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Ronnie Sylvester Gatlin Sr.

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Ronnie Sylvester Gatlin Sr., 70, a resident of Cleveland, took his first steps on the streets of gold on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023.

Ronnie was a simple man, known for his gentle, loving spirit, his kindness, his jolly demeanor and his love for cooking. If you were hungry, Ronnie would feed you, often taking in strangers at Thanksgiving to give them a seat at his table and being sure the neighborhood children had snacks to eat. Prior to his homegoing, Ronnie attended Christian Outreach of Cleveland and loved helping there with dinners and various ministry events to serve their congregation and their community. His love of cooking led him to careers for most of his life that centered around food. For 21 years, he was a baker at the local Village Bake Shop; and for 11 years, he served as a meat cutter in the Save-A-Lot grocery store until he medically retired in 2011.

As much as he loved food, that love could not compare to the love that he felt for his family. He loved Ronnie, Tommy and Shelli dearly, but he especially loved his grandbabies and great-grandbabies! His love for them meant that he would drop whatever he was doing to get to spend time with them, whether that meant moving Dakota and Ayron in with him to help take care of them, going fishing at Dry Branch or Lamontville with Tristan (which he also enjoyed with his brothers), watching Tristan in his newfound passion for wrestling, supporting Alexis at her graduation or attending as many birthday parties for them all as he could. He was so proud of each one of them and loved them all with every piece of his heart! A smile that would light up the room would spread across his face any time he spied of any of his babies.

The joy that he felt at the thought of his children and grandchildren could only be exceeded by the joy that he felt when he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. With that decision, he was assured that he would make his home in Heaven for eternity and go to wait for all his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren with the hope and anticipation that they would make the same decision and join him in their time.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Stella Gatlin; his siblings, William Gatlin Sr., Carl Gatlin, Charles Gatlin Sr. and Jeanette Brown; and the mother of his children, Wilma Gatlin.

He leaves behind to cherish his memories, his children and their spouses, Ronnie Gatlin Jr. (Sarah), Tommy Gatlin and Shelli Hartness (John); grandchildren, Daniel Miller (Casandra), Alexis Hartness, Dakota Gatlin, Tristan Gatlin, Ayron Gatlin, Kaelyn Gatlin and Jetta Hartness; his great-grandchildren, Callie and Joseph Miller; his remaining siblings and their spouses, Linda Gatlin (William), Billy Brown Sr. (Jeanette), Junie Walker, Linda Wooten, A.L. Gatlin, Brenda Carter (Layne), Glenda Seaborn, Arthur Gatlin (Donna), Ricky Gatlin Sr. (Sheila); and several nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.

Family and friends are invited to celebrate Ronnie’s life at a memorial service at 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, at Prospect Church of God with Sieglinda and Lester Sherrill and Casey Stanfield officiating.


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