Ronald R. Nixon

August 08, 1945 ‒ September 30, 2018

Mount Gilead, Ohio
Formerly of Galion, Ohio

Ronald R. Nixon, age 73, of Mount Gilead, died Sunday, September 30, 2018, at the Galion Hospital following an extended illness.

On August 8, 1945, Ron was born in Galion, Ohio, the youngest of four children of the late Gaylord and Miriam (Palm) Nixon.  He was raised in Mount Gilead, attended Trinity United Methodist Church, and graduated from Mount Gilead High School in the class of 1964.  He furthered his education at Bowling Green University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in education with a specialty in industrial arts.

Growing up in Mount Gilead, Ron and all of his friends spent a significant amount of time at the ice cream shop and playing sports around town.  Somewhere along the way, he became acquainted with a young lady, Mary Jean Fath, and their friendship grew from there.  After a long courtship, Ron and Mary Jean were married on September 4, 1971.  Together they shared forty seven years of marriage, lovingly raising one son, RJ.

For over 30 years, Ron dedicated his career to enriching the lives of his students both as a teacher and coach.  He taught industrial arts to both high school and middle school students, and coached several sports though primarily football.  He worked in Danville, Tecumseh, Fredericktown, Cardington, Galion and Centerburg school systems, until his retirement.

Putting his own education to good use, Ron was proud to build two homes for his family; one for his mother on Willow Lane in Mount Gilead, and one for his wife and son in Candlewood Lake.  He also enjoyed tinkering in the garage on his ‘56 Ford, and rooting on the Ohio State Buckeyes and Cleveland Browns.

In his younger days, one of Ron’s friends enlightened him to the joys of water skiing, with his first experiences being on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.  From there, most every summer out of school he spent on the water, both boating and water skiing.  Ron truly loved everything about being out on the water.  He also was a member of the Candlewood Ski Club.

A great man, Ron was the best husband, father, teacher, coach, mentor and friend you could ask for.  He also had the best sense of humor, always keeping you on your toes with his quick wit and ornery personality.

Left to cherish his memory are his beloved wife, Mary Jean Nixon of Mount Gilead; son, RJ (Samantha) Nixon; one precious granddaughter, Magnolia “Maggie” Nixon; three sisters: Judith Dunn of Sidney, Ohio, Maxine (Jim) Reesman of Medina, Ohio, and Mary Ellen (Marvin) Gillson of Butler, Ohio; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Services honoring Ron’s life will be observed at 1 pm on Thursday, October 4, 2018, at his graveside in Bryn Zion Cemetery, 5522 County Road 240; Mount Gilead, OH 43338, with their neighbor and former pastor, Robert Taylor officiating.  In remembrance of Ron, a luncheon will be held at 2 pm at Trinity United Methodist Church in Mount Gilead.  All are welcome to attend.

Memorial contributions may be made to help the OSU Wexner Medical Center continue helping other patients with Parkinson’s Disease:

Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead are honored to serve Ron’s family and your favorite memories and condolences may be expressed to them via

  • On behalf of the entire Nixon family, wife,son, daughter in law, granddaughter, brother cousins, neic and friends. We are all so saddened at the death of Ronnie. There so many fond memories of ours years together. He has fought a long battle of illness with the loving help of his wife, Mary Jean. Rest in peace dear brother. We loved you.

    • Judie, I know the pain of losing a brother, as you know and you and your sisters are certainly in my prayers. I am so glad you were able to make that one last visit! I can see that Ronnie was very much loved by all who knew him. My sincere sympathy to you, Mackey, and MaryEllen and Ronnie’s wife and son.

  • It was with great sadness I learned of the passing of my brother Ron. Being only a year apart, if one of us was in trouble the other wasn’t far behind. So many great memories. My heart goes out to Mary Jean, RJ, Samantha, Magnolia, the rest of the family and his large circle of friends. He was loved.

  • We are so sorry to hear the news of your last as! Although, I know you didn’t want him to suffer any longer, the pain of losing a brother is so difficult! God bless and keep your family!

