Ronald James Appel, Sr.August 31, 1941 ~ July 9, 2017 (age 75)
Colonel Ronald (Ron) James Appel, 75 was pronounced dead at the Hospice Care Center on Sunday, July 9, 2017. He was a resident of Ooltewah, Tennessee for the past three years. He was born in Lismore, Minnesota on August 31, 1941 and lived on a farm for a few years before moving to Adrian, Minnesota. He graduated from St. Adrian High School in 1959 and the University of Minnesota, Winona in 1964. After college he joined the United States Marine Corps, completed Officer’s Candidate School at Quantico, Virginia and was promoted to Second Lieutenant. He was then transferred to Pensacola, Florida where he became a Naval Aviator in 1966. During this time he met and married Lea Ann Etheredge Appel. A short time later he served in two 12 month combat tours of duty Vietnam. Over his 26 years of service he had a variety of assignments for which he received numerous awards. Colonel Appel retired from the Marine Forces Reserve Command, located in New Orleans, during 1990. He was then hired by the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office in New Orleans as the Director, Cooperative Administrative Support Unit. A few years later he transferred to the National Finance Center where he took on the added responsibility of Executive Director for the New Orleans Federal Executive Board. During this time he received numerous National and local awards. His final retirement was in 2003. Since that time he and his wife traveled over 60,000 miles in their motor home visiting family, friends, and exploring new places.
Colonel Appel is survived by his wife, Lea Ann, sons, Keith, James, Ronald Jr., their wives, and grandchild, Aiden Appel. He was preceded in death by his younger brother, James C. Appel, parents, Vincent and Marie Lebrun Appel. He dedicated his life to family, country, and service.
Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10:00 a.m., Monday, July 17, 2017 at St. Mary Catholic Church, 401 Van Pelt Lane, Pensacola, FL 32505. Interment will follow at Barrancas National Cemetery, NAS Pensacola, FL with full military honors.
Visit www.heritagechattanooga.com to share condolences with the family.
Memorial contributions may be made to the H. H. T. Foundation, American Cancer Society, or to Hospice of Chattanooga.
Arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 E. Brainerd Rd.