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Ronald Eugene Roat

Ronald Eugene Roat, 75, passed into eternal life on September 30 at 8 p.m. in his home. Cheryl, his wife, and children were by his side. Ron was born on July 24, 1947, in Canton to Charles and Thelma Roat of Havana (deceased). He has two surviving bothers—Keith (Donna) and Eldon (Kari) both of Havana as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, and nieces. Ron grew up on the family farm until he left to attend college. He raised hogs and helped his dad with the farming. He attended a one room schoolhouse until high school and then attended Havana Community High School where he graduated the class of 1965. He participated in Future Farmers of America and was active in the Havana Nazarene church youth group. Ron went on to Olivet Nazarene University to study biology. After his junior year in 1968, he made the decision to enlist in the United States Air Force in anticipation of being drafted. Ron served at the Phu Cat, Viet Nam Air Base 1969-1970. Ron married Cheryl O’Bryant, his high school sweetheart, in May of 1971. They were married for over 51 years. He finished his tour of duty in Grand Forks, ND in 1972 and moved back to Illinois. He farmed for four years before buying farmland in Winigan, Missouri in 1977. Their three children were born in nearby Kirksville, Missouri–Benjamin (Kathy) of Phoenix who have three children (Brandon, Atticus, and Jette); Dana (Mark) of Goodyear who have three children (Henry, Charlie, and Ruby) and David (Jaclyn) of Spring Grove who have four living children (Gavin–deceased 2012) Emma, Noah, Isla, and Sara). Ron was involved and supported his children and their activities. He loved being around grandchildren. In 1987 Ron made the decision that farming was not providing a good income, so they moved to Phoenix, Arizona. Ron got a job with Service Master at John C Lincoln Hospital and then with the City of Peoria where he was a Water Utility Technician for 13 years. Ron made the decision to join the Air National Guard for additional income and benefits so he did that monthly on weekends, two weeks per year and whenever he could get off work to go on a trip with the Air National Guard. Ron participated in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Allied Force, and Operation Iraq Freedom. He served in the Air Force over 20 years, retiring in 2006. Ron was honored by his squadron by being selected Airman of the Quarter for the third quarter of 2002. He received the Meritorious Service Medal by distinguishing himself as an Aircraft Propulsion Specialist for the 161st Maintenance Squadron, 161st Air Refueling Wing, Phoenix, Arizona. He loved serving his country. Ron served as a member of the choir, Building Committee member, moving crew, and supported Cheryl in her health care ministry at Turning Leaf Church (TLC) of the Nazarene. He received the TLC Distinguished Service Award. He bought and fixed many bikes to give to a charity for kids. When he could no longer drive, he donated his car to Disabled Veterans. With his history of farming and being a jet engine mechanic in the Air Force, he could fix almost anything until he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2018. In November 2020, he fell and broke his hip and his health declined rapidly after that. He collected tools, magazines, books, guns, men’s caps, and model cars. He enjoyed traveling around America, Europe, Canada, Africa, Australia, Ecuador, United Arab Emeritus, Japan, and Mexico for Air National Guard or Church Work and Witness trips. He had a great smile to the very end and will be remembered for his servant’s heart and faithful commitment to God, his family, community, and country. Ron will be cremated with a Celebration of Life service at the Turning Leaf Nazarene Church (5800 N. Litchfield Road in Litchfield, AZ) on October 16 at 3 p.m. (Arizona Time). The service will be live streamed. Donations can be given to the Havana Church of the Nazarene.

1 Comment

  1. Joy N. Dudley (1st cousin) on October 13, 2022 at 5:00 pm

    Ronnie was one of my favorite cousins. I remember following him and his brothers around on the farm and Aunt Thelma always had the boys give up their rooms for us when we’d come visit. I really looked up to Ronnie, Keith, and Eldon when I was a little girl. The last time I saw Ronnie, he went to eat with us at a restaurant in Phoenix. I felt so proud to be sitting beside him and getting the time to talk with him.
    He was a very special man who had a very strong faith. He will be greatly missed.

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