Ron Mocadlo Sr., 87, of Vernon, CT passed away on Feb. 9, 2021 at Hartford Hospital. Born on Aug. 5, 1933 in Meriden, Ron was the son of the late Joseph and Amelia Mocadlo.
Ron inherited his father’s love of music and went on to earn his music degree at the University of Connecticut. During his college years, Ron was a lifeguard at Hammonasset Beach State Park and he could be heard playing the piano at local night clubs like the Beachcomber. After college Ron worked at the New Departure division of GM where he met the love of his life, Nancy Fontana, who would become his wife and soul mate for 63 years.
In 1957 Ron was called into service with the army and he was stationed in Korea. While in Korea, Ron played piano in the United States Army Band earning several All Army music awards. After serving his country, Ron and Nancy settled in Ellington, CT where Ron taught music at Ellington Middle School and played the organ at St. Luke’s church. Ron also played piano on weekends for the Al Jarvis Orchestra. One of the highlights of his musical career was playing the piano for Sammy Davis Jr. and Jackie Gleason during the Greater Hartford Open. Ron later completed his Master’s in Education at the University of Hartford and became a guidance counselor at Manchester High School. He and Nancy would eventually move to Vernon to raise their four sons and daughter. Ron especially enjoyed time with family and friends and often hosted pool and dinner parties and nightly card games. Always quick with a joke or story, Ron could entertain for hours. He was an avid reader of history and an original American Picker in search of rusty gold. Most of all, Ron enjoyed sitting on his front porch overlooking the Strong Family Farm, drinking a Manhattan, smoking a good cigar and enjoying the company of his sons, daughter and grandkids. Ron’s love of music never faded as he continued playing the piano in retirement for the Dick Pillar Orchestra. He also remained active in St Joseph’s church. Ron and Nancy often spent winters in Ft. Myers, FL where Ron was the musical director at his retirement community.
Ron was predeceased by a son, Roger and a brother, Joseph. He is survived by his wife, Nancy, and children; Ron Mocadlo Jr and wife Lynn of West Hartford; Mark Mocadlo and wife Jean of Broad Brook; Randy Mocadlo and wife Michele of Ellington; Melody Mocadlo of Vernon and 9 loving grandchildren. Ron also leaves two sisters, Marion Lewoc and Cynthia Swift and many friends and relatives.
Due to Covid-19 there will be no wake or funeral services. In early summer the family will host a celebration of Ron’s life at their home in Vernon.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be considered to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital via www.stjude.org.