Col. Ronald Lord (USAF, retired)

Lord Ron  scaled

On Feb. 23, 2020, Col. Ronald Lord (USAF, retired) flew west into the sunset toward his final destination at the age of 83. Before leaving this world, he was surrounded by his family after a short, but very advanced, cancer diagnosis. Ronald grew up in the small town of Hudson, Mass where most boys his age dreamed of playing professional hockey. While he was a good stick on the ice and played semi-pro hockey, he dreamed of another type of stick – a jet fighter stick. As a young boy, he watched P-51s fly over his home in Marlborough, Mass. during training missions. He set his sights on becoming a pilot, completed flight school in 1958 and began his life-long journey as an Air Force fighter pilot.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Ronald met Georgia T. Archer (Cotsikas) and her daughter, Kimberly M. Archer. With missiles pointed at the United States, there was no time to waste. Within two weeks, they were engaged and married in April 1963. This instant family would grow to 3 more children – Shane, Cassandra and Tiffany – four grandsons and four great-grandchildren.

Ronald did not follow a traditional military career path. He took a cue from his favorite singer, Frank Sinatra, he did it Ron’s way. He constantly looked for assignments that offered adventure and new challenges. After flying F-100s and F-4E Phantoms in Japan, Italy, and Germany, he completed Army jump school (he never really liked jumping out of a perfectly good airplane) and flew with the Army to provide close air support. Rather than return to those long Air Force runways, Ronald requested an exchange tour with the Navy to fly F-8 Crusaders off the USS Bonne Homme Richard Aircraft Carrier during the Vietnam War. The Navy community welcomed and embraced his Air Force family as they waited for his return after extended deployments during a very difficult time in American history.

After the ubiquitous Washington, D.C. tour in the Pentagon, working with foreign governments in Israel, Iran, and Japan, he sought out a new adventure. During the Cold War, Ronald served as the Air Attaché in Bonn Germany, where he and Georgia worked alongside allied nations and Ambassadors in a military-diplomatic role, followed by another four years in the Netherlands as the Chief of Staff for the Director of Operations and Intelligence. Though he retired from the USAF, his desire to fly and see the world did not abate. Ronald began a civilian career working in the defense industry and flying towing targets for gunnery aircraft (crazy yes) in the United States, Japan, and Europe. As Ron always said, “My life has been a whole lotta get shot at.”

In 1996, Goodyear, Arizona became his new home. The warm weather, desert palms, and friendly growing community were just what he needed after many decades living in the cold climates on the East Coast, Europe, and Asia. It is here that Ronald could play tennis as often as he wished, continue flying to support the Civil Air Patrol and even join the Goodyear police as a volunteer. His newly found friends loved his unending enthusiasm and boyish charm as he got to know the community. He was also known as the Goodyear’s First Dude when he accompanied Georgia in her responsibilities as mayor of Goodyear. Whether visiting his favorite sweet shop for a brownie and a doughnut or stopping by the Sprint phone store for a quick lesson in smartphones, he was loved for his humor, Hey Tiger greetings and joyful Hooha! as he met someone or learned something new. He will be missed by all. Fly Safe Ronald Lord.

Ronald is survived by his wife, Goodyear Mayor Georgia T. Lord, Kimberly Lord Stewart, Shane J. Lord, Cassandra L Lord, Tiffany Lord Arnaldo, four grandsons, and four great-grandchildren. A celebration of life with military honors will be held May 2, 2020, 10:00 am, Skyway Church, 14900 W Van Buren Street, Goodyear, AZ. Donations may be made in lieu of flowers to Military Officers Association of America, scholarship fund, Luke AFB chapter, in honor of Col. Ronald H Lord (USAF retired) Luke MOAA, PO Box 5072, SCW, AZ 85376.  Condolences for the family may be left below.

34 Comments on “Col. Ronald Lord (USAF, retired)

  1. Please accept my deepest sympathies. In this time of grief, you are in my thoughts and prayers. It is an honor to serve your family.

  2. Mayor Lord and family. My heart is broken at the loss of Colonel Lord. I chuckle because he never wanted me to call him Colonel. He would say, it’s Ron, pastor. May God walk you through this time of loss and walk to this grief healthily. We love you. Pastor Charlie.

  3. My deepest sympathies to the entire Lord Family.

    The Daigle’s

  4. So Sorry to have learned of Ron’s death. He was a good Friend, and I am sure he will be sadly missed. My condolences to Georgia, and the whole Family.

  5. Condolences from my family to Georgia and her family.Col. Lord was also a member of the Air Force Association, Frank Luke Chapter. We loved and respected him for his support and his sense of humor.
    Fly high in this new adventure.
    Harry Bailey

  6. Condolences from my family to Georgia and her family.Col. Lord was also a member of the Air Force Association, Frank Luke Chapter. We loved and respected him for his support and his sense of humor.
    Fly high in this new adventure.

  7. Georgia, Betty and I were shocked at your great loss of this very special brother and USAF shipmate. As you know it was an honor to serve with you both in Bonn. Please know that our prayers will continue during this time of grieving. The little guy you so often provided care for, Mike sends his love and prayers.

