Ronald Althouse

Obituary of Ronald Clement Althouse

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Ronald Clement Althouse, 88, passed away on Monday, April 22, 2024, at his home in Morgantown. Son of the late Henry and Muriel Althouse, Ron was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on April 27, 1935. Throughout his life, Ron was a music lover. In his teens, Ron studied trumpet at the Curtis Institute of Music and was a regular trumpeter in the eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey jazz circuit. Later in life, with his playing reduced to rare Friday afternoon impromptu sessions, he became a full-time music aficionado with tastes encompassing an eclectic range of genres and musicians from bebop jazz to Shostakovich to Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Band. Following his graduation from Allen High School, Ron enlisted in the U.S. Army and began serving in 1954. While stationed at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, he achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant in the Army Security Agency and was honorably discharged in 1956. During Ron's time in the Boston area, he met Rochelle Brenner, and the two married in July 1957. Soon after, they moved to State College, Pennsylvania, where Ron began his undergraduate studies at Penn State. After graduation from PSU, he entered the doctoral program in Sociology at the University of Minnesota, where he ultimately received his Ph.D. under the guidance of Don Martindale. After a short stint teaching at Moorhead (MN) State, in 1966, Ron accepted a faculty position in Sociology at WVU, and remained there until his retirement in 2012. During more than four decades at WVU, Ron held the department chair, directed the Survey Research Center, taught courses on sociological theory, published numerous works on coal mining safety and racism in college sports, and was active in the West Virginia Alpha chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Lastly, Ron genuinely enjoyed conversation. He was equally comfortable discussing institutional inequality, medieval French history, current politics, or WVU and Steelers football. He particularly liked talking about his grandchildren. Ron is survived by Rochelle, his wife of 66 years, two sons, Mark Althouse of Champaign, Illinois, and Aaron Althouse of Portland, Oregon, as well as daughters-in-law Anna Mehl and Diana Cruz, and grandchildren Mateo, Dara, and Lia. He was preceded in death by his aforementioned parents and his brother, H. Clair Althouse, of Sunnyvale, California. The Althouse family would like to extend a special thanks to WVU Medicine Hospice for their support and care at the end of Ron's life. A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Ron Althouse Honorary Scholarship (WVU Foundation Fund 3Z461,!/donation/checkout). Hastings Funeral Home has been entrusted with cremation arrangements and condolences may be made to the family online at
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Ronald Althouse

In Loving Memory

Ronald Althouse

1935 - 2024

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