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Ronald Henry Dobrzelecki
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Obituary for Ronald Henry Dobrzelecki

Ron Dobrzelecki Obituary

Ronald H. Dobrzelecki, passed away on July 27, 2017. Cause of death was a heart attack. He was 65 years old at the time of his death.
Ron grew up in the Ironbound section of Newark, NJ, attending Saint Casimir’s Parochial School, where he served as an altar boy. After graduating from Newark’s East Side High School in 1970, Ron joined the U.S. Air Force, following his brother Daniel and cousin Bob Zatorski, both of whom had joined the USAF a few years before. Ron served for more than 35 years in the USAF and USAF Reserves. During the Vietnam War, he refueled F-4 Phantom fighter bombers at Udorn Air Force Base in Thailand, and later, during his service with the USAF Reserves, was based at McGuire Air Force Base with the 35th APS. During his time in the USAF Reserves, he also worked at the Munitions Engineering Test Center (METC) at Picatinny Arsenal in Dover, NJ, making explosives (accelerants as he called him). He finally retired a couple of years ago from both the USAF Reserves and Picatinny. A good part of his life was dedicated to defending the USA and our allies. He was a very proud veteran, and would brook no one making disparaging remarks about the military, or America, in general.
Ron loved to build scale models and sometimes built kits as promotional items for hobby kit companies. One of his TBM Avenger torpedo bombers was featured on the box-top of an Accurate Miniature’s kit. He was instrumental in making the Silver Wings 1/32nd scale Polish PZL P.11c fighter kit a reality. He loved to compete with his models, often attending regional and national conventions of the International Plastic Modelers Society. One of Ron's claims to fame was that he did an episode of “Adventures in Scale Modeling” for PBS TV in 1993, a show demonstrated model building techniques to other hobbyists.
He loved that 15 minutes of fame.
He was a founding member of the New Jersey Chapter of IPMS and could always be counted to support the club in their museum projects in honor of U.S. vets, and those of our allies, by building models for the various exhibits that New Jersey IPMS (International Plastic Modelers Society) did aboard the Intrepid Museum and other venues, such as the Museum of Polish Military Heritage, as well as other projects coordinated by NJIPMS.
Ron loved going to airshows, visiting military museums, gun shows and honing his shooting skills at the range.
While serving with the 35th APS at McGuire AFB, he got another 15 minutes of fame, when he appeared as an extra in the movie, “Taking Chance” (2009), which was based on the real-life events of Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, a volunteer military escort officer, accompanying the body of a 19-year-old Marine, Chance Phelps, back to his hometown in Dubois, Wyoming. Ron appears in the opening sequence, as one of the uniformed bearers carrying the casket off the USAF transport. McGuire AFB substituted for Dover AFB, which handles most of the bodies of military killed in service. Apparently, hangar repair work at Dover obviated the use of the proper facility for safety reasons. In a strange coincidence, my other brother, Dan, did work supporting the Dover AFB morgue, as extra duty, when he was in the USAF. The movie starred Kevin Bacon as Col. Strobl. So, if you ever heard of the “6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon” phenomenon, anyone who knew my brother, is now connected to Kevin Bacon.
Ron married his first wife, Nancy, a nice Italian-American girl in 1979, having met her at a club called, “Mother’s”, in North Jersey. They lived for a couple of decades in Clifton NJ. Nancy passed away in 2009. About a year later he became the only one of three brothers to fulfill his mom’s prime directive, namely to “marry a nice Polish girl”, when he met Grazyna (Grace) Kosowska. Grace had been a lawyer in Poland, but then immigrated about 20+ years ago to the USA and worked as an office manager for a doctor in North Jersey. For his wedding Ron wore his USAF dress blues, decorated with his extensive set of medals, and a USAF sword, no less. He was so proud and happy that day. While Ron had traveled to many European bases when he served in the Reserves, including Ramstein, Germany, and Aviano, Spain, Grace broadened his horizons even further, taking him several times to Poland to visit his ancestral country and her family. Those past 7 years he spent with Grace were some of his happiest days of his life. The two of them enjoyed themselves in their retirement, making every day a special day. She was truly proud to be married to Ron who had such a distinguished military career.
Everybody who knew Ron always remembered his huge smile.

He is survived by his wife, Grazyna (Grace) Dobrzelecki (nee Kosowska) , his sister, Lorraine, his brothers, Michael and Daniel, his step-son, Mario, his brother-in-law Mietek Kosowski and many others in his extended family.
He will be interred with full military honors, including an honor guard, firing detail, the playing of “Taps” and a flag presentation to his wife, at 10:30AM on Friday August 25, 2017, at the following location:
South Florida National Cemetery
6501 S. State Road 7

Those wishing to honor my brother, Ron, can either send flowers through the All County Funeral Home website in Lakeworth, FL, or post their memories of Ron:

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10:45 AM - 11:00 AM
South Florida National Cemetery

6501 S. State Road 7

Cemetery Details


South Florida National Cemetery

6501 S. State Road 7


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