Ronald K. Derrickson was born in New Castle, Indiana, on June 26, 1963, to the late J.R. and Bette Derrickson. Ron began his fire service career in 1990, joining the Straughn Volunteer Fire Department, where he served first as a firefighter and ultimately as assistant fire chief. Ron was a lifelong public servant, a role which he held in addition to his career as a press operator, die setter, and union safety official. He served several fire departments during his career, regularly serving multiple at a time, including Wayne Township Fire Department, Dublin Fire and EMS, Spiceland Fire Department, Dunreith Fire Department, and Lewisville Fire Department.
Ron proudly and bravely answered the call while on duty, but his service didn’t end there. Ron’s influence has resulted in saved lives, righted paths, and thriving careers in public service. His encouragement, kindness, mentorship, and compassion went beyond the call of duty, creating a legacy that lives on.
He served as a strength and conditioning coach for the Tri Junior-Senior High School football team, always pushing his kids to do better than their best. His love of strength training pushed him to become a powerlifter, winning state championships in powerlifting in the 1990s. Ron was a lifelong racer and car owner, fielding his go-kart team in the RoboPong 200 in 2015.
Ron accomplished much in life, but nothing was as important to him as his family. Married to the love of his life, Jeani, for 39 years, they shared a wonderful life that included children, Anthony (Natalie) and Kristina (Brice); and grandchildren, Audrey, Ellie, Anna, Isabelle, and Barrett.
While serving in the fire department was one of his proudest achievements, Ron’s true vocation was that of “Papaw.” He loved to take the grandchildren on tractor rides, spend time together snuggling in the chair, or on a trip to the racetrack, always with a hug and reminder of how much he loved them. He was ever-present for his children, immensely proud not only of their accomplishments but simply for being who they were. He was always on the sidelines, cheering them on, and encouraging them to do their best. Dad was their confidant, comforter, and hero.
Ron succumbed to complications of COVID-19 infection on September 15, 2021. While God called Ron home earlier than ever expected, it was a journey that he was ready for. A man of faith, Ron trusted in the Lord’s plan. His family loves and misses him dearly and strives to honor his legacy throughout their lives.