Ronald J. Corcoran


On April 13, 2024, Ronald James Corcoran passed away, surrounded by family and dear friends, after a year-long battle with cancer.

Ronald was born February 25, 1948, to Donald and Myrtle (Walters) Corcoran of Ettrick. The youngest son of the seven Corcoran kids, and by all accounts the naughtiest, he was always teasing and getting a laugh.

Ronald graduated from G-E-T High School and was drafted for the Vietnam War in 1968. He attended U.S. Army basic training at Fort Campbell, KY. He was then stationed near Cam Rahn Bay, Vietnam, with the 1st Calvary/7th Infantry. On December 23, 1968, Ronald was severely burned in a mortar explosion that occurred during a battle. He was soon airlifted to the 106th Army General Hospital in Yokohama, Japan, where he was treated at the burn center. When he was healthy enough, he finished out his tour in Fort Collins, CO.

A master of wit and humor, these qualities captivated a beautiful blond woman named Bonnie L. Larsen upon his return to Ettrick. They were united in marriage, September 8, 1973, at St. Bridget’s Catholic Church in Ettrick. They went on to have two children, Chad who was born in 1974, and tragically passed away in a house fire in 2002, and a daughter, Annie, born in 1977. They raised a great number of foster kids throughout the years, but only one became their daughter, Rosa Briggs. Beyond their natural born and foster children, Ronald created safety, comfort and dependability to many children that he mentored and cared for over the years. He was strong enough to be kind.

In 1975, Ronald and Bonnie purchased a farm in Galesville. Ronald’s creativity and skill can be found in all areas of the farm with his landscaping, remodeling and little bits of whimsy scattered around the farm. In June 1975, Ronald attended Western Wisconsin Technical Institute for Police Basic Training. He was hired by the Trempealeau County Sheriff’s Department, and had a respected 27-year career as a deputy and detective from 1975 – 2001. Utilizing his ability to talk to anyone, his calm demeanor and genuine interest in people, he became a well-known interviewer in the law enforcement community.

When not on duty, he could be found working on the farm, exploring the woods, on the fast-pitch softball field, volleyball court or in his recliner reading the newspaper. He spent his retirement doing exactly what he wanted to do every day. Coffee with friends at the local gas station was a daily event. To continue to reinforce his love of people, this interaction allowed for him to laugh with and entertain all that entered the store. Ronald had dear friends from ages 8 to 80 years old, taking a genuine interest in them all.

A lifetime lover of rusty and broken things, he could see the potential and beauty in the item. He battled severe injury, heartache, loss and exposure to the worst in people through war and law enforcement, he knew that patina brought out the beauty of life. If you saw that smirk from behind that Fu-Manchu mustache, you knew you were going to laugh. Leaving an impression was one of his greatest skills. Ronald was a warm and loving father, dedicated and loving husband, caring brother and dear friend to many. He will be greatly missed by all that knew and loved him. 60 to County, 10-42.

Ronald is survived by his daughters: Annie (Ryan Stuteville) and Rosa Briggs (Dan Briggs); and many loving relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife of 48 years, Bonnie Corcoran; his son, Chad; parents, Donald and Myrtle Corcoran; In-laws: Arthur and Anna Larsen; brothers: John and Richard; and sister, Patricia.

A graveside service will be held Saturday, May 11, 2024, at 1:00 p.m., at St. Bridget’s Catholic Cemetery in Ettrick. A celebration of Ronald’s life will be held that same day, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at Tenba Ridge Winery (Copper Ridge Event Center), in Blair. A luncheon will be served at the event center.

If you wish to honor Ronald, donations can be made to the Trempealeau County Department of Human Services, P.O. Box 67 (in the memo line, write “donation for foster care program”) or a Veteran’s charity of your choosing in his name.

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