Ronald (Ron/Ronnie) Nightingale, age 89 of Hawthorne, passed peacefully at home on Friday, September 17, 2021.
Ron was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, and friend. He was the beloved husband of Carol (nee Bommelyn) Nightingale. Loving father of Cheryl Bennett and her husband Ray of Hawthorne, Rhonda Vreeland and her husband Jeff of Midland Park, and Jennifer Geisler and her husband Mike of New Paltz, NY. He is now Pops to his first grandson, Michael Sosa and his Fiance, Amanda Planes and is still Pop-Pop to Lindsay, Allie & Emma Vreeland, and Sean, Katie & Fallon Geisler, and is Mr. N to Kaitlynn Bennett. Ron loved his family and they loved him backmore!
He is the dear brother of Dorothy Sikkema and her husband, William of Florida; and is the uncle of loving nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.
Ron is predeceased by his parents Elnora (nee Van Gelder) and Christian Nightingale. In 2018 a street (at the corner of Taylor Avenue and Diamond Bridge Avenue) was named honoring his deceased brother, PVT Christian Nightingale, for his service during World War II. Ron is predeceased by five sisters: Florence Allwood; Elnora (Eleanor) DeRitter; Shirley Howard; Sara (Sally) Koniecki; Jean Schroter and their spouses.
Friends and Family will be received at the Ippolito-Stellato Funeral Home, 7 Two Bridges Rd, Fairfield, NJ 07004 on TuesdaySeptember 21, 2021from 4-7pm. Funeral Service 6:30pm
Cremation will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the New Jersey Rett Syndrome Association (NJRSA). NJRSA is a non-profit organization of which Rons niece, Dena, is afflicted with the illness.
If you would like to make a donation
“In Memory of Ron Nightingale, For the Love of Dena Zarillo” please send a check to NJRSA at PO BOX 354, Adelphia, NJ 07710-0354, or visit their website at www.njrsa.org.
A Tribute to my husband, Ron
Born in Paterson on August 24, 1932, Rons family moved to Hawthorne in 1941, where he was raised and lived until our marriage in 1962. As newlyweds, we purchased our first/starter home in the Lions Head Lake section of Wayne and lived there for ten years. In 1972, we purchased our second home and with our three young daughters moved back into Rons childhood home in Hawthorne, where we spent the last forty-nine years of our marriageadding to the memories from Rons youth and making new memories for our family. We would have celebrated fifty-nine years of marriage on September 29, 2021.
Ron was a self-employed long distance tractor trailer driver before becoming a member of Teamster Locals 282 and 560which allowed him to drive locally and be home every night for his girls. Although, he was employed by a few trucking companies, Ron enjoyed a longer career working for Beacon Fast Freight, in Kearny, NJ, where he and his fellow co-workers became friendswhere summer and holiday activities were planned and enjoyed with the families of the drivers. After retiring from the Teamsters, Ron enjoyed working part-time as a driver for his brother-in-law (Jay) former owner of the Italian Carousel in Ramsey, and then as a driver for Haledon Auto Parts, when (at 83) he did officially retire.
Although Rons trade was truck driver, he was an unofficial everythinga “jack of all trades” and he did master (to the best of his ability) whatever task he set his mind to do. As a young man, he helped build his sister, Eleanors, home. He would use his pickup truck and his brawn whenever you needed something moved. He installed kitchens for family members. For the cost of material only, he offered and did install a fully updated bathroom for the landlord of his daughter, Rhonda. He tackled duties as a carpenter (for the GR Cooperative Nursery School), plumber, tiler and “wisely” limited his electrical skills. He repaired the family cars (before modern technology took that task away from him). He was a painter inside and outside his home. He stripped woodwork in the homes of two daughters and did paper hanging for family and friends (when wallpaper was more popular). Whatever and wherever he was neededRonniewas your man. I was his Foreman and 99% of the time he referred to me as “HAP”/Happy and “HAP” volunteered him for whatever and wherever he was needed. We worked well together as a teama little one-sided, but it worked for us. He was a one-of-a-kindgreat, selfless guyloved, appreciated, and respected by all who knew him.
