Ronald “Ronnie or Ron” J. Chaffer, 75, Zimmerman
December 20, 1946 - June 22, 2022
Ronald “Ronnie or Ron” J. Chaffer, age 75 of Zimmerman, MN, passed away on June 22, 2022, surrounded by family at his home. A Memorial Service will be held at 4:00 PM on Sunday, June 26, 2022, at Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home in Princeton with visitation from 3:00-4:00 PM prior to the service. Burial will be at Fort Snelling National Cemetery at a later date.
Ronnie was born to Elbert and Arlene (Hay) Chaffer on December 20, 1946, in Long Beach, New York. He graduated from Long Beach High School and went on to attend Nassau Community College, receiving an associate’s degree in liberal arts. Ronnie enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1965, where he honorably served two tours in Vietnam and was a recipient of the Purple Heart Medal. After Vietnam, Ronnie became a police officer with the Long Beach Police Department for over 20 years, truly enjoying his time on the force helping others in his community. He remained and lived in Long Beach and raised his two eldest children with his first wife, Jeanne Evrard Chaffer Browne. Ronnie then retired from the police department and met Terri Gilbertson Karau, his second wife. Ronnie married Terri on July 15, 1994, and together they raised their family in Minnesota, which included all four children and numerous animals. In 2010, they opened “Love That Olive” in Maple Grove, where he worked as an owner and operator and found joy in conversations with his customers.
Ronnie found a real passion in coaching youth sports. He mentored a t-ball team of 5- and 6-year-olds and had a tremendous impact on not just the lives of those kids, but the parents as well. He kept stats for each kid and provided them positive reinforcement that kept the love of the game for everyone involved. Ronnie was very also involved in the Princeton Hockey Association for many years and was known as the “Scoreboard Master.” You could always find him at the arena volunteering his time.
Ronnie and his family loved playing games and loved New York food; especially Nathan’s hot dogs and Bigelow’s. The annual family vacation at Cragun’s Resort on Gull Lake was Ronnie’s favorite thing to do, and he looked forward to spending time together with his family as it grew and as the group got larger each year.
Above all else, Ronnie will be remembered as an honorable man, an honest police officer, a loving husband, father, and grandfather, a mentor, a coach, and a continuous jokester. He will be missed by all who knew him.
Ronnie is survived by his wife of over 27 years, Terri Chaffer; children, Eric (Katie) Chaffer of Merrick, NY, Jacqueline (Nick Sterlacci) Chaffer, of Raleigh, NC, Matt (Makayla Mahowald) Chaffer of Glenwood, MN and Paige (Jordan Ramler) Chaffer of Foreston, MN; three grandchildren, Abby, Tim, and Maddie Chaffer; his dogs, Smudge and Bree; and cat, Max.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and two brothers, Jerry Chaffer and Al Chaffer.
Because Ron touched the lives of so many people from all over the country, the memorial service will be recorded and will be uploaded to the funeral home website at www.williamsdingmann.com.