Cover photo for Ronald James Vanzant's Obituary
Ronald James Vanzant Profile Photo

Ronald James Vanzant

March 6, 1995 — March 23, 2019

Ronald James Vanzant

Sergeant Ronald James “Rj” VanZant, U.S. Army passed from this life on Saturday, March 23, 2019, at the age of 24 in White Sands, New Mexico.
Rj was born on March 6, 1995, in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Rj is the son of