Cover photo for Ronald D. Picht's Obituary
Ronald D. Picht Profile Photo
1949 Ron Picht 2024

Ronald D. Picht

April 17, 1949 — March 1, 2024

Rockford

Ronald Dean Picht (Ron) of Rockford, IL, peacefully left this life on March 1, 2024. He was in his home with his loving family and wife Jane of 53 years at his bedside. After bravely battling cancer for the past five months with more stubbornness and toughness than many. He had endless, loving care from his loving wife, Jane (Dickason), four children (Tara, Adam, Ben and Kate) and Mercy Health Hospice.  

Ron was born April 17, 1949, in Fort Dodge Iowa, to Bertis (Bert) Picht and Shirley (Elliott) Picht.  The small family moved to Webster City, Iowa. They moved to the Elliott family farm to begin their life farming. Ron was the oldest and had two sisters Vicki (Carden) and Jane (Powell).  His childhood as a farm kid in the 50's included, helping on the farm, running around barefoot, riding horses with his cousin Jeri, raising animals for 4-H projects to compete at the county fair, and camping. Ron's love of nature/the environment continued throughout his life. 

 At a very young age, Ron displayed some unique characteristics for the time. Ron loved to take things apart, figure out how they worked and put them back together. His intellect and talent to be an engineer was clear. He and his friends even built a hydroplane that was put on a pond near them. He also built a bicycle with a motor and drove it down the dirt farm roads.

Ron and Jane started dating in 1967 and Ron graduated from Webster City High School the same year. Ron went on to Iowa State University, one of the best engineering schools, He graduated from Iowa State in Chemical Engineering and married Jane, his high school sweetheart, at the beginning of his senior year- May 8, 1970. After graduating from Iowa State, Ron landed a job at Illinois Water Treatment in Rockford, IL. This is where Ron and Jane planted their roots, bought a home, and had 4 children: Tara (Bob O'Meara), Adam (Katherine Krupa Picht), Benjamin Picht, Kate (Jordan Gustman). They now have 9 grandchildren: Emily O'Meara, Sadie O'Meara, Michael O'Meara, James O'Meara, Lukas Picht, Dominik Picht, Julia Picht, Clara Gustman, and Lucy Gustman.

Ron had a very long career in chemical engineering, specializing in water purification and treatment. He traveled all over the world working in manufacturing plants for all kinds of businesses that needed to filter water, or corn syrup. Ron went to Egypt, Korea, China, Bahamas, Germany, England, Brazil, Turkey, Belgium and many more. He was the Chief Process Design Engineer. In the late 80's he left IWT to start a company with a group of co-workers, Environmental Dynamics Corporation.  A co-worker and partner, John Mylin, said of Ron, "He built what he said would work before we even bid the job...Never had a job that Ron didn't over perform on. He was exceptional." Ron invented a water purification system called Adsep that he is on the patent for at IWT. He also invented the SMB (simulated moving bed system) for purifying corn sugars that he further improved to be the SSMB later. His last accolade was designing a Manure Separation Purification Process. It processes and purifies millions of gallons of manure on really large farms. The one he designed it for had 6,000 head of cattle and ran perfectly. Everyone said it couldn't be done and it wouldn't work, but it is still a running system to date. It has yet to be published in books or papers. Ron presented his research findings in literary publications and Water Treatment Conferences.

Ron is remembered for his love of being outside in nature, whether it be his front yard, a beach, paddling on a canal, a forest, or pond. He passed this on to his kids doing fishing and camping trips as a family. The fondest memories are of visiting his parents' second home in the mountains of Clinton, Arkansas. When he retired in 2020, Ron enjoyed winters with Jane at their second home in Bonita Springs, FL.

Ron loved his family, even if he wasn't a man of many flowery words. He showed his love in his actions, by always being present for important times with his wife, kids, and grandkids. He taught his kids to do things for other people because it was the right thing to do. He was a very humble man and did not like recognition for his kindness. He showed quiet concern in times of trouble. He was known for fixing everything under the sun, household appliances, vehicles, and a rescuer in times of crisis. He taught his kids the value of a good work ethic and being dependable. 

Ron was preceded in death by his parents Bert and Shirley Picht, Mother and Father-in-law Susan and Ralph Dickason, Sister Vicki (Picht) Carden. Brothers-in-law James and Joe Dickason, and Son-in-law Bob O'Meara.

A visitation for Ron will take place on Friday, March 8, 2024, from 9:00 a.m. until the time of Funeral Mass, 11:00 a.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church, 4401 Highcrest Road, Rockford, Illinois 61107. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Jude's children hospital or a cancer research organization of your choice. To send online condolences or share memories, please visit www.fitzgeraldfh.com 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ronald D. Picht, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, March 8, 2024

9:00 - 11:00 am (Central (no DST) time)

Holy Family Catholic Church

4401 Highcrest Road, Rockford, IL 61107

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass

Friday, March 8, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central (no DST) time)

Holy Family Catholic Church

4401 Highcrest Road, Rockford, IL 61107

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Visits: 803

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree