Ronald F. “Ron” “Duke” Darga, age 82, passed away surrounded by family on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at his home. He was born on July 2, 1937 in Menominee, MI, the son of Anthony and Margaret (McCue) Darga. Ron grew up in Beaver, WI and graduated from New Lisbon High School. He proudly served in the United States Air Force and was stationed for three years at Pepperrell Air Force Base in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. Ron was united in marriage to Audrey Haske on October 20, 1956 in New Lisbon, WI. After leaving the service he and his family moved to the Madison area where he began his career as a computer programmer, which led to his life-long career in banking.
Ron was the epitome of a self made man. He used the difficulties of his early childhood, including the untimely deaths of both parents, as motivation his entire life. He was greatly aided in his early development by the loving relationship he had with his aunt and uncle, Erdmond and Catherine Smith of New Lisbon. Meeting and marrying the love of his life, Audrey, was the next and most important step on his way to a complete and remarkable life.
Nothing was more important to Ron than family. His interests and experiences were wide and varied. He loved to travel and enjoyed many trips with his loving wife, including China, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and all over North America. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, golf and was an avid fan of the Badgers, Packers and Brewers. Ron was also a licensed pilot and proud to own and operate his Cessna 206 airplane. The common thread in all of his interests was his desire to involve his family. His greatest joy was in sharing all of these experiences with those that he loved.
After serving his country in the Air Force Ron began his career as a computer operator with WPS in Madison. He began his over 50 year Banking career with the Bank of Madison in 1966. Ron was a correspondent banker for the Bank of Madison and traveled Wisconsin for several years meeting with bankers making many lifetime friends and contacts. In 1973 Ron became the 1st President of Affiliated Bank in Madison. After a successful run building the Jamestown Bank in 1980 he left to start a career as a consultant for the banking industry. Ron was retained by the FDIC often to help problem banks throughout the midwest and was extremely successful in making them quality institutions. He also was very active in getting buyers & sellers together to purchase banks. In 1989 Ron founded Royal Bancshares, Inc., parent company of Royal Bank. Royal Bancshares Inc. began with 3 banking locations and has grown to 19 locations in South Central & Southwest WI. He was Chairman of the Board from 1989 until his passing.
Ron is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Audrey; his children: Greg (Connie) Darga, Diane (Mike) Homman, Jeff (Cathy) Darga and Rich (Stacy) Darga; grandchildren, Patty (Tyler) Heinzmann, Bruce (Cassie) Perkins, Pam (Kory) Wallisch, Tessa Darga, Addie Darga, Melanie (Dr. Mike) Giammarco, Nikki Darga, Jake Darga and Sam Darga; great-grandchildren, Ava, Andy, Jacey, Myles, Colton, Libby and Faith; sisters, Aileen Rysewyk and Patty Engelbart; sisters-in-law, Velma Tadych, Doris Quist and Nancy Koson; brother-in-law, Richard (Kathy) Haske; and also many other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Jim Darga and his beloved aunt and uncle, Erdmond and Catherine Smith.
A celebration of life will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 on Saturday, August 3, 2019 at 5th Quarter Sports Bar & Grill, 161 Horizon Dr, Verona, WI. A private family interment will be held at Verona Cemetery.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to the staff at St. Mary’s Care Center and Agrace HospiceCare.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Ducks Unlimited or Agrace Hospice Care, Inc.
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