Ronald McClain passed away April 11, 2021.
Thursday, April 22, 2021
10am - 5pm (3pm - 5pm with family present)
3:30pm - Elks Lodge Service
Henderson's Highland Park Funeral Home
3500 6th Ave. - Des Moines, Iowa 50313
Celebration of Life
Friday, April 23, 2021
(Elks members in full regalia)
Private Family Service (Will be live streamed on our Facebook Page, Like and follow to view services.)
*CDC guidelines will be followed with masks required during the Visitation and Celebration of Life Service. Social Distancing will strongly be encouraged.
*This service will be made available via Facebook Live on the Henderson's Highland Park Funeral Home's Facebook page (@hendersonsfuneralhome) on Friday, April 23, 2021 beginning at 11am. Please "Like" or "Follow" our page for access.
Ronald McClain was born in Des Moines, Iowa to James and Ardell McClain; he graduated from Des Moines Technical High School and took classes at Drake University and the University of Wisconsin. He then graduated from Barber School and worked for Al (Hinky) Brewer. Following family tradition, Ron was a member of Union Baptist Church at an early age. He left for a brief period and in his later years, returned and joined the Senior Usher Board.
Ron began working for Rock Island Motor Freight in 1968, which began his Teamsters Union affiliation. From Rock Island he went to Super Value Warehouse in 1972 and became a shop steward in 1974.
Ron became the first minority in Iowa to be elected to the General Executive Board of Teamsters Local Union 147 as Vice President/Business Agent. He was elected President of Teamsters Local 147 in 1996 and Secretary-Treasurer of the Iowa Conference of Teamsters, in that position he was the Freight and Warehouse Director representing 15,000 Teamsters.
In 1998, Ron, the first and only person from the state of Iowa to be elected to the General Executive Board of the International Trustee, representing 1.4 million members.
He served on the United Way Board of Directors as a liaison officer to the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Organization; served on the National Board of Directors of Alcohol and Other Drugs Dependencies. Ron served as a housing organizer for Des Moines Model Cities Consumer Education and Protection Agency. He served as an advisor to the Human Rights Commission for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. He was a member of the Teamsters National Black Caucus for 17 years.
As a member of Hawkeye Elks Lodge #160, he served as Exalted Ruler and earned his past Grand Exalted Ruler degree. He was an original member of the Soul Brothers blues band and in 2001, was inducted into the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame. He sang with the True Friends and Mighty Revelators spiritual groups, was a member and officer of the Road Runners Bowling Guild, and was an honorary member of the Royal Dukes and a member of the Masons.
On April 11, 2021, Ronald stepped from time into eternity.
Preceding him in death are his parents, James McClain and Ardell Parker; step-father, Evans Parker Sr.; son, Ronald McClain Jr.; brothers, Donald and Norman McClain.
Left to Cherish his memory are his wife, Judy (Rhone) McClain; former wife, Wanda Ashby, children, Vern (Melinda) McClain, Kim Eaves, Tina (John) Williams, Tresa (Rev. James) Ransom; siblings, Lela (Ed) Henderson, Margo (Gary) Corsey, Don (Arlean) Williams, Deborah Brown, Evans (Denise) Parker Jr., Evanette (John Smith) Parker, Teena (Adolphus) Edwards, Harry (Collen) Parker, Keith Parker as well as a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces, extended family and close friends and his dog, Harley.