Ronald Buchanan “Ronnie” Nelson

April 28, 1990 ‒ April 04, 2017

Bellville, Ohio

BELLVILLE: Ronald Buchanan “Ronnie” Nelson left this life April 4, 2017. A bright light to all who knew him, he delighted in making people laugh and boasted he was “amazing.”

He was.

He helped friends and family by his service, through his encouragement and his love. He pursued any goal with fervor until the task was achieved: straight As, being the best asset to the high school marching band he could be, making it through basic training or beating family members at Scrabble.

Service was more than just a word for Ronnie.

Born April 28, 1990, he graduated from Clear Fork High School and enlisted in the Air National Guard. After training he graduated from Kent State University with a degree in Russian language studies and served at the 179th Airlift Wing in Security Forces.

He achieved the rank of Second Lieutenant and was most recently at Pensacola Naval Air Station where he was preparing to be a C130 navigator.

Ronnie was preceded in death by grandparents Buchanan James Nelson and Isabelle Garcia; and uncle James Nelson.

He leaves behind his mother Rhonda (Shinabarker) Bletner, father Ernest Nelson; sister Megan Nelson, brother Patrick Nelson, half-sister Jody Nelson; grandmother Ruthie Shinabarker, grandfather Ron Shinabarker; aunts Rinda (Gary) Sansom, Amy (Larry) Smithhisler, Helen May, Phyllis Kennedy, Jeannie Garcia-Buechele, Jacque Garcia-Burnstad, Sherie Olivo, Llawana Nelson, and uncles Chris (Kelly) Shinabarker and Curt (Cindy) Shinabarker  and many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends who loved him dearly.

His family will receive friends Wednesday, April 12, 2017 from 3 to 7 p.m. in the Bellville Snyder Funeral Home, where a funeral service celebrating Ronnie’s life will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. Celebrant Dave Roberts will lead the service. Final interment will be in Bellville Cemetery. His unit, the 179th Airlift Wing, will provide military honors.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Clear Fork Music Boosters, ℅ Clear Fork High School, 987 SR 97, Bellville, Ohio 44813, or made at the funeral home.

Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve Ronnie’s family – share with them an “Amazing” Ronnie memory or simple message of sympathy – and watch Ronnie’s tribute video – online at:

  • Thinking of you Rhonda and the rest of the family. Praying for comfort and peace for all

  • Rhonda,thinking of you and your family. May Gods love wrap you with peace and comfort!

  • Dear Rhonda and family,
    I am so very sorry for your loss. Praying that you will know the comfort of our loving God at this time of deep sadness.

  • Words are hard to find at times like this. Please know that you all are in our thoughts and prayers. May you find comfort in the wonderful memories and happy times that you had with Ronnie. He was a shining star on earth and will be watching now from afar smiling down on you.

  • No words can describe the sorrow one parent feels for another parent at broken times such as your loss.Please know so much Love & many Prayers are coming your way as your heart tries to pick up pieces,one at a time.God is and will be with you & your family every second.I pray you feel His warmth at this time.

  • To the family of Ronnie, my prayers are with you all. I pray your memories get you through this devestating time. Rhonda, your love for your family has always been a strong part of who you are. I hope that same strength can help you during this time. God be with you entering this new journey. ❤

  • Ronnie was a good guy. We are saddened and the light of the world is diminished by his passing. I will never forget the “crazy Russian robot music” that he would play when in the armory or how he would read physics text books for fun. I was looking forward to reading his first novel that I always expected would come from his little black book of short stories. I and my family are so very sorry for your loss. And while we know that no words or actions can stem the tide of grief that you are feeling please know that many are sharing it with you and that we are praying for your family.

    • Thank you, Jason for sharing those memories. I value them so much. I hope I get that little black book of stories soon.
      I’m sorry that so many people share this loss, but it truly humbles me to know that he touched so many people.

  • So sorry for your loss. May God be with you and your family. I met your son while visiting my daughter Missy after she had Everly. He was a great friend to my daughter and her family. I could also tell how people just loved him when there was a group of them together. May he rest in peace.

  • Rinda I’m so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family

  • Ronnie touched so many lives and he was so loved. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.

