On Tuesday, September 12, 2023, Ronald (Ron) Esterak fulfilled his faith in Jesus and departed for the joy of the Lord’s Kingdom. Surrounded by his family during his entry to glory, Ron’s legacy of service to his wife Nelda and their four children became the crowd of witnesses by his side.
Ron was born in Akron, Ohio, to first-generation immigrants from Yugoslavia, specifically present-day Serbia. Ron’s character blossomed early in life as he worked in the food service business, helping to care for his Mother and siblings. Ron met his wife while working at Kippy’s “Carhop” in Cuyahoga Falls. Nelda hailed from Cullman, Alabama. A Buckeye traded his horseshoe for a Rolling Tide for the rest of his life.
After their marriage, Ron and Nelda began their family with the arrival of Rhonda and then Brian while living in Akron. A career opportunity presented itself in Cullman, where they moved, and another daughter, Lisa, soon arrived. Careers take changes, and the family returns to Akron, where another daughter named Julie comes along. Ron and Nelda’s family was on its way.
During their early years in Akron, Ron confessed faith and was baptized into the Lord’s body of believers. He faithfully attended local congregations of the Church of Christ for the rest of his life. He would serve three years as a Deacon and then fifteen more as an Elder in Orange Park, Florida, where their family was one of the Founding Members of the Lakeside Church of Christ.
Along the way, Ron continued his work in food service. After another venture in Huntsville, Alabama, Ron and Nelda moved to Jacksonville, Florida, with four children in tow. Ron worked the demanding hours of corporate food service. Motivated to provide for his family, he began a side work of wedding cakes, which grew into a catering business, and eventually opened his own business. Business ownership led to semi-retirement and a move to Alabama for fourteen years, where he still worked part-time at a diner, delighting locals with his cooking.
After much consideration, Ron and Nelda determined to return to Florida. Their health was changing, and being near their children mattered. Settling in Ocala made for even more adventure, and they have been happy being involved in the high energy and sense of purpose in living with family.
Ron and Nelda lived a fantastic adventure together. They traveled this country from the East Coast to Hawaii. There was even a trip to the motherland of Yugoslavia. Ron loved to see his siblings in Ohio, making numerous trips through the years to be together with Dick (Deceased), Delores, David, and Billy. His Akron family looked to Ron as a firm foundation of love.
Ron and Nelda have raised four children in the faith of Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Each child has lived with their Christian spouse for forty or more years. There are Eight (8) grandchildren, Nine (9) great-grandchildren, and one (1) great-great-grandchild. The joy of the Lord is the strength of love in Ron and Nelda’s family.
God be with us till we meet again.