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Ron S. Zulkiewski of Skandia, Michigan began his service to our country in 1966 when he joined the United States Air Force. He dedicated twenty-five years of his life to our nation, which included two tours of active duty in Vietnam. While enlisted, he received the Unit Award with Valor Device and 4 oak leaf clusters, amongst other awards and recognitions. In 1991, Ron retired from the Air Force and went to work for Proctor and Gamble as a sales representative. He also worked for Ramrod, where he built hydraulic cylinders. Though he was retired from the military, the effects of Ron’s exposure to Agent Orange while in Vietnam continued to plague his health and ultimately took his life. His final tour of duty ended with his last breath at Mayo Clinic on February 18, 2018.

Ron was born on January 1, 1947 to John and Irene (Dubell) Zulkiewski in Petoskey, Michigan. He was a 1964 graduate of Pellston High School. After high school he attended Michigan Tech, where he pursued an Associate Degree of Applied Science. He ultimately received his degree from the community college of the Air Force.

On May 2, 1970, Ron married the love of his life and best friend, Sharon Leis of Cheboygan. They were married at Ron’s “home” parish of St. Nicholas Church in Larks Lake, Michigan. The couple have a home in Larks Lake, where they enjoyed vacationing, visiting, and spending time with family and friends.

The most important thing in Ron’s life was family and his faith. Ron and Sharon’s lives were blessed with the birth of their son, Ronnie Zulkiewski, on April 14, 1975. Their hearts were shattered when Ronnie Zulkiewski, M.D. passed away on June 23, 2009. It was their faith that saw them through that loss, as well as the health challenges that Ron faced in the past several years. Ron was a member of St. Louis the King Catholic Church in Harvey, Michigan.

Throughout his life Ron participated in many sports, many of which were for Air Force Base teams. He enjoyed softball, basketball, and bowling. His love for golf led to him creating his own 18 hole Yooper Golf Course on Martin Lake. Other hobbies that Ron enjoyed were hunting, fishing, and playing cards. He was also a lifetime member of the following agencies: Vietnam Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Disabled American Veterans.

Ron leaves behind his wife of 47 years, Sharon. He is also survived by his brother-in-law, Gregory (Monica) Leis of Cheboygan; and sisters-in-law Sheryl (Walt) Briggs, of Copemish; and Shelly Deemer, of Traverse City. He will be dearly missed by his brother, Brian (Tonya) Shurtleff of Pellston and sister, Karen Bowman of Harbor Springs. Ron is also survived by two aunts, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In addition to his son, Ron was preceded in death by both of his parents.
A Funeral Mass will take place at a later date at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Larks Lake.
The family is being attended by Canale-Tonella Funeral Home of Marquette, Michigan. Donations may be made in Ron’s name to a charity of your choice. Family and friends are welcome (and encouraged) to share memories or offer condolences online at

The world will feel quite empty without him in it, though we know that whenever we might need him, we can look up, and he will be there. So now, Ron, husband, brother, uncle, cousin and friend, go and rest in peace. May you find the joy and comfort that you provided to each of us in your ever after. Godspeed.

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