strawn.

Ron graduated from the University of Illinois in 1953 and belonged to Alpha Kappa Lambda and several honoraries. He was also awarded the Bronze Tablet, the highest scholastic honor at the U of I. After receiving his Master's degree, he married Joan Holin in 1954. They lived in Massachusetts for two years while Ron served in the Army, and then later relocated to California.

While living in California, Ron contributed to the development of radar systems for the military before joining Arizona State University in 1967. He earned his doctoral degree in electrical engineering and taught at ASU for 25 years. He helped create ASU's Master's degree program in electronic technology and won a competitive award from the university in 1990 for excellence in teaching.

Ron loved to travel and he and Joan toured many parts of the world. The cultures of China and Turkey were especially fascinating to him. Of all his accomplishments, he was most proud of his four daughters: Barbara (Heinz), Deborah (Jim), Susan (Andrew) and Julie (Andy). In addition to his daughters and Joan, his wife of 54 years, he also leaves behind his sister, Janet Myers, and ten grandchildren whom he loved very much.

He will always be remembered for his intelligence, his wit, his integrity, and his humility. He treated every person he ever met with kindness and respect. He was a beloved husband, father, and grandfather and will never be forgotten.

Services will be held January 17th at 4:00 at Tempe United Methodist Church, where he and Joan were longtime members. The family would like to thank all of the many friends who supported them in the past year. A special thanks goes to Pastor Dave Summers, Hospice of the Valley and Banner Home Healthcare. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Roland Strawn Memorial Fund in support of pancreatic cancer research.

If you would like to make an online gift to Ron's Memorial, please click here.


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