My Brother Ron, passed away on Thursday July 27 2017. He had a heart attack on July 14, and a quintuple bypass on July 17, 2017, but it was all too much for him to survive it.
We grew up together in the Ironbound section of Newark, NJ, sharing a bedroom for most of our childhood. Like me, Ron was an avid modeler, the two of us picking up the modeling bug from our elder brother, Dan, who is also a modeler to this day.
Ron loved to build large scale scale planes, vac kits, resin kits and resin submarines, but he built other types and scales of models, as well. He sometimes built models on contract, both for individuals and as promotional items for model companies. His TBM Avenger adorns one of the 1/48th scale Accurate Miniature Turkey kit boxes. He also contributed to the development of the Silver Wings 1/32nd scale PZL P.11c kit and Szymon (Simon) even mentioned my brother on the instruction sheet. he was famous (or infamous) for shipping finished models via mail to clients, and they would are arrive in various states of assembly and disassembly. He thought nothing of shipping finished kits to IPMS Nationals, when he could not attend in person. Once, at the 11th hour, he finished a 1/24th scale Bf-109G conversion and sent it via Fed Ex to my attention at the hotel, Upon opening the box, I discovered that anything that was not an integral part of the airframe, including gear, canopy, prop, gun pods, antenna, etc. was rattling around in the bottom bottom of the box, having parted ways with said airframe in-transit. I spent a good part of one night at the Nats repairing his entry. He wound up winning a 2nd or a 3rd Place Award for it.
That's Ron for you.
Another of Ron's claim to fame was that he appeared as a guest modeler on the PBS Show, "Adventures in Scale Modeling" back in 1993, for which he did a conversion of a Monogram 1/48th scale B-25J into a Doolittle B-25B. In his episode he showed how to fair in and polish a piece of clear plexi into an oversize hole, then mask off the actual smaller shape and airbrush the color leaving a seamless glass window. In the 2nd part of his show's segment he showed how to mask markings when they were not available in decals.
Ron was a veteran, having served for 35+ years in the USAF and USAF Reserves. He served during the Vietnam War refueling F-4 Phantoms at Udorn AFB in Thailand. After his 4 years were up, he returned to civilian life, but later joined the Reserves based at McGuire AFB in New Jersey. During his time in the Reserves, he also worked at the Picatinny Arsenal in Dover, NJ, making explosives in the labs there. Most of his life was dedicated to defending the USA and our allies. He was very, very, proud of his military service and would brook no one making disparaging remarks about the USA or the military.
He married his first wife, Nancy, back in 1979, having met her in a club in north Jersey called, "Mother's", a music club, which I introduced him to. Nancy passed away in 2009, The following year he was the only one of 3 sons in the family to fulfill our mother's prime directive, namely, "to marry a nice Polish girl", when he met Grazyna (Grace). I was the "best Man' at his 2nd wedding and the 7 years they spent together were among the happiest of his life. They really enjoyed themselves in their retirement, traveling around, including back to his ancestral home in Poland.
RON'S LAST MODEL HE FINISHED
Ron built a 1/32nd scale F-86D Sabre Dog for a mutual friend, whose cancer had returned after 7 years in remission. Ron admitted that it wasn't his best effort, since his own modeling skills had deteriorated a bit, as a result of the impact on his dexterity due to diabetes, but, as the recipient stated, it was the thought that really counted.
Ron and I were only 3 years apart, and shared many things together, such as building models, going to model shows, airshows, museums, gun shows, collecting guns and shooting at the range. Yea, we sometimes fought like brothers, but the bond was, and never could, be broken. I spoke with him about 30 minutes before underwent sedation for his open hear operation. Believe it or not, the thing he was most concerned about was missing "Game of Thrones", vowing that the first thing he would do when he got home would be to catch up on the series on-line. Most of us who knew him would agree, "That was so , Ron." It was not to be, however. His diabetes had wreaked to much havoc over the years. I'm just glad I got to talk to him one more time.
His wife and I have arranged for final interment at the South Florida National Cemetery with full military honors, including an honor guard, firing detail, taps and flag presentation to his wife on August 25th. We;re just happy that we were able to give Ron a full military send-off for his final flight.
Love you bro,
P.S. To the LSP Moderator, if this is not the right forum, feel free to move it. I wanted as many LSP guys as possible, see it.
Edited by Mike Dobrzelecki, 02 August 2017 - 10:29 PM.