Editor’s note: This story is part of a series about Oklahomans who have died in the coronavirus pandemic. Read the stories of other Oklahomans here. Have you lost a loved one to COVID-19? Help us tell their story.
In his years working at the Midwest City Police Department and later as a mailman for Mid-Del Public Schools, Ronald “Ron” Dale Sipes never met a stranger.
“Ron loved everyone,” his wife Margaret Ann Sipes said. “He made a friend everywhere. He would go on vacation and by the time we could get to a restaurant, he would talk to the waitstaff and know their whole family history by the time we left there.”
Sipes was an officer and detective at the Midwest City Police Department for 31 years before he retired.
“He loved helping people and just the feeling of helping people. I guess it was a calling,” his wife said.
Sipes died on Dec. 4, 2020, from complications of COVID-19. He was 68.
While he was in the hospital, Margaret “Ann” Sipes wasn’t able to see her husband because of coronavirus precautions, she said. But hospital employees allowed her to enter his room and say goodbye to him near the end of his life.
“I thought he would come home,” she said.
He died just two days before their 46th wedding anniversary.
The couple had been dating for six weeks before Sipes asked Margaret “Ann” Sipes to marry him. They got married on Dec. 6, 1974, and raised two sons together.
Sipes was born on Oct. 17, 1952, in Oklahoma City. He graduated from Midwest City High School in 1971.
During his time at the Midwest City Police Department, Sipes was part of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area Economic Crime Task Force and was the lieutenant governor of the Texas Oklahoma Kiwanis.
He was also an avid baker.
He loved to make pancakes for the annual Kiwanis pancake breakfasts and had his own recipe. For the people he loved, he made special pancakes, adding pecans and other toppings.
“He basically was the king of the pancake breakfast for the Midwest City Kiwanis,” Margaret Ann Sipes said.
While he was a mailman for Mid-Del Public Schools, he delivered homemade miniature cheesecakes and pecan pies to school staff for Christmas and Thanksgiving. In return, school secretaries left out sugar-free candy for Sipes. He retired in 2010 after five years.
His family has yet to hold a memorial service because of the pandemic, his wife said. They hope to have a gathering in the next few months to celebrate his life.
“He was a great guy, and we had a fun marriage,” she said.
Sipes is survived by his wife; his sons Trevor Sipes of Moore and Jordan Sipes of Oklahoma City; brothers Art Sipes; four grandchildren and nieces and nephews.