PORTVILLE --- Ronald C. Longbothum of Nouvoo Road, Portville, passed away Sunday (September 4, 2022) at the Olean General Hospital.
Born December 7, 1940, in Corning, he was the son of Lewis and Esther Brion Longbothum.
Ron received his Bachelor of Science degree from Mansfield State college in Mansfield PA, his hometown in 1962. As an honors student, he was awarded a grant to work at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, where he worked with doctors and world-renowned research scientists. Upon graduation he was given a year-long grant to study at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, where he specialized in ornithology and herpetology. He made friends easily and acquired 10 lifelong friends while on his grants.
On August 24, 1963, he married his wife of 59 years, Shirley Trautman, who he met in undergrad school as a Home Economics major. They began teaching at Portville Central School in Portville, that fall where Ron taught for 33 years. He taught advanced placement biology and general biology. Ron was a member and Elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Portville for twenty years. He was also a very active member and leader of the Portville Garden Club from 1964 to 2015.
His students won many awards at the Allegheny Mountain Science and Engineering Fair over the 21 years it was held. Six years he accompanied his first-place winners to week-long trips to the International Science and Engineering Fairs, once in Oklahoma City, OK; Denver Colorado; Cleveland, OH; twice to Anaheim, CA and to the World's Fair in Toronto, Canada. Since he had male and female winners 2 years, he was able to take his wife as a chaperone and one of the trips to Anaheim CA and the World's Fair.
Ron received many commendations for his work with students and was named teacher of the year during that time. When science fairs were discontinued, he taught general biology and general science. Ron valued learning. He took masonry course and built a brick barbecue area. People brought him birds and snakes that came to their demise, so he learned taxidermy. He made elaborate pinecone creations. He was gifted in landscaping, loved gardening and maintained their home and property beautifully. He loved and owned Labrador Retrievers and enjoyed bird watching, canoeing and some of his favorite vacationing spots we're the National Parks out West, the Canadian Rockies, Cape May, NJ., Williamsburg, VA., San Antonio, TX., and Letchworth State Park.
Ron was a kind, caring, loving man. He never had a bad word to say about anyone. He mentored and was the father figure to many, a few being, Mike Wyant and Ron and Darrel Unverdorben.
Ron's most favorite thing was giving Shirley, family and friends gifts on all special occasions. Entertaining at home and their summer place at Rainbow Lake was always top priority. He not only loved his wife's cooking, but he also took pride in sharing her skills with others.
In downtime he loved watching movies. On August 24th, he and Shirley were able to celebrate their 59th wedding anniversary together in their home, a deck house (a design that has several walls of windows, bringing God's beautiful creation in). It was their little bit of heaven on Earth where they enjoyed their love of nature for 53 years. And even though Ron had numerous health issues for an extended time, he never complained, had no pain and had a very peaceful and blessed entry into heaven. Praise be to his and my loving eternal father, God and our Savior Jesus Christ and the holy Spirit who carried us through. Ron's loving wife Shirley.
Ron is survived by his loving wife, Shirley; several nieces and nephews; and several brother and sister-in-law’s.
He was predeceased by his parents; and brother Richard Longbothum; and a very close brother-in-law and two sister-in-law’s.
Friends will be received at the Guenther Funeral Home, 51 S. Main Street, Portville on Monday (September 12, 2022) from 11-1pm. Funeral services will begin at 1pm in the funeral home. Rev. Marilyn Hale, pastor of the Portville First Presbyterian Church, will officiate. Burial will be in Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Portville at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to the First Presbyterian Church PO Box 765, Portville, NY 14770; Chestnut Hill Cemetery PO Box 517, Portville NY 14770 or the Portville Fire Department, PO Box 781 Portville, NY 14770.