Ronald Michael Iverson was born Jan. 29, 1948, the second son of Kenneth and Elsie (Mickelson) Iverson, in Williston, North Dakota. The family moved to Glasgow, where Ron attended school and graduated in 1966. Ron always wanted to earn extra money and had his first job setting bowling pins at 9 years of age, with other jobs to follow.
He attended University of Montana in Missoula for a year before transferring to Eastern Montana College in Billings. It was then that he decided to continue his education at Schiller College in Heidelberg, Germany. He arrived in Germany with $10 in his pocket, sure that he could land a suitable part-time job using his high school German. Unfortunately, that was not the case, and his job turned out to be washing dishes at an American Army base. Having no money for a car, he commuted to his job on a series of broken-down bicycles, and was always convinced this was one of the best times of his life. The highlight of his day was gathering a few pfennigs together to get a beer at a local pub.
At Schiller a fellow student introduced Ron to a friend in the insurance business. The man was in management at American International Group and became Ron’s boss and mentor. Ron was a born salesman and at 21 became AIG’s youngest department head in the newly emerging travel insurance field. He made many good friends at AIG, became fluent in German, and absorbed the German culture which he loved.
At EMC he met Carley Zimmer and they began a romance which would continue in Germany when Carley traveled to visit. The two married in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1974. Ron always loved motorcycles while growing up, and he purchased a BSA bike from an American soldier. Many miles were spent on the bike exploring Europe.
In 1975 Ron was transferred by AIG to the New York home office to start a travel insurance department there. The home office did not hold the same interest for him, and in 1976 he started his own travel insurance agency in New Jersey and later in Ontario, Canada. With the business established, Ron and Carley set about looking for a more favorable location. After a trip to Northwest Montana they decided on Kalispell, and in 1984 moved the New Jersey office, traveling cross country with two cats to set up shop in their new home.
In the Flathead, Ron enjoyed snowmobiling, skiing and ice fishing like a true Norwegian, only tolerating the summers. Ron and Carley retired in 2013 after 37 years in the business.
He was predeceased by his parents and a succession of beloved cats.
Ron is survived by Carley, his wife of 45 years, and his brother, Gregory, of Wisconsin and United Arab Republic, and his wife Hong-Im.
No services are planned as per his wishes.
As a true animal lover, he would appreciate gifts to the Northwest Montana Humane Society.
Friends are encouraged to visit the website www.buffalohillfh.com to leave notes of condolence for the family. Buffalo Hill Funeral Home and Crematory is caring for the family.