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Member Memorial Page

Sat, 01 Feb 20  

Major Ronald Leroy O'Connell, U.S.A.F., Retired

August 31, 1931 - January 24, 2020 



Ronald Leroy O'Connell of Crystal River passed away January 24, 2020 at the Bay Pines V.A. Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fl.  Ronald was born August 31, 1931 in Ann Arbor, MI.  Ronald served 20 years in the U.S. Air Force as a pilot, retiring in 1972 with the rank of Major.  He moved to Crystal River in 1978.  He was a member of the St. Benedict Catholic Church, a member of the Kings Bay Rotary Club, a Search and Rescue Pilot for the U.S. Coast Guard promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and a Pilot for the U.S. Civil Air Patrol Search and Rescue Squad, all out of Crystal River, Fl.  Ron received several Awards, Medals of Honor and Decorations with fellow crew members for heroic deeds and saving lives.  

Ron found his most enjoyment flying as a pilot and has stated many time how "At Peace" he felt while flying.  He took every opportunity he could to enjoy the skies!  It was his pleasure to take family and friends for joy rides.  He taught his sons to fly along with many others.   His home and cabin were always open for family and friends, and sometimes even strangers for a place to stay, a place to vacation, a ball game get together and simply to come by for a cup of coffee or a Klondike bar.  He was truly one of a kind.