Ron Clarkson 1938-2015
Col. Ret. Rolland F. “Ron” Clarkson Jr., of North Little Rock, Ark., was called home on Friday, Jan. 2, 2015, at the age of 76.
Ron was born on March 18, 1938, in Horton, to Rolland Frank Clarkson Sr. and Ruby Margaret Jones. He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Marilyn Manrose Clarkson.
Ron is survived by his son, Randy Clarkson (Zanya) of Little Rock, Ark.; daughter, Candice Roberts (Bob) of Sherwood, Ark.; sister-in-law, Mary Kay Dunwoody of Peru, Ind.; three grandchildren, Derek L. Clarkson, Sean M. Clarkson and Charles C. Roberts; and a host of family and friends.
Ron was raised in Atchison and graduated high school with a basketball scholarship. Though he began his college career at Oklahoma University, he transferred to Washburn University in Topeka after his sophomore year.
Ron graduated in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and was later designated a Distinguished Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. Graduate. He held a master’s degree in counseling and guidance from Alabama’s Troy State University. His professional military education included Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, Industrial College of the Armed Forces and Army War College.
A self-described “hard-core airlifter,” Ron was a command pilot with more than 5,000 flying hours, more than 1,300 hours of which were flown in combat. During his military career, Ron held command positions at Little Rock Air Force Base and Pope Air Force Base. At Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, he was both the Vice Commander, 23rd Air Force, and the Deputy Chief of Staff of Plans and Programs.
After his retirement from the Air Force, Ron built a 20-year career at H&R Block. He was an Enrolled Agent, Master Tax Advisory 3 and Office Leader at the Pike Avenue location for many years.
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with one oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Medal and 10 oak leaf clusters and Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster.
Visitation was held Tuesday, Jan. 6 at Roller-Owens Funeral Home Chapel, 5509 John F. Kennedy Blvd., North Little Rock, Ark. Graveside services were held Wednesday, Jan. 7, at Arkansas State Veterans’ Cemetery in North Little Rock.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to the USO or the American Cancer Society.