Grave of Ronald Spalding.

Photo courtesy of Keith Burkhead. Source: Find a Grave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/16014553/ronald-w-spalding

Spalding, Ronald Wolcott (1904–1983)

By Benedicto R. Borja, and Ma. Venus F. Borja

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Benedicto R. Borja, Ph.D. in educational administration (Central Mindanao University, Musuan, Bukidnon, Philippines), is a licensed professional teacher (LPT) and a professor in the School of Theology of Mountain View College, Mt. Nebo, Valencia City, Bukidnon. Philippines Borja is an ordained minister born in Pastrana, Leyte. He worked as a district pastor in the Negros Oriental-Siquijor Mission prior to his current teaching assignment in the School of Theology at Mountain View College (MVC). He is married to Maria Venus F. Borja and they have three children.

Ma. Venus F. Borja (nee Fernandez), Ph.D. in nursing (Silliman University located in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Philippines), is a registered nurse and an assistant professor in the College of Nursing of Ha’il University, Ha’il Region, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. She is an active member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Borja has a B.S. in nursing from Mountain View College (MVC), Mt. Nebo, Valencia City, Philippines, and an M.S. in medical/surgical nursing from Silliman University, Dumaguete City, Philippines. She had served as nursing theories teacher for 16 years and as a research coordinator in the School of Nursing at Mountain View College, Mt. Nebo, Valencia City, Bukidnon, Philippines. She is married to Benedicto R. Borja and they have three children.

First Published: January 29, 2020

Ronald Wolcott Spalding was an Adventist physician, missionary, and administrator in North America and the Philippines.

Early Life 

Ronald Wolcott Spalding was born on December 31, 1904,1 in Battle Creek, Michigan.2 He was one of four children born to Arthur Whitefield Spalding and Maud Wolcott (1877-1953; 1877-1956) who were married on June 13, 1899. The senior Spalding was an educator and author,3 who in his younger years served as secretary for such illustrious men as John Harvey Kellogg, Will Keith Kellogg, and Edward A. Sutherland. Maud Wolcott was among the first Adventist church school teachers.4 Ronald Wolcott Spalding’s siblings included Genevieve Helene (1901-1973) who married Joseph J. Singer;5 Arthur Winfred (1906-1967);6 Elizabeth Victoria (-1993) who married Roscoe McFadden and served in Pakistan and Taiwan.7

Education and Marriage 

While a student, Spalding worked as a colporteur in the Tennessee River Conference.8 He attended Washington Missionary College (now Washington Adventist University) where he enrolled in the premedical course. It was here that he met his wife, Helen Louise McElmurry (1908-2000), a nursing student.9 They married on August 21, 1930. Spalding received his MD degree from the College of Medical Evangelists (now Loma Linda University) in 1935.10 The Spaldings had four children–Arthur (1935-2001);11 Elaine12who married Donald Halenz, an academic dean13 and later president14 of Mountain View College; Carole Jean15 who married Larry R. Colburn, publishing department secretary for the South China Island Union Mission;16 and Sylvia.17

Career 

Becoming a full-fledged medical doctor in 1935, Spalding spent 34 years in private practice in Bloomingdale, Michigan and for more than ten years he served the Michigan Conference as medical secretary.18 In February 1970, the General Conference Committee voted to send Spalding to the Philippines for one year19 to be acting medical director of the 50-bed Bacolod Sanitarium and Hospital that opened in Taculing, Bacolod City, Philippines on April 16, 1970.20

Later Life and Contribution

After his return to the United States, Spalding opened a private family medical practice in Berrien Springs, Michigan. He died on January 16, 1983, in Sonora, California,21and was laid to rest in Oak Hill Cemetery, Battle Creek, Michigan.22

Spalding was active in community service wherever he lived. As a general practitioner in Bloomingdale, Michigan, in the 1960s, Spalding volunteered with the State Medical Placement Bureau, helping new doctors transition to medical practice in Michigan.23 While medical director of the Bacolod Sanitarium and Hospital, Spalding was a proponent of the 5-day Stop Smoking Plan. He held free clinics in neighboring villages at least once a month.24 As medical and temperance Secretary of the Michigan Conference, he was a regular contributor to the Lake Union Herald and Life and Health magazines, writing articles promoting health consciousness.

Sources

“Arthur W. Spalding obituary.” Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, February 18, 1954.

“Arthur W. Spalding obituary.” Lake Union Herald, January 5, 1954.

“Arthur Winfred Spalding obituary.” Review and Herald, August 3, 1967.

“Dr. Ronald Spalding Takes Up New Duties on Island of Negros.” Lake Union Herald, April 28, 1970.

“Elizabeth Spalding McFadden obituary.” Adventist Review, October 13, 1994.

