In central NY, west of the Catskills Mountains, Ron and Sylvia Walker welcomed their first child, Ronald, on July 22, 1940. Followed in birth by sister, Ilene, and 4 half-sisters, Marian, Barbara, Laraine, & Rosemary, he was a natural-born leader from the start.
Following graduation from high school in Girard, Ohio, Ron followed his dream of flying and joined the Air Force. Beginning his career as an Electronic Warfare Officer on the B-52 in CA, he married Doris "Dee" Jarvis in February 1963. Ron soon trained to pilot the F-105 Thunderchief and left McConnell, AFB, for his first tour of Vietnam in June 1968, when his baby, Rhonda, was 4 months old.
Following his safe return home, his second baby, Renee, was born at Laughlin AFB, TX. After being stationed at Nellis AFB, he returned to Vietnam in September 1972 in the F-111 Aardvark and was stationed at Takhli, Thailand. After losing a staggering number of "brothers" suppressing surface-to-air missiles, showing the Vietnamese what "aerial offensive" was all about, and successfully being extracted from Laos by the "Jolly Greens", Ron returned home to receive multiple honors and medals, including a Purple Heart.
Ron then attended Air Command and Staff College while stationed at Maxwell AFB, AL, before returning to Eglin AFB, FL, where he co-founded an airport, began an aerial advertising business, and retired from the USAF as a highly decorated Lieutenant Colonel.
Ron's passion for flight and aircraft spanned more than 5 decades and included adventures such as having staring contests with large birds as he flew power lines, flying above perilous terrains to locate downed aircraft for the Civil Air Patrol, co-founding Sunshine Aero in Crestview, FL, building airplanes in the garage that he designed as a hangar, attending fly-ins and air shows, and honoring his fellow aviators through gatherings with the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association.
Ron was an inventor, trainer, mechanic, RC plane enthusiast and flight instructor who enjoyed helping people, providing solutions, and making others smile and laugh.
He was blessed with one grandson, Stephen Peel, two sons-in-law, Michael Moronez (Rhonda) and Rick Quesenberry (Renee), a kind and understanding wife, Judith E. Walker (deceased), and a brave wife, Meredith Bragzon Walker, who shared in his adventures as he took on fixer-upper RVs, airplanes, and "I'll get around to it" projects.
Ron's spirit reunited with his parents, friends, and loved ones on August 18, 2018, as he and his fellow aerial enthusiast smiled with joy, felt the wind in their hair, and flew Home.
Please send prayers and condolences to:
Rhonda Moronez and
1023 Forest Road
Niceville, FL 32578
Please send memories and donations to:
Red River Valley Association http://www.river-rats.org/
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News on Aug. 26, 2018
Ronald M. Walker, 78, of Camp Verde, Arizona, passed away on Aug. 18, 2018. He was born in Deposit, New York, on July 22, 1940.
Ron was married to Meredith Bragden Walker and had two daughters, Rhonda Moronez and Renee Walker, both residing in Florida.
He was retired from the United States Air Force and flew fighter jets during the Vietnam War [Vietnam Service Medal]. Lt. Col. Walker was also a “ham radio” operator whose call sign was KF4VVL.
Condolences may be conveyed at www.buelerfuneralhome.com
Information provided by survivors.