  • It is with great sadness to hear of Ron’s Passing. He was a friend of my brother Mark and if ever there was a get together and Ron would be there , entertainment would follow. He always was the life of the party. He will be greatly missed Condolences to Mary Jean and RJ

  • I am deeply saddened by the death of my “little brother”. We were lucky to grow up with wonderful parents and to continue to love and respect each other as adults. He was a wonderful brother!

  • To All of Ron’s family, for whom I am blessed to say are my Cousins – I am so sad to learn of my cousin Ron’s passing. Memories, unlike time, do not pass away and I have many, many fond memories of Ron & I’s younger days. His champion spirit of youth remained with him throughout life as he always proved to be a CHAMPION. Thinking of you and LOVE to all of you !!

  • Ron was known locally for his prowess on the athletic fields and for setting an example for others to follow. During football practice we performed a drill called “bull in the ring” in which players formed a circle around one player and when your number was called you delivered a forearm block to the player in the center of the ring. Ron was one player you would rather not have hit you. He made other players better by setting a positive example. In a championship game against Cardington he literally pushed me as I was trying to tackle Larry Coomer as Coomer was sprinting down the sideline. With his help I made the tackle. We won the game and Ron was a major contributor to that win. Ron Nixon earned our respect and led by example. Ron’s biggest challenge came later in life as illness gradually limited his once strong body. His ability to tackle this challenge was as impressive as the tackles he made on the gridiron. Ron Nixon’s name will always be synonymous with respect by the teammates and friends that knew him best. Ron must be needed in heaven to develop a team of some kind. Many of his former teammates would be honored to play with him again when our number is called.

  • To hear of Ron’s death is a shock and a feeling of sadness I can’t describe. Classmate, football, basketball, track and a great friend. He was a leader. His family was such a great part of the Mt. Gilead Community. To Ron’s family, you have my deepest sympathy.

  • I am so sad to hear of Ronnie’s passing. He was a classmate of the class of 1964 and I have such fond memories of him . Another classmate and friend gone too soon.
    My sympathies to his family.
    Barbara Jackson Snow

  • I was 7 years younger than Ron, but remember such a kind guy with always a smile. The Nixon family was part of mine in my younger years. Ron always greeted me with kindness as did his entire family. God bless and all is within my heart through this time of loss and sadness. We have lost a really nice man.
    With love,
    Patty Riggs Ryan

  • It is with great sadness that I received this email today. Ron was a great friend to me. My oldest and closest. I am just so sad. I wished we were in closer proximity because I so enjoyed getting together with he and Mary Jean. My best wishes to Mary Jean and RJ and the Whole family. We go back such a long way with so many great times and fond memories.

    With Great Sympathy,

    Walt Poetsch

  • We are very sad to hear of Ron’s passing, We offer our prayers and condolences to Mary Jean and all of the Nixon family. Ted and Linda Baldwin

  • Was so saddened to hear about Ron’s passing.
    Mary Jean, RJ, Sam, Magnolia and family, you are all in our thoughts and prayers.
    Frankie Valli and I are going to do a little duet for Ron.

  • Sorry to hear about Ron passing had many years of paying ball withhim (baseball and foodball).Ronie was as tough as nails. He ran over me more than once. We also had a football drill where one person would lay on his back and another one have his back to the ball. both players would turn one with his back to the ball would pick it up and run and try to get pass the other player. I all seem to gat Ronie and we always hit head to head.
    Geno Hollingsworth

  • It is with great sadness that I heard about Ron’s passing. I always remember visiting with my Mom and Dad during Thanksgiving in the early sixties at the old homestead and vet clinic in Mt. Gilead. I always looked forward to seeing Ronnie and the entire family. Memories are for ever and I will always treasure the friendship and family unity. My God Bless Ronnie and Mary Jean and their family. Our sincere condolences to all of you at this difficult time.

  • Thoughts and prayers go out to all of the Nixon family from us Palm’s down in Georgia. I only got to meet Ronnie a few times in my adult life but he was always gracious, had a warm smile, and always welcoming. Thinking of all of you in this tough time.

  • RJ, so sorry to hear about your father. You and your family is in my prayers. May he RIP.

  • This guy taught me the basics how to make an engine run …. I have been using those things for 40 years now everyday … RIP & thank you sir … love you … miss you already …….

