Ronald P. Fleet ’56 died on December 29, 2021, in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
(The following was provided by the Campbell Funeral Home on December 29, 2021)
Lieutenant Colonel Ronald P. Fleet, United States Air Force (USAF), Retired, passed away on December 29th surrounded by his family. He was the husband of Eleanor J. (Stephanio) Fleet. Ron was born in Gloucester on May 31st, 1934, the son of Donald “Gus” and Muriel “Viator” Fleet.
He was a 1952 graduate of Gloucester High School where he was the Drum Major of the award-winning Recruit Officer Training Cadet (ROTC) High School band. In 1954, upon acceptance to the USAF Aviation Cadet Training Program, Ron left Bowdoin College to pursue a career as an Air Force aviator. His distinguished career included a variety of challenging assignments. As a C-130 Hercules aircraft pilot, Ron was assigned to airlift Lyndon Johnson’s presidential limousine during his presidential campaign. During the Vietnam War, Ron served with great distinction in service to his country as an operations officer from 1969 to 1970. Ron’s assignment included providing daily operations briefings to the Seventh Air Force commanding general at the Tan Son Nhut Airbase in Saigon, Vietnam.
In 1976, while Ron was stationed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, he was assigned as the commander of the Department of Defense Multi-Service Unit. The mission of the unit was to highlight the many historic contributions of the US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines to the history of our country during the 1976 Celebration of the Bicentennial. Ron was honorably retired from the USAF in 1977. Lieutenant Colonel Ronald P. Fleet’s awards included the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal with the oak leaf clusters, the Joint Service Commendation Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal. Ron served his country with honor and distinction and was a proud veteran.
After retirement he returned to Gloucester and began a twenty-five-year real estate career, retiring in 2003. He loved playing racket ball and daily early morning workouts at the YMCA with the “Dawn Patrol” as he referred to his cronies. Both he and his second wife, Ellie, enjoyed summer golf as members of the Bass Rocks Golf Club and winter golf in the warmer climates of Bermuda, Florida, Hawaii, Arizona, and the Azores. He and Ellie also enjoyed sailing in the Caribbean.
Ron is survived by his wife, Ellie, with whom he enjoyed forty-two years of marriage; his son, Thomas, and his wife, Barbara, of Newburyport; his daughter, Lisa, and her husband, James Gorgoni, of North Andover; and two grandsons, Alex and Michael Gorgoni; a stepson, Scott Stewart, and stepdaughter, Anna Stewart, of Lanesville. He was predeceased by his brother, David A. Fleet.