Ronald Norman Bessemer, 84


Ronald Norman Bessemer, 84, died on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021 in Hillsboro after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. 

Visitation will be held Saturday, Oct. 23, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church in Mt. Olive.  An additional memorial visitation will be held Saturday, Nov. 6, from 2:00 until 4:30 p.m., the start of the funeral service, which all takes place at Ahlgrim & Sons Funeral and Cremation Services, 330 West Golf Road in Schaumburg, IL.  

He was born in rural Palatine on Aug. 16, 1937, the son of Gottlieb and Ilona Marcus Bessemer and graduated from Palatine High School in 1955. He served in the United States Army from 1957 to 1960 at which time he wrestled on the All-Army Europe Wrestling Team. He graduated from Illinois State University in 1966 and received his master’s degree in 1967 while coaching the ISU wrestling team. 

Ron served as the first wrestling coach at Harper College in Palatine and was well known in the wrestling community for his dedication to the sport. He coached at Harper from 1968-1974 before moving to the St. Louis area and then on to Everett, Washington where he served as a teacher, administrator, and coach for many years, returning to Illinois to officiate at the Midlands Wrestling Tournament annually before retiring to Mt. Olive, where he continued to coach. He was inducted into the Illinois Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2007. 

He is survived by his wife, Arlas King of Mt. Olive, and was the much-loved father of three sons, Matthew of Gaastra, Michigan, Steven (Astrid Itgen) of Schaumburg, and Bradley (Mary Beth Clisham) of Carpentersville; one daughter, Laura of Schaumburg; and two step-sons, Matthew Ballard of Pueblo, Colorado and Timothy Boyd Ballard of Mt. Vernon.   

He is also survived by five grandchildren, Gabriel Kahsen-Bessemer of St. Louis, Madeline and Elise Bessemer of Carpentersville, Calandra and Trinity Bessemer of Schaumburg; one great-grandson, Finn Kahsen, and three step-grandchildren, Hayley,  Hayden, and Genevieve Ballard.  He is survived by one brother, Eric Bessemer (Mary Steiner) of Euless,Texas. 

Mr. Bessemer was preceded in death by his father Gottlieb, his mother Ilona, his brother Roy Bessemer of Palatine, his sister Brunhilde (Bunny) Bessemer Folkman and brother-in-law Vance Folkman of Mt. Prospect. 

Following his wishes, Mr. Bessemer was cremated.  To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mr. Bessemer, go to


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