Ronald Charles Breckner, age 82, of Prior Lake, MN passed away peacefully on May 19, 2020, in Scottsdale, AZ.
On May 26, 1937, in Hastings, Minnesota, Ronald Charles was born to Albert and Mary Breckner. He grew up in Hastings with siblings Joe and Jim. It was there in kindergarten that Ron first met the love of his life, Judy Claflin. The two attended their senior prom together and went on to marry, spending 62 years together. They raised four children: Jane, Paul, Bill, and Bob.
In high school Ron was captain of the debate team and was President of the Hastings High School Class of 1955. Both experiences served him well later in life. He joined the Minnesota National Guard at the age of 17.
After graduating from the University of Minnesota-School of Business in 1959, Ron had several jobs before he was hired in 1962 as a salesman with IBM. After graduating near top of his class from Army OCS in Ft. Benning, Georgia, he attained Top Secret Security clearances, was an IBM team member at Strategic Air Command (SAC) headquarters, and Offutt Air Force base in Omaha, Nebraska. Ron continued his success by becoming the youngest Branch Manager, within all of IBM, when he assumed that role at the St Louis branch of IBM.
After several transfers around the country, Ron decided he wanted to return home to Minnesota. Ron and Judy founded Data Sales Company in 1973, working at first out of the basement of their house in Burnsville. It started a path that lead Ron to combine the two passions of his life: family and work. He welcomed all four of his children into the business, along with his brothers, several nephews, grandchildren and many wonderful employees.
Data Sales Co. grew from those humble beginnings into a diversified computer reseller, including leasing, refurbished used equipment, new technology, spare parts, transportation and non-leasing finance, with offices in Burnsville, Minnesota, Scottsdale, Arizona, Toronto, Canada, and Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Ron was an industry leader within the burgeoning computer industry and was a founding member and President of the Computer Dealer and Lessor Association, and later served on its Board of Directors for 20 years. Ron was inducted into the American Society of Computer Dealers International Hall of Fame in 2007. He was also technical committee leader at the Equipment and Lessor Association for over 15 years.
He loved the outdoors and enjoyed pheasant hunting trips to South Dakota with friends and family, as well as days spent on his hunting land and farm near New Market, Minnesota. Wood cutting and splitting were also favorite hobbies.
Winters were spent working at the Data Sales Scottsdale, Arizona facility with his son, Bill.
Ron’s combination of work ethic, business acumen, humor, and risk taking paid off as he was able to grow the company for the next 47 years. As recently as March of 2020 Ron still enjoyed going into the office every day.
His love of people and “doing deals” showed every day of his life.
He will be sadly missed by his wife Judy; his children, Jane Pederson, Paul (Sue) Breckner, Bill (Jill) Breckner, and Bob (Betsy) Breckner. He was also proud to have 11 grandchildren: MaryJane Pederson, Grant Pederson, Karl Pederson, Jack (Jamie Walter) Breckner, Nick (Katie) Breckner, Ross (Emily Gilman) Breckner, Lily Breckner, Kevin Breckner, Marie Breckner, Natalie Breckner, Amy Breckner.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the charity of your choice.
A private family service will be held at Messinger Mortuary on Pinnacle Peak Road, in Scottsdale, AZ on Saturday May 23, 2020 at 4pm.
A Celebration of Life in Minnesota will follow, at a future date.