  • Sorry to hear about Ron death, Every summer I sealed his driveway and always enjoyed talking with Ron about the old days of growing up in Mt.Gilead.I was really impressed with Ron’s jumping ability.while playing high school basketball, I saw Ron reverse dunk a basketball as a freshman.

  • To the Nixon family and Mary Jean,
    Bruce and I send our deepest sympathies lots of high school memories and Bruce met Ron Playing basketball after we moved back.

  • Steph and I are so fortunate to be close neighbors and friends of Ron and Mary Jean. We are humbled to be around Ron and his family. Ron has been mentor in being a good husband, father, grandfather, and to us friend, neighbor that reaches out to help in every way, it’s just who he, strong willed, witty, a good character of living life. He is the definition of A Good Man! We’ve shared many memories, that Steph and I will still talk about and cherish, especially the neighborhood get togethers around a fire, blowing/raking leaves together in the fall, that he would lend you his blower, Thanks Ron! and shovel snow off the driveway, he wouldn’t let you plow, LOL. Our love, support, and sympathies are to Mary Jean, RJ, Sam, Magnolia, and the entire Nixon family. We are hear for you and lift you up. God Bless
    The Gadds

  • My prayers and condolences to Ron’s family. As a classmate in the class of 64, I remember Ron’s playful nature and wicked smile like he was always conjuring up something special. He was a special individual, and I know all who knew him were blessed.

  • I was very saddened to hear about the passing of a close childhood and teenage friend. Ronnie was like a brother to me. Even though we were linked to each other through sports, it was off the field that we became very close. We live near each other and I think I spent about as much time in his house as in my own. When I had the opportunity of seeing Ron through the years, the joy of our childhood filled me with happiness. I will always remember Ronnie with fondness and joy. I will miss you, my friend.

  • Sorry for your families loss. Ron was my Industrial Arts Teacher and Football Coach at Cardington. I have great memories of that time. May he RIP.

  • So sorry to hear of Ron’s passing. Marcia and I send our condolences and prayers for all the family. It was always a great time at Ron and Mary Jean’s house for the Ohio State and that team up north football game.. Good bless..

    Roger and Marcia Cooper

  • So sorry to learn of this. I remember meeting Ron in the vets office where his dad and my uncle, Harry Riggs, shared a practice. Prayers to the family.
    Cherie Riggs Smith

  • Sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers be with the entire family during your time of sorrow. Ron was one of my favorite resident of Candlewood Lake. May Ron rest in peace in heaven.

  • I always admired Ronnie while playing basketball in high school and later with older guys in pickup games around town. I was a year ahead of Ron from Iberia HS and was always amazed how high he could jump. He also seemed to have eyes on the sides of his head. He could pass the ball accurately without looking at you and if you weren’t paying attention you likely got a bloody nose.
    Rest in peace.

  • My sincere condolences are extended to the Nixon family and their friends. I was blessed to have known RJ and his parents when he was a student in my first grade classroom. His sweetness and a smile that could light up a room spoke volumes about his parents. Prayers for peace and love for RJ and his family and their friends.

  • I am so saddened to hear of Ron’s passing and your loss. He was an inspiration to me and all who knew him as a friend. My condolences to his family and loved ones. Denny and Sharon Shipman

  • I t saddens Carol and I to just find out about Ron’s passing. Ron and Mary just live around the corner from us, and as always he would be out in yard or in garage doing something, never seemed to have idol hands or mind, and if you seen him, Mary was close by. In life, both were great in helping others and listening, help when they could. When I was in Jr. High, Ron was who I wanted to play football like, and I got that chance, told him, you were who I tried to copy after. Ron being humble would just smile. One time Carol and I found Mary and Ron in a cove, both in our boats, watching the buzzards collect together. I think some may know they enjoyed nature as well. If a couple was starting off in there walk in life together, Mary and Ron would be a great example to follow, Love of each other, family, friends and people in general. It is with heavy hearts we offer our condolences to Mary and the family. Unique people such as Ron and Mary are hard to come by, if you were a part of there lives, count your blessings to have known Ron, he was a mans, man and friend.
    May God give them peace and love for there trying time.
    Memories are forever.