Cover photo for Ronald Lee "Ron" Kort's Obituary
Ronald Lee "Ron" Kort Profile Photo

Ronald Lee "Ron" Kort

April 2, 1942 — May 28, 2023

Hastings

Ronald Lee "Ron" Kort

Hastings resident, Ronald Lee “Ron” Kort, 81, passed away Sunday, May 28, 2023, at The Kensington in Hastings, NE. 

 

Memorial Services will be 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 1, at Faith Lutheran Church in Hastings with Pastor Paul Dunbar officiating. A private burial will be scheduled at a later date. A book signing will be 8 a.m. – 4: 30 p.m. Wednesday, May 31, at the funeral home, and one hour before the service at the church. Memorials may be given to the family for a memorial to be established at a later date. The service will be live-streamed on Livingston Butler Volland Funeral Home’s website. To view the service, go to Ron’s obituary and click the play button shown towards the bottom of the page.

 

Ronald Lee was born April 2, 1942, to Leon and Helen (Householder) Kort in Minden, NE. The young family later moved to a farm east of Blue Hill where Ron and his two younger brothers grew up, attended the Trinity Lutheran Parochial Grade School, and then graduated from Blue Hill High School. He received a BA degree from Kearney State College and later received a Masters Degree in English Curriculum Development from the University of Nebraska. Ron married Betty Karr at Trinity Lutheran Church in Blue Hill, NE, in December of 1962 and they became the parents of three children, Scott (deceased), Julie, and Amy. 

 

Ron taught English at Hastings Senior High School for 40 years. He was named Hastings Public Schools Teacher of the Year in 2005. Though soft spoken, Ron rose naturally to leadership positions. During his own high school years, he was a member of the Blue Hill football team which lost only two games in the four years that he quarterbacked the team. His classmates voted him football king, prom king, and he served as president of his class. As an adult, he was a popular adult Bible study teacher at Faith Lutheran Church where he also delivered numerous sermons over the years when various ministers were absent. He served on the church board and as chair of the congregation. He also successfully “quarterbacked” the English Department at Hastings High School for 38 years. He served as president of the local Hastings Education Association and was on the negotiating team for several years. 

 

Ron’s leadership style was based primarily on being a good listener and he prided himself on his ability to build consensus among those he led as a means of moving the entire team or group forward. He practiced the same techniques within the classroom. He not only spoke to his students, but he also listened to them and respected their thoughts and ideas. Those who knew him best enjoyed his sense of humor. He loved to quote Mark Twain’s humorous passages both in and out of the classroom and his giggle was infectious. On the serious side, he was slow to give advice but those around him listened when he did speak—his thinking ran deep and his words were respected. 

 

Because Alzheimer’s is prevalent in his family background, he carefully prepared himself as his voice slowly quieted and he finally succumbed to this dreaded disease. Left to cherish memories of him at his finest are his wife of sixty years, Betty Kort; two daughters, Julie Wall (Robert Wall) of Frisco, TX and Amy Kort (George Smaragdis) of Arlington, VA; two brothers, Roger Kort of Colorado Springs, CO and Rick Kort (Barbara) of Lincoln, NE; and five beloved grandchildren, Nicholas, Zoey, and Sophia Wall and John and Andrew Smaragdis.

 

Ron enjoyed many successes during his lifetime, but he would want his legacy to be that of a classroom teacher. He was offered several promotions during his teaching career, but he deliberately chose to remain a classroom teacher because he felt that the classroom was the most important part of any educational experience. His former students would have agreed. Over the years, those many students again and again proclaimed Mr. Kort as their favorite high school teacher and that will surely remain Mr. Kort’s true legacy.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ronald Lee "Ron" Kort, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Book Signing

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

8:00am - 4:30pm (Central time)

Livingston Butler Volland Funeral Home & Cremation Center

1225 N. Elm Street, Hastings, NE 68901

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Book Signing

Thursday, June 1, 2023

12:30 - 1:30pm (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Thursday, June 1, 2023

1:30 - 2:30pm (Central time)

Livestream

Click to watch

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