For more than a dozen years, Ron Nelson was part of SDM’s extended family of writers and held the title, “Contributing Technology Writer.” Last month we learned that, following a long battle with cancer, Ron passed away on January 31. He will be missed dearly by the SDM team.
Ron took over writing SDM’s 5-Minute Tech Quiz in September 1994 from another author. During the next 16 years, Ron never missed a deadline. He carefully planned each quiz so that the material was not only relevant to technicians, but also so that the questions were unambiguous and a single answer was clear.
Ron and I collaborated on the general topics, but the specific monthly quiz questions and the “What’s Wrong with This?” scenarios — featuring Wally ‘Larman the bungling installer — were uniquely Ron’s creations. He pulled them from his first-hand experiences as the director of operations for Mutual Central Alarm Services Inc., New York. Ron worked in the security industry for more than 38 years,  spending time as an installer for Honeywell; a tech support manager for Jeweler’s Protection; a vice president of installation at Holmes Protection; and lastly at Mutual Central Alarm Services Inc., New York.
Each position gave him a treasure trove of personal knowledge and experience to pull from each month.
Ron is survived by his wife, Christine, son Ronald, daughter-in-law Kelly and granddaughter Marissa; daughter Diana, son-in-law Mike and grandson Jake; six nieces and nephews, as well as a brother, Richard, and a sister, Lorraine.
Ron was smart, experienced, hardworking, gracious, courteous and prompt. He had a positive impact on SDM, helping to make it stronger and more useful to subscribers. We will miss working with him, but we are grateful for the time we had with Ron and the opportunity we were given to share his expertise.