    • Folks who didn’t know him may think we’re all being kind when we say “amazing.” I think it is not just a mother’s voice saying it.

  • Remembering a sweet little boy who was such a special part of our lives when the kids were young, sharing their days together. My heart aches for the pain you are feeling. Keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Thank you, Terri. I loved those days of the kids playing. I wish he was still playing because even as a man, he played well with others.

  • We lost a beautiful soul and heaven gained an angel. I’m so sorry for your loss Rhonda and Uncle Bobbie. All my love and prayers to all of you during this difficult time. Rest in peace my cousin Ronnie, you will be missed deeply.

  • Please accept my sincere condolences. I hope that the happy memories that the family can help bring Comfort at this time. A beautiful promise that can help you also is found at Isaiah 25:8 there we learn God’s promise to end death and wipe the tears from our eyes. I hope this promise helps you at this difficult time.

  • Rhonda, sending prayers to your family at this most difficult time. May God give you strength and may your wonderful memories give you comfort now and always. Sincere sympathy!
    Bonnie Palmer (Mindy’s aunt)

  • My thoughts and prayers are with the whole family during this difficult time 😔. I wish you all strength and love ❤️

  • Our hearts are broken. Ronnie was so kind, funny, polite and an all around good guy. You have our deepest of sympathies. He touched a lot of peoples lives. We hope all the cherished memories will comfort you in the days to come. Keeping your family and all his friends in our thoughts and prayers.

    • I have the best of memories and only wish I could have many more. I know he loved your family.

  • My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

  • Rhonda and Family,
    I am so sorry I was not able to attend the calling hours for Ronnie. My heart and prayers goes out to you and your family. Ronnie was such a great person. I always enjoyed him when he would visit the Bellville Star. He was loved by so many.

  • My heart breaks for each of you! Especially you Rhonda, with your mother’s heart & soul. I want to say I am soooo sorry, but it feels like such an inadequate word/statement. But I AM deeply sorry for this great loss to your heart and family. Losing someone you love so much is like the sun eclipsing it’s light and warmth. I pray that moments of joy will find it’s way to you, that a peace that passes understanding will somehow lift you and sustain you through this unwelcome journey. May your sweet boy’s smile, warmth and laughter ring in your heart like a soft comforting blanket that will warm you when you cold and lonely. And may the love of our great God wrap you in grace and peace.
    With love, tears & prayers.

  • We are so sorry for your loss of Ronnie.. your son, your brother, your grandson, your nephew, your friend. May God and the Prayers of those who care so much, give you the comfort during this unimaginable hard time. Love.. and May God Bless you all~Chris and Deb Oyster

  • Family and friends,

    I only knew him for two months during our time at OTS in Montgomery, AL. I knew him as ‘Cadet Nelson.’ Everyone at OTS was assigned a job as part of our training. I was the CQ Trainer. He was the CQ scheduler. The CQ is basically a small office on the ground floor of the dorm. The office handles the mail, phone calls, PA announcements, etc. My job was to train other cadets of how to run the office during their assigned shifts. Cadet Nelson’s job was to figure out how to assign the 230 people in our class to a particular shift. Because of our jobs, the two of us interacted regularly.

    He probably told you all about how hectic the OTS environment was. Looking back, I can think of two particular stories with him. On one occasion, I was working the office. I had not yet been to the dining hall to eat dinner, but the rules required that someone always be in the CQ. He walked by the office, learned of my dilemma, and offered to sit there for a few minutes while I went off to eat. On another occasion, I was working the evening shift. I was eagerly waiting for the night shift person to arrive. (At OTS, sleep time is very precious). Again, he walked by and offered to work the desk, and wait for the night shift person, so I could get off to sleep.

    At the time, I just said thanks and didn’t think much of it. However, after hearing so many other stories from other people, I see that he genuinely was a thoughtful and caring guy- not just at OTS, but throughout his life. This is a character trait that I wish we all could have. Whether you knew him for months or years, I hope you will remember him with fond memories and live your life to be as thoughtful and caring as he was.

    • Thank you so much for sharing. It means the world to me. I don’t know how I can possibly be as a good a person as he was. His sensitivity perhaps broke his heart but if only–if only we could all tell him he made a difference.