Ronald Anton Nelson
Ronald Anton Nelson
  • February 25, 1939 - June 2, 2011
  • Burney, California

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Ronald A. Nelson of Burney died at home on June 2, 2011 after a brief battle with cancer.
Ron was born in San Rafael, California on February 25, 1939. He spent his childhood in Larkspur, California and graduated from Sir Francis Drake High School in June of 1957. Ron joined the Navy in 1957 and served as a Machinist Mate aboard the USS Hamner. After his discharge in October of 1961, Ron worked for the City of Larkspur and attended College of Marin before joining the Larkspur Fire Department.

Ron had a long and successful career in fire service. In February of 1978, Ron became the first paid Fire Chief for the Burney Fire Department. Over the years Ron received many awards and certificates, including the CSFA Valor Award for heroism in the line of duty. He retired on June 24, 1994.

He had a life-long passion for trains, whether it was his model trains or building wooden trains with his buddy, Dan, to give away to children (and adults) or, finally, the Los Angeles Live Steamers. He was a member of the LALS Railroad Museum for twelve years and spent his winters in Burney building scenes and props for their annual Halloween runs. Ron's wife could always persuade him to long as a train ride or train museum was involved.

Ron had a keen sense of humor and always had a joke to tell.

He is survived by Evalee, his wife of 36 years, his two daughters, Lori (Jeremy) and Kim (Alex); adopted daughter Denice (Mark); five beautiful granddaughters, Ella, Bianca, Isabella, Gloria, and Becky; brothers Jim, Rudy, and Dennis; sister, Virginia.

A remembrance of his life and the lives that he touched will be held on June 18th at 12:00 noon at the Lion's park in Burney, and a dedication will be held at the LALS railroad Museum at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, his family requests memorial donations for the Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum, PO Box 2156, Toluca Lake, CA 91610 or the Burney Volunteer Fire Department.

Arrangements under the direction of McDonald's Chapel, Burney, CA.