Ronald Lee Eslinger Obituary

Ronald Lee  Eslinger
Ronald Eslinger
Ronald Lee Eslinger

January 16, 1943 - April 17, 2022
Born in Huron, South Dakota
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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Ronald L. Eslinger, 79, died April 17, 2022 with his family by his side in Des Moines, IA. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 7 at 2 p.m. at Plymouth Congregational UCC in Des Moines. A visitation will begin at 12:30 p.m., and a reception will follow the service.

Born in 1943 in Huron, SD to Clara (Zwicker) Eslinger and Edward Eslinger, Ron graduated from high school in Laurel, Montana and then from Yankton College in Yankton, SD. He attended divinity school at the University of Chicago, earning his Doctorate of Divinity. While in Chicago, he met Stephanie (Steininger) Eslinger, to whom he was married for 44 years, until her death in 2013.

Ron was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 1969 and worked the next forty years in service to parishioners, congregations, and communities at many levels, first in New York, then on to Michigan, Kansas, Oklahoma, Illinois, and Iowa. Throughout his ministry and continuing after his retirement from a role as Associate Conference Minister for the Iowa Conference of the UCC in 2009, Ron worked to manifest racial and social justice and to encourage stewardship for creation. In retirement, he also enjoyed and found peace in time spent with his friend, Jean Stuit. Together, they were active in their church and engaged in climate action advocacy work and other humanitarian efforts. He also continued to spend time reading and studying topics of interest, going for long walks and bike rides, and visiting family.

Ron is survived by his children, Evan Eslinger (Carrie Robertson) and Elise Eslinger (Don Perkins); by a brother, Gerald Eslinger (Carolyn Eslinger), and sister, Janet (Eslinger) Graham; and by three grandchildren (Addison, Mackenzie, and Zachary Perkins) and ten nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations honoring and celebrating Ron’s life and memory may be made to the Plymouth Church Foundation, 4126 Ingersoll Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312, or to Iowa Interfaith Power and Light (, 505 5th Ave. Suite 333, Des Moines, IA 50309. Online Condolences will be welcomed at





Memorial Visitation
Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ
4126 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312
Saturday, May 7, 2022
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Memorial Service


Plymouth Church Foundation
4126 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50312
Iowa Interfaith Power and Light
505 5th Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa USA 50309