When Ronnie was not working or helping family and friendshe did enjoy a few hobbies. One he tried and fully enjoyed during the earlier years of our marriage (before the children were even born) was playing the organ. Even though he had no prior knowledge of music notes/chordsan organ was purchasedand he proceeded to take private lessons in our first home in Wayne. He never felt frustrated while taking the lessons or practicing each night before his next weekly lesson. I still can see him on the organ bench with his teacher (Mrs. Burris) alongside himpersonalizing the sheet music with chords, especially for him. How could he (with no background in music whatsoever) not be anxiousso, I was anxious for both of us. I saw it as work, he saw it as pleasure/fun. He looked forward to his lessons and found much pleasure and relaxation, when playing those treasured oldies of years past. Ron was not a quitter and that was one of many qualities that I admired about him. Taking organ lessons was something he wanted to do and do it he did!
The organ was purchased before we had children and one of our happy family memories includes a holiday memory of our youngest daughter (Id say, 11 at the time) sitting alongside her Dad playing the Oboe (an instrument she was learning in grade school) while her Dad was playing Christmas songs and his sisters (were gathered around them) singing. Christmas Eve with the entire Nightingale family was a treasured family tradition that our girls enjoyed for many years. A very happy family memoryyet, only one of many more to come.
We also had a New Year Eve tradition with our daughters that included our niece, Cyndi, and sometimes a friend too that included dinner out (fast food), a movie (Benji & the Wilderness Family were favorites) then back home for junk food treats and noise makers. For Ronnie, how could that not be a fun night out5 or more beautiful screaming girls who thought he was the greatestLOL
Ron also found time to enjoy saltwater fishing with family and friends. He was a member of Salt Water Anglers of Bergen County, Rochelle Park and enjoyed participating in many fishing trips with the club. Ron always enjoyed doing puzzles and particularly these past three years when joined by familyespecially, with his precious grandchildren. As a young man, Ron, shared a love of horses with his father, and continued that passion through the first ten years of our marriage. Our first date was taking me horseback riding. I only had to ride that one time (to capture his heart) then I was relegated to feeding horses and mucking stalls. Ron bred and raised two, half-Arabian Maresone of which he named “J-Cher-Rhon” after our three young daughters, and the second mare was named “Cyn-De-Joe” after two of our youngest nieces and nephew. Ron also shoed his own horses and those of his friends too! Horses are an expensive hobby, and it became time to sell the horses as our priorities shifted to family obligations. Our only regret was our daughters were still young but old enough to learn to ride, and now we were selling the horses. When the decision was made to sell the horsesRon never looked back with regretI did, but he said: “it was time.” Watching cowboys on TV became his passion and watch them we didevery night. He was watching the scenery and the horses, and I was into the storylineLOL
My husband was a super special guyalways putting family first, a loyal, kind, and generous personalways available when called upon. He was an imperfectly perfect human being (to his girls he was perfect, their hero). To me he was authentica husband every parent wants their daughter to marry. He was not critical or judgmental of others. He accepted you if you were respectful towards him and his family. I would have liked him to be more verbal, but his actions spoke volumes. Did I mention how wise he was?! Well, he wasliving in a household of females with strong personalities (including female pets) he did not have a chancehe wisely chose the safe pathhe showed us what LOVE looks like.
My rock, your work here is finishednow you can rest in peace, my darling. Thank You for all the happy memories you have left us with, and THANK YOU for loving and accepting me as I amWith much Love and Gratitude, Hap
Ron/Daddy/Pop-Pop/Popsyou will be sorely missed and remembered “Forever and Always”
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Ippolito-Stellato Funeral Home - Fairfield
7 Two Bridges Road
Fairfield NJ 07004
Funeral HomeIppolito-Stellato Funeral Home - Fairfield
7 Two Bridges Road
Fairfield NJ - 07004