Northwestern Athletics mourns the passing of Ron Juffer

December 20, 2021 8:52am


ORANGE CITY, Iowa – Northwestern College President Greg Christy shared with the campus community Friday the passing of professor emeritus Ron Juffer.

“There is no doubt that Coach Juffer is rejoicing with his Savior,” notes Vice President of Athletics Dr. Micah Parker. “He was a true Raider who loved students and left an eternal impact to many. Our prayers are with Peg, their family, and all who loved Ron.”

I am deeply saddened to share with you that Dr. Ron Juffer, professor emeritus of education, died today at the age of 84. We mourn with his beloved wife, Peg; their two daughters, Julie and Jane; and many other loved ones.

After teaching for several years in Akron and his hometown of Sioux Center, Ron joined our education faculty in 1967. While teaching, he served as head baseball coach for 17 years and men’s basketball coach for two. In 1990, he received the Northwestern Teaching Excellence Award. He retired from full-time work in 2002 but continued in a part-time role teaching courses and supervising student teacher placement and licensure until 2014. Ron came into the office nearly every day for years after “officially” retiring, attending chapel regularly. He faithfully emailed an education department newsletter to about 1,500 alumni on a monthly basis. Even this past summer when he was placed on hospice care, he continued to work on the newsletter and used his walker to come to campus and attend chapel!

Ron received the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service to Northwestern Award in 2008, and the Juffer Athletic Fieldhouse was dedicated in honor of him and Peg in 2015.

Ron was known for rarely forgetting a face, name, hometown, or other details that enabled him to warmly greet nearly every student he taught even numerous years after they graduated. He was an encourager, quick to send an email of appreciation for others’ work. And his left-handed running hook shot was legendary, impressing hundreds of students and community members during 1-on-1 basketball games and H-O-R-S-E contests in the RSC over the years. He obviously loved Northwestern, and so many in our community loved him for his friendliness, humility, sense of humor, authenticity, and strong faith. He certainly stood out!

Funeral arrangements are with Oolman Funeral Home,