Ronald Frank Vance, born Sept. 4, 1932, at Centralia, Illinois, passed away at age 88 on Dec. 18, 2020, at Chandler, Arizona. Preceded in death by his parents, Frank Vance and Loretta Vance, and his brother Jerry Vance, Ron is survived by his wife of 68 years, Rosemary. His daughters, Susan Cline (Gary), Terri Deemer (Woody) and Lori Bradford (Greg); son Steven Vance (Dawn); 10 grandchildren; and eight great grandchildren also survive him.
Ron graduated in 1950 from Crawfordsville High School, and after a stint in the Army, began a long career working for various electronic/mechanical firms, starting a few side businesses of his own along the way. His love of flying took root when he worked for the FAA in Indianapolis, resulting in eventually acquiring his private pilot’s license, a dream since boyhood.
In 1967 Ron accepted a position with the Government Division of Motorola in Scottsdale, Arizona, and moved the family from the Midwest to the Sonoran Desert. What a change in scenery! The family loved exploring their new home state via camping trips, motorcycles, Porsche rallies, and eventually planes. Ever the tinkerer, Ron lovingly restored many Porsches’ to their former glory in the family garage. Eventually that gave way to building GlasAir experimental aircraft. Somehow he found the time to attend night class at Arizona State University and finish his bachelor’s degree in 1975.
After more than 27 years with Motorola, Ron retired and moved with Rosemary to northern Arizona, living in Snowflake and then the Show Low area for 15 years. Retirement was full of flying to see family and friends, camping trips to explore this great country, and of course tinkering in his shop on all of his hobbies. When the pilot’s license was hung up for good, Ron started flying model airplanes again, something he had enjoyed since boyhood (and passed on to his children and grandchildren). A whiff of performance fuel or solvent is sure to bring back fond memories of grandpa’s garage.
Ron was a loving husband, father and grandfather and his passing has left a big hole in the hearts of his family. As for his friends — Ron never knew a stranger, befriending all that crossed his path, making lasting impressions with his big smile and famous bear hugs. He will be missed.
Services to be held later this year.