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610 S. Duncan St.
Stillwater, OK 74074
Phone: (405) 372-5550
Fax: (405) 372-5608
Ronald Petrin

Ronald Arthur Petrin

Wednesday April 5, 1950 - Wednesday November 25, 2020
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Ronald Arthur Petrin was born April 5, 1950 in Fall River, MA. He died Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at his home in Stillwater. Ron was the first child of George and Marie Petrin. He attended local parochial elementary and high schools, and graduated Summa cum Laude from Southeastern Massachusetts Teachers College. He earned a master’s degree in History from the University of Rhode Island and a PhD in History from Clark University in Worcester, MA.

Ron moved to Oklahoma to teach at Oklahoma State University in 1985. He was an award-winning professor, who taught a generation of undergraduates about the intricacies of American History and shepherded many graduate students through the treacherous transition from student to practicing, employed professional. Ron served as department chair as well as on the faculty council and other university committees. He was the faculty advisor for OSU’s branch of PHI ALPHA THETA. He was active in the Southwestern Social Science Association.

As an avid gardener, Ron looked forward to spending time cultivating flowers and vegetables each summer. He also spent time traveling and teaching his sons about life and history each summer. Ron had a great heart, a fine intellect, and a wicked sense of humor.

Ron is survived by his wife of 39 years, Liz Petrin and by his family, Daniel and Angela Petrin of Warwick, RI as well as Michael and Christopher Petrin of Stillwater, OK. Ron is also survived by his sisters, Diane and Clare and his brother, Roger.

A funeral mass will take place at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Stillwater, OK at 2pm on Saturday December 5, 2020. The family is concerned about the spread of COVID 19 and wants all to know that this mass can be livestreamed by going to

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Stillwater Medical Foundation, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, or the American Cancer Society.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, December 4th, 2020 | 7:00pm - 8:00pm
    Friday, December 4th, 2020 7:00pm - 8:00pm
    Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church
    711 N. Country Club Road
    Stillwater, OK 74074
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, December 5th, 2020 | 2:00pm
    Saturday, December 5th, 2020 2:00pm
    Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church
    711 N. Country Club Road
    Stillwater, OK 74074
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Ryoko Okamura, Jim and Kathy Huston, and other have sent flowers to the family of Ronald Arthur Petrin.
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Jack Archer

Posted at 03:54pm
Ron and I were good friends when we were both in the M.A. program in History at the University of Rhode Island. We'd long lost touch, as we went in different directions in the country and our careers. By chance, or maybe not by chance, a book I was reading made me think of him a few nights ago. looked him up on the net, and saw the dreadful news. I am so, so sorry. I miss him, after all these years. I have good memories of our conversations about history and so much else. My deepest sympathies to Liz, whom I do remember from Worcester, to his children, and to his friends and colleagues.

Jen Wallace

Posted at 06:08pm
I am so sorry to hear of Dr. Petrin’s passing. He was such a wonderful supporter and support system during my time at OSU. He was one of a kind.

Joseph F. Byrnes

Posted at 01:37pm
Sending condolences to the Petrin family and commemorating Ron. . . . Colleagues and students remember that he was unsurpassed as a mentor. Often profs seem to find what is wrong with a students' work, whereas Ron would first of all zero in on what is right, working tirelessly to make sure that students were ultimately at their best. What he accomplished was salvific for so many. May his memory be eternal.
Joe Byrnes

James O'Donnell

Posted at 06:05pm
Most history professors I have known share the trait of relating dramatic events
without much drama - straight forward, direct - history and no histrionics --
Knew Ronnie, not so much as the great Professor he was, but as the Master Chef
of Fall River Summer Outings - great food, little drama, much fun, great family
miss him and it - sorry for your loss Daniel, Michael, and Christopher - Diane,
Claire and Roger - all of you are in my thoughts in these days of loss

James O'D

Ippei Okamura

Posted at 08:33pm
Dr. Petrin was like my father figure in U.S., and he took care of me like one of his sons. I will forever be grateful for the encouragement and support he gave me and remember his warm smiles and big heart. My deepest condolence to his family.

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