Ronald R. Vaessen


SUBLETTE - Ronald R. Vaessen, 80, of Sublette passed away July 31, 2020 at KSB Hospital, Dixon after a six-month illness with his wife and children at his side.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Mass of Christian Burial was private, family only at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 5 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Sublette with Father Randy Fronek officiating. Public visitation was held from 9 to 10:45 a.m. at the church. A public burial will follow after Mass at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Sublette with military rites by Mendota VFW Post 4079. Masks and social distancing are required by the family. Merritt Funeral Home, Mendota is handling arrangements.

Ronald was born July 19, 1940 in Spring Valley to Ralph and Della (Pachankis) Vaessen. He married Ruth Ann Schwemlein on Oct. 16, 1965 at Holy Cross Church, Mendota and they were blessed to have 54 1/2 years of marriage.

Survivors include his wife; one daughter, Julie (Troy) Bryden, of Machesney Park; one son, Jared (Laura) Vaessen, of Mark; three grandchildren, Jenna Bryden and Luke and Chase Vaessen; and one brother, Neal Vaessen, of Sublette.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers-in-law, James Schwemlein and Henry Schwemlein; and one sister-in-law, Donna Vaessen.

Ron was a lifelong resident of Sublette and a 1958 graduate of St. Bede Academy. He worked for Vaessen Bros. Chevrolet for over 44 years as a mechanic and later as a part manager. After retiring, he continued working there part time and also at Vaessen Implement Repair as a parts runner. He served in U.S. Army Reserves from 1962-1968, was a volunteer on the Sublette Fire Department for 33 years and was a lieutenant for part of that time. He was a village trustee on the Sublette Village Board for 18 years and was a lifetime member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church where he sang in the choir for over 50 years. He was a member of JFK Council Knights of Columbus, Mendota. Ron was a loving husband, father and grandpa. He liked to fix things, do photography and videoing and had an interest in trains. He and his wife enjoyed the hobby of railfanning, and this was included in their travels to different states. Many clerks and waitresses will remember him by his joke: Why is a cat on a beach so much like Christmas . . . Sandy Claws!

Memorials may be directed to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Sublette Fire Department, Union Depot Railroad Museum or the donor’s choice.