    Our sincere blessings to your entire family,

    Tom and Betty

  8. Ron was a wonderful mentor, leader and friend he will be missed! RIP Dear Ron.

  9. Fair winds and following seas, Ron, from your Bonnie Dick squadronmate.

  10. Georgia, we are so sad to hear about Ron. You and your entire family are in our prayers. Our visit with you, Ron and your family in Rindge NH last May was very special but now even more special. We so enjoyed Ron as a gentle man, his sense of humor and his love for life. Reading his obituary encompasses these qualities and so much more…he had quite a career and one that you were able to share with him. Our thoughts are with you and your family. Goodyear and Pebblecreek will miss Ron who was a great cheerleader for both. Hugs and love, Claire and Ed Juengst

  11. What a beautiful tribute to such a remarkable man. Wishing your whole family peace and comfort in what must be some amazing memories.

  12. Ron enjoyed life and his enthusiasm was fun to be around. We will miss the talks over the wall, and his stopping as he drove by…. he was a good neighbor and friend. Our hearts go out to his family.

  13. May his memory be eternal. Condolences to all the family.

  14. Ron was such a good man, and according to my dad… one heck of a fighter pilot. The world has been shorted another much needed consummate gentleman.

  15. My deepest sympathies to the entire Lord Family.
    Ron Lord was a pilot’s pilot.

  16. My deepest sympathies to the entire Lord Family.
    Ron Lord was a pilot’s pilot.

  17. Ron and Georgia were neighbors and friends. We will miss Ron.

  18. One of the “good guys” who could make you laugh quickly upon greeting you. A smile was forever forming on his face. We “passed in the night” so to speak because we met at an AF social event and talked “war stories” like we’d known each other all of our lives. The world has lost a good soldier and human being. My condolences to the family, he will be missed.

  19. My sincere condolences to Ron’s family and many friends……as members of the Flying Ten Flying Club at the Phoenix-Goodyear Airport, Ron and I flew together many times…….further, as a Certified Flight Instructor, he gave me my Biennial Flight Check for those years he was in the Club.

  20. Flying straight up to Eternity…afterburners and VFR all the way—what a destination !—and well deserved—our loss, God’s gain. Warrior once, Patriot forever . Condolences! Jack (SKINMAN) & Carroll Haydon

  21. Cass and family – our deepest condolences from all of us.

  22. Hello Georgia,
    I received the news about Ron through the Navy Crusader group.
    I served with Ron in Vietnam aboard the Bonhomme Richard with much pleasure. I was very fond of him and respect his person, his airmanship and his dedication to America with humble appreciation and admiration. I never could find out where he went when he left the Squadron. I am so grateful for his long service and wonderful life. Thank you and my sincere condolences.
    I left the Navy and became a family physician, graduating from one of the earliest classes of the Medical School in Tucson but never wavered in my appreciation of the service and men like Ron. I grew up in Arizona. I just left from a visit last week. I wish i could be there for his burial. God Bless you and your family.

  23. Please accept our deepest condolences for your loss. May you be comforted by the outpouring of love surrounding you.

  24. Dear Georgia,
    Mike and I send our love to you and your family. We have very fond memories of our time at AFCENT and the friendship we enjoyed with you there. You and Ron and your beautiful children contributed so much to that community and were so much fun to be around. Memories like those make me happy. I hope you also find peace and happiness in your memories of your good husband.

  25. Mayor Georgia,
    Kitty found Ron’s Obituary today. We were sad to learn of his passing.
    We often think of our AFCENT days and getting to work with such superb people as yourself, Ron and the many men and women in the AFCENT community.

    May God be with you and your family to bless and comfort you during this time of grief and hold you in the palm of His hand.

  26. Georgia, we were saddened to hear of Ron’s death but have so many good Bonn memories. We’re praying for God’s special peace for you and the family, and please greet them for us.

  27. Sending our deepest sympathy to Georgia and family. I am so honored to have known Ron and will always remember his sincere dedication to Country, Party and

  28. Georgia,
    My wife and I send you our love, prayers and deepest sympathy. I am grateful to have known Ron, especially at the Goodyear Police Volunteer Awards or the Swaggies. He would ask me to play a Frank Sinatra song or make a comment like “Can you turn that damn music down, it’s too loud?” He was always very kind to me and always with a smile. He is sadly missed and we thank him for his service to our community and to our country. God bless you and your family Georgia.
    Musically yours,
    Ray Mar

  29. We are so sad. Ron was a very old friend. RIP Ron.
    With sympathies to you Georgia and the rest of the family.

    We will be sending a donation to Military Officers Association in Ron’s name.

  30. We are so sad. Ron was a very old friend. RIP Ron.
    With sympathies to you Georgia and the rest of the family.

    We will be sending a donation to Military Officers Association in Ron’s name.

  31. Our deepest condolences to the Lord family. Col. Lord was an amazing man on so many levels. He will rest in peace with our Lord above.
    Our personal prayers and sympathies to Mayor Georgia Lord, in this time of loss, we want to be sure she knows that she is loved and appreciated by so many.
    God Bless
    Bill Olson and the Newland-Estrella Team

  32. Georgia & family, I am deeply saddened on Ron’s passing. He was a true lifetime friend. Riding our bikes down Apsley St. and Ron seeing a Piper Cub flying overhead and saying “I’ll fly like that someday:. He was a person that I never heard a person say a bad thing about. NEVER. I’ll miss our monthly phone calls talking about things that happened 70 years ago, hockey, baseball, and High School classmates. He was one great guy who forefilled his dreams. You and your family are in my prayers. Ron, keep flying in those clouds in Heaven. R.I.P. Bill Busby, Homosassa, F,

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