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Motorcyclists Ride for Ron: Groups Pay Tribute to Minooka Man Killed in Crash

Fellow bikers took part in an honor ride in memory of Ron Oswald.

Randy Jones called it a melting pot — members of numerous motorcycle groups coming together to honor one of their own.

“We’re doing an honor ride for Ron,” Jones said. Ron Oswald, 57, died Saturday following a chain-reaction crash on Route 126 at County Line Road in .

Oswald, who was active with the Warriors Watch Riders, Patriot Guard Riders and Will County ABATE (A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education), frequently took part in honor rides, paying tribute to returning soldiers, servicemen about to be deployed and fallen heroes who gave their lives in service to their country.

On Tuesday, his fellow bikers returned the favor, hosting an honor ride for Oswald, a Minooka resident. Motorcyclists and drivers proceeded from to Ridge Road, heading down Route 126 past the accident site before stopping at in downtown Plainfield to share their memories of Oswald.

The “melting pot” included members of ABATE, the American Veterans Motorcycle Association, Big Hearted Bikers, HOG (Harley Owners Group), Warriors Watch Riders, Patriot Guard and the Latin American Motorcycle Association.

Jones, a member of the Big Hearted Bikers motorcycle club, said he came up with the idea for the honor ride as he drove past the site of the fatal crash. It was a fitting tribute for the man dedicated to honoring veterans and educating the public about motorcycles.

“He was one of the best guys out there,” said Jones.

Scott Duncan, a member of the Joliet chapter of HOG, said he witnessed the crash on Saturday. He stayed with Oswald until medical help arrived.

“It just happened so fast,” Duncan said of the accident. “It was terrible.”

Though Duncan had never met Oswald, he said he showed up for the honor ride to pay his respects.

Jones said visitation for Oswald is scheduled for 2 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at , 3200 Black Rd., Joliet.

A final motorcycle sendoff is planned for Thursday following Oswald’s funeral service, planned for 10 a.m. Thursday at Fred C. Dames.

“We’re going to have a huge procession going from Fred C. Dames to Woodlawn Cemetery,” Jones said.

According to his obituary, Oswald was retired from Mahoney Environmental, where he worked for 27 years as a driver.

He is survived by his children, Bill (Tiffany) Oswald, Diane (J.J.) McClimon, Cheryl Hatley, Chris (Jeff) Worthington, Laura (Brandon) Hickey, Barb (Ryan Martin) Oswald, Brian Oswald and Michael Oswald; grandchildren Gabrielle and Sophia Oswald; Grace, Jack, Anna and Tommy McClimon; Max and Alexandria Hatley; Alex and Eli Worthington; Riley, Colin and Faith Hickey; Sean Martin and a new grandchild due in January; two sisters, Barb Zimmerman and Bev (Bob) Mauer; sister-in-law Ann Baker; and many nieces and nephews.  

Editor's Note: Special thanks to Todd Sherman of Northern Illinois FireGround Photos for providing photos of the honor ride. To view Sherman's entire photo album, click here, or visit the Northern Illinois FireGround Photos Facebook page.

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Jodi Waldron July 18, 2012 at 03:56 PM
I participated in this ride for Ron. It was so comforting to be doing what he loved so much to do in his honor. Bet he's humbled and embarrassed as he was all about everyone else and not himself. This is a sad day, as was the last few and more to come I'm sure, as his wake is tonight. Please send out thoughts and prayers for his family and friends.
Jeff Gale July 18, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Ron was one of the best friends and all around person that anyone could have ever met. He will be sorely missed and his family will be in our thoughts and prayers. I know he will be riding next to me in spirit everytime I ride. Farewell my friend we will together again in heaven.
kelly July 18, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Such a tragedy, Sending hugs to all of his family and friends.

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