Ronald ‘Ron’ Edward Ries

(Feb. 7, 1944 - Sept. 8, 2020)


Ronald (Ron) Edward Ries, age 76, passed away on Sept. 8, 2020, at Spirit Mountain Hospice House in Cody.

Ronald was born to Joe and Amelia Ries on Feb. 7, 1944, in Powell. He was baptized, confirmed, and was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, Powell.

He was raised on a family farm southeast of Powell and attended Powell public schools, graduating in 1962.

He continued his education at Northwest Community College and the University of Montana, Missoula, receiving a B.S. in Forestry in 1966 and M.S. in Forestry in 1968. He continued his education at the University of Wyoming, Laramie, graduating with a Ph.D. in Range Management in 1973.

Ronald married Ann Taplin on Dec. 17, 1966, at First English Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, Missoula, Montana. 

His work career included summer work from 1962 to 1965 at the Wapiti Ranger Station and the South Fork Work Station in the Shoshone National Forest, USDA Forest Service. Upon graduation, from 1966 to 1968, he worked as a graduate student assistant for the University of Montana. Ronald then worked as a resource specialist for the Bureau of Land Management, Missoula District, during 1968.

He served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1970, including a tour of duty in Vietnam. Ronald worked for the University of Wyoming as a research assistant from 1970 to 1973, and as a research consultant from 1973 to 1974 on ecological characterization of coal mine leases in Campbell County, Wyoming. He worked as a Range Scientist for the USDA Agricultural Research Service at the Northern Great Plains Research Center in Mandan, North Dakota, from June 1974 to June 30, 2001. His work included research on reclamation of surface mined lands, grass seedling morphology and establishment and weed ecology and control.

After retirement in 2001, Ronald and his wife, Ann, moved to Cody. They enjoyed membership and services at Christ the King Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, Cody. He continued to manage Canyon Hills, LLC, a family company. He and Ann enjoyed gardening, fishing, wildlife watching, visits to their children, picnics in the Shoshone Forest and visits to Teton and Yellowstone national parks.

Ronald was preceded in death by his parents in 2005.

Ronald is survived by his wife and two sons: Ryan (Leanne) Ries and grandchildren Isaac and Emma of Wadena, Minnesota; and Rod (Mindy) Ries and grandchildren Kiera and Brinley of Lakewood, Colorado. He is also survived by his sister Elizabeth (Michael) Beaver of Charlotte, North Carolina, and several nieces and nephews.

Cremation has taken place at his request and a memorial service will be held at Christ the King Lutheran Church on Monday, Sept. 28 at 10 a.m. A private interment will follow at the Valley Cemetery on the Upper South Fork.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Christ the King Lutheran Church, 1207 Stampede Avenue, Cody, WY 82414 or the Homesteader Museum, P.O. Box 54, Powell, WY 82435.

An online guestbook is available at