Ronald Joseph Dandeneau

Ronald Joseph Dandeneau, CMSgt, USAF Retired, 79, passed away on September 28, 2018 from complications following surgery.

Ronald Joseph Dandeneau was raised in Berlin, NH. He was the son of Albert and Juliette Nolette Dandeneau. Ron joined the USAF in 1956 and proudly served for 27 years, retiring in 1983 at the rank of Chief Master Sergeant. He married Peggie LeClaire on August 12, 1961 and they had 4 children. He and his family embraced the military life. Assignments included Misawa AB Japan, Lackland AFB TX, Hartford and New Haven CT, Tan Son Nhut AB Vietnam, Bien Hoa AB Vietnam, the Pentagon, Ramstein AB Germany, and Hickam AFB HI.

During his assignment as a French translator at Bien Hoa AB, he flew 86 combat missions for 452 combat hours in the OV-10 Bronco with the Rustic Forward Air Controllers. It was undoubtedly one of his proudest accomplishments and he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement on 23 Nov 1970 while participating in aerial flights in Southeast Asia.

Following active military service, Ron served 20 years as a government civilian until 2004. Civilian assignments included Arlington VA, the Pentagon, and RAF Mildenhall UK. He retired as a GS-14 on 31 Dec 2004 after his last assignment at the Pentagon.

A 1985 graduate of Strayer University, he earned a bachelor of science with Highest Honors in Business Administration and Management.
Ron married Rosemary Gil on September 30, 1995. They happily lived the retired life in Aquia Harbor, VA until his passing.
Ron was well-known for his generosity. For him, it was like a hobby. He was energized by finding the perfect gift for a birthday or Christmas. His standard practice for birthday cards was to send the whole month of recipient cards out during the week before the first of the month. As a result, we grew accustomed to receiving his card as the first one wishing us well on our special day!

Many who knew Ron have described him as a man of exceptional integrity. His family and friends have countless stories of his honesty. Whether at work, at home or at play, he lived it consistently. He showed respect to everyone without bias. He lived these morals sincerely. They were weaved into his very fiber.

Other words have been used to describe Ron – leader, mentor, kind-hearted, patient, knowledgeable, friend, patriot. He made a lasting impression on all who met him. When he made a friend, it was usually for life. It didn’t matter how long his Christmas card list was – he always had room for one more.

He was proud of his country, his military career, his French-Canadian roots, and his family, who are deeply mourning his passing.
Indeed, his family was his greatest joy. He is survived by his loving wife, Rosemary Gil, brothers Richard and Roger, children Pamela (Howard) Spires, Patricia (John) Parker, Joseph (Lolly) Dandeneau, John (Michelle) Dandeneau, their mother Peggie Dandeneau, stepson Eduardo Coll (Donna), grandchildren Paul Pharris, Brian Pharris, Kaleigh Dandeneau, Jeremy Dandeneau, Michael Parker and Erika Parker, Amelia Coll and great-grandchildren, Cobin Pharris, Declan Pharris, and Cannelle Pharris.

Visitation will be held at Advent Funeral and Cremation Services in Falls Church, VA on Saturday October 6, 2018, from 2pm – 6pm. 

17 Responses to Ronald Joseph Dandeneau

  1. Susie Billings says:

    Ron was a wonderful person. I loved his easy going manner and his great smile. He truly will be missed.

  2. Ann Nolette Beaudet says:

    To all of Joe’s family (that’s what a grew up calling him) I loved him! He was a great cousin to me. All of the words in the obituary describing him are true. My parents were his godparents and he spent a great deal of time at their house and also at my father’s small grocery store. Since I lost my husband three years ago he called me once a month to check up on me and boy did we ever reminisce , I looked forward to those calls and will MISS THEM.
    You have very good reasons to be proud of him. He was a true patriot and an all around great man.
    One more thing ….my oldest brother was handicapped and Joe, Richard and Roger were brought up to take care of him whenever the occasion arose. These are things I will never forget.
    My deepest sympathy to all of you. Ann Louise Nolette Beaudet

    • Pam Spires says:

      Thank you so much Ann Louise! His absence will leave such a void. He was so very special. He mentioned you often when we would talk. I have your email address and will contact you when I get home and things settle down.

  3. Brian Pharris says:

    Celebrating a life well lived. I will never forget his kindness and caring nature, from gifting us with our first Super Nintendo in the early 1990s to taking us to the Smithsonian Museums in D.C. Later on in life, Pop continued to be an inspiration and motivating factor in my decision to join the USAF. Through it all, he always gave me encouragement and sound pieces of career advice. Cheers to your legacy and all of the wonderful impacts that you have made!

    Your grandson,
    Brian Pharris

  4. Debby Copeletti (Catlin/LeClaire) says:

    Dear Pam, Howard & All Family Members,
    So sorry to hear of your Dads passing. Reading his Obituary he was a wonderful & loving man. During this sad time share those memories with each other.

  5. Mike Gagne says:

    Ron greeted me at Bien Hoa and took me under his wing to show me the ropes as a GIB with the Rustcs in June 1970.
    What a great guy, always had a smile and a kind words which was very important for a 20 year old far from home in a hostile invironment. I will miss him….

  6. Claire Allison says:

    Sorry to hear of Ron’s passing. I met Ron when he visited with me at Tan Son Nhut AB Vietnam . He was so kind to call my parents and tell them I was all right. I never forgot that. On Saturday when Ron passed I was in Arlington at 1 PM for the Changing of the Guard – what a beautiful and peaceful place. I was a guardian for Honor Flight Syracuse Mission #12 for the day. Both Jerry and Roy Potter are at Arlington as well. Arlington is a perfect place for Ron.

  7. Briana Pharris says:

    It is difficult to say goodbye to such an amazing man. Pop was thoughtful, considerate, and kind; I adored his soft nature and his obvious love and pride for his family. Over the years, though he lived across the country from us, he remained a strong presence in our lives through his delightful emails, Facebook comments, and punctual cards. He was never short on compliments and always warmed my heart with his sweet words. As our children grow, Paul and I will continue to remind them of the wonderful man that was their Pop, and we will try our best to raise them with the grace and dignity that he portraited throughout his life. We love you, Pop.

  8. Bob King says:

    Ron was the best, and smartest, person I ever worked with. His empathy for others was legendary. When faced with any difficult situation, his first thought was “What can we do to help the military member.” He shielded us from people who didn’t understand how our system worked, and he staunchly supported anything (or anyone) that could improve the lives of people in the DoD. He was a fierce and loyal friend, and always wanted the best for his friends and family. He is missed by everyone who knew him.

  9. Steve & Anita Cowan says:

    To Ron and the Dandeneau family,

    It hurts us so much to say good bye to Ron. Although you are gone, you will never be forgotten. Ron, you will always be our “forever wingman.” May you rest in eternal and everlasting peace. We love you and will miss you dearly.

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