3 entries
  • "Sorry to hear about the demise of Ron. I will always..."
  • "So glad I got to spend your last days with you. I wish I..."
    - Rebecca Morgan
  • "Could not ask for a better grandfather! So kind, loving and..."
    - Melissa Kulmus
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RON VAN NOSTRAND Ronald J. Van Nostrand, 78, of Pasco, died Jan. 25 at Avalon Health & Rehabilitation Center in Pasco. He was born March 5, 1938, in Plutarch, N.Y., the son of John and Alberta Van Nostrand. He was the eldest of six children and grew up in New Paltz, N.Y. He enlisted in the Army at an early age and trained as a carpenter. He was assigned in the late 1950s to Camp Hanford, where he helped build many structures on the nuclear reservation. He also served in Korea and France. On Nov. 27, 1959, he was crossing the ferry over the Hanford Reach on the Columbia River near White Bluff, driving an Army truck, when a fellow soldier operating the ferry slipped and fell overboard into the icy water. Ron pulled off his shirt and boots and dove in. He returned to the chilly, murky depths several times, braving jagged rocks and a treacherous current, but was unable to save the man. He was awarded the Soldier's Medal (pictured, right) for his heroism. He worked at several skilled trades after leaving the Army. He was a wingfitter at Boeing, a sandblaster on the Third Powerplant at Grand Coulee Dam, and a carpenter, painter and bartender in the Tri-Cities. He was active for years in the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He served as a chaplain, folding and presenting the flag at funeral services for more than 150 area veterans. He loved reading, fishing, and playing bridge at the Pasco Senior Center, where he served as president for three years. He also volunteered regularly at area food banks. He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Shirley; sister, Sheila Eplin of Holly Hill, Fla.; son, Jim Van Nostrand of Kennewick, an editor at the Tri-City Herald; daughters, Catherine Allen and Debra Werre of Spokane; stepchildren, Steven Wilson of Vancouver, Wash., Mark Wilson and Sandy Wilson of Kennewick, Martha Sanborn of Pasco, and Kimberly Safford and Shelley Butler of Burbank; 21 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren and counting. Many other extended family, loved ones and friends, too numerous to list, are mourning his passing. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Bonnie Cameron, four brothers John, Charles, Bruce and Terry and two stepsons, Darrell and Clifton Wilson. No public services are planned. A celebration of life will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Golden Age food bank, 504 S. Oregon Avenue, Pasco 99301. The family hopes that "Pop" has a great fishing spot picked out in heaven, and that the ladies up there let him win at bridge once in a while.
Published in Tri-City Herald on Jan. 29, 2017