Nebraska Game and Parks Commissioner Ron Stave was happiest when he was with family or on a hunting trip, his wife said Sunday.
The Waterloo, Neb., resident and 1972 graduate of the Creighton Law School liked nothing better than to dote on his 11 grandchildren, said his wife, Kristy Stave. He also reveled in being appointed to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission by Gov. Heineman in 2007 and in being reappointed in 2012 when he served a one-year term as chairman of the board.
In his first term on the board, Stave was part of the effort to privatize the lodge restaurant at Mahoney State Park. He was also involved in efforts to bring more hunters and anglers to Nebraska.
“He loved the outdoors, but he was also a wonderful grandpa. And he absolutely loved the grandkids and babysitting,” Kristy Stave said. “If I had something that needed to be done, he was just fine with having the kids all to himself.”
Ron Stave, who was 69, died Thanksgiving Day at the Nebraska Heart Hospital in Lincoln following a series of illnesses. A funeral service will be held at Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Pacific Hills Lutheran Church, 1110 S. 90 St.
Stave's wife said her husband graduated in 1962 from Westside High School, where he played football and baseball. He attended the University of Omaha on a football scholarship, earning first-team all-conference honors and graduating in 1966.
A private practice attorney for 35 years, Stave was noted for writing a successful appellate brief in the United States Supreme Court case of Owen Equipment & Erection v. Kroger. His wife called the victory the highlight of Stave's law career.
An avid outdoorsman, Stave had “a great passion” for hunting and fishing. His wife said he especially enjoyed three hunting trips to Africa.
“Ron had a great sense of humor,” his wife said. “He was really a kind, good person that always put other people first. He was also a very loyal friend and had a great group of guys he loved to share the outdoors with.”
In addition to his wife, Stave is survived by his mother, Bernice Stave, and a sister, Linda Hanson of Sioux Falls S.D.; daughter, Lora Salem of Manhattan, Kan; son, Doug Stave of Omaha; stepdaughter, Shawn Bonge of Omaha; and stepson, Matt Wolff of Minneapolis.