Ronald Stan has been found after having been declared legally dead for 37 years were shocking news to Ronald Stan’s family members in two countries. Canadian Ronald Stan was found to be alive living in Tahlequah in Oklahoma. For the past 37 years, the supposedly dead man lived under the name Jeff Walton. Jeff Walton has a wife, Debra, son Jeff Jr., and grandchildren, reports Canada’s The Star on Aug. 25.
In 1977, 32-year-old Ronald Stan, aka Jeff Walton, had a different life and a different family on a pig farm near Ailsa Craig in East Williams Township north of London in Ontario, Canada. Back then, Stan had a wife and two young children.
After the man known as Ronald Stan presumably died in a mysterious early-morning fire in a pig barn on Sept. 29, 1977, his wife, his children, his uncle Edward and aunt Sylvia Stan, his neighbors and his closest friends had to come to terms that Ronald had died along with dozens of hogs and that they would never see him again. Nine years after the fire, Stan was legally declared dead.
To his utmost surprise, Dave Semple, one of Ronald Stan’s childhood friends, received a friend request on Facebook from Ronald Stan. Like everyone else, Semple had assumed that Stan had died in the fire. “It was a complete shock. I thought he was dead.”
Semple, and eventually Canadian authorities, learned that Stan had not died in the fire but that he was alive, that he was 69-year-old Jeff Walton, and that he had a Facebook page. Apparently, he had begun a new life in Oklahoma sometime after his disappearance from Ontario.
After Ronald Stan was found to be alive, the question as to why Jeff Walton has led a secret life for the past 37 years is still unanswered. After finding out a month ago by the OPP that their nephew was still alive, Edward and Sylvia Stan said that “we got along really well, we were close. But then things changed just like that.” However, as to what specifically changed or what triggered Stan to disappear and live another secret life, The Toronto Sun does not provide an answer.
Like most readers, Jeff Walton’s son would also like to know why his father did what he did. “I’m still trying to put all the puzzle pieces together myself,” he said. “It’s been tough on me, but he’s still my father. It doesn’t change the man I knew for 35 years. Hopefully one day he can sit down and write a book and remember all the stuff he’s been through in his life. It’d be a damn good book I’ll tell you that, just from what I’ve heard.” Unlike his son, Jeff Walton’s wife in Oklahoma is less willing to wait for any book or any answers. Even though her 69-year-old husband Jeff Walton (or Ronald Stan) is in a nursing home and suffering from vascular dementia and heart disease, she filed for divorce after hearing the news about his secret double life.