Franz, C.O. “From Home Base to Front Line,” Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, June 3, 1971.

Gayares, Hector V. “Bacolod Sanitarium and Hospital News.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, May 1971.

General Conference Committee, February 5, 1970, 1871, General Conference Archives, accessed January 20, 2019, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1970-02.pdf.

Lim, W. E. “New Medical Director Arrives in Bacolod.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, July 1970.

“Maud Wolcott Spalding obituary.” Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, May 30, 1957.

“Michigan Conference Demonstrates Civil Defense Preparedness.” Lake Union Herald, May 30, 1961.

“Profiles of Our Contributors.” Life and Health: The National Health Journal, May 1963.

“Ronald Wolcott Spalding obituary.” Lake Union Herald, June 7, 1983.

Simmons, Marion S. “To Ponder…” Far Eastern Division Outlook, November 1971.

Spalding, R. W. “Dr. McFarland to Visit Michigan.” Lake Union Herald,” May 2, 1950.

Spalding, R. W. “Forward With Christ.” Lake Union Herald,” March 18, 1958.

Spalding, R. W. “Like Daughters Like Father.” Lake Union Herald, July 28, 1970.

Tanamal, Job Garcia. Mountain View College: The Miracle School. Valencia City, Philippines: n.p., 2013.

“Tennessee River.” Southern Union Worker, June 7, 1923.

“Tennessee River Conference News.” Southern Union Worker, May 31, 1923.

Wendth, E. N. “Michigan News Notes.” Lake Union Herald, April 10, 1973.

Notes

  1. “Ronald Wolcott Spalding obituary,” Lake Union Herald, June 7, 1983, 7.

  2. “Profiles of Our Contributors,” Life and Health: The National Health Journal, May 1963, 5.

  3. Ibid.

  4. “Arthur W. Spalding obituary,” Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, February 18, 1954, 28; “Arthur W. Spalding obituary,” Lake Union Herald, January 5, 1954, 7; “Maud Wolcott Spalding obituary,” Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, May 30, 1957, 26.

  5. Ibid.

  6. “Arthur Winfred Spalding obituary,” Review and Herald, August 3, 1967, 26.

  7. “Elizabeth Spalding McFadden obituary,” Adventist Review, October 13, 1994, 22.

  8. “Tennessee River Conference News,” Southern Union Worker, May 31, 1923, 4.; “Tennessee River,” Southern Union Worker, June 7, 1923, 7.

  9. Ibid.

  10. “Profiles of our Contributors,” Life and Health: The National Health Journal, May 1963, 5.

  11. Lake Union Herald, June 7, 1983, 7.

  12. Ibid.

  13. “Dr. Ronald Spalding Takes Up New Duties on Island of Negros,” Lake Union Herald, April 28, 1970, 11.

  14. Marion S. Simmons, “To Ponder…,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, November 1971, 6; Job Garcia Tanamal, Mountain View College: The Miracle School (Valencia City, Philippines: n.p., 2013), 13.

  15. Lake Union Herald, June 7, 1983, 7; E. N. Wendth, “Michigan News Notes,” Lake Union Herald, April 10, 1973, 11.

  16. Wendth.

  17. Lake Union Herald, June 7, 1983, 7.

  18. W. E. Lim, “New Medical Director Arrives in Bacolod,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, July 1970, 13; R. W. Spalding, “Dr. McFarland to Visit Michigan,” Lake Union Herald,” May 2, 1950, 1; R. W. Spalding, “Forward With Christ,” Lake Union Herald,” March 18, 1958, 8-9.; “Michigan Conference Demonstrates Civil Defense Preparedness,” Lake Union Herald, May 30, 1961, 4.

  19. General Conference Committee, February 5, 1970, 1871, General Conference Archives, accessed January 20, 2019, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1970-02.pdf; C.O. Franz, “From Home Base to Front Line,” Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, June 3, 1971, 10.

  20. R. W. Spalding, “Like Daughters Like Father,” Lake Union Herald, July 28, 1970, 11.

  21. Lake Union Herald, June 7, 1983, 7.

  22. Ibid.

  23. Life and Health, 5.

  24. Hector V. Gayares, “Bacolod Sanitarium and Hospital News,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, May 1971, 8.

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Borja, Benedicto R., Ma. Venus F. Borja. "Spalding, Ronald Wolcott (1904–1983)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Accessed January 27, 2023. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9CX5.

Borja, Benedicto R., Ma. Venus F. Borja. "Spalding, Ronald Wolcott (1904–1983)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Date of access January 27, 2023, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9CX5.

Borja, Benedicto R., Ma. Venus F. Borja (2020, January 29). Spalding, Ronald Wolcott (1904–1983). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved January 27, 2023, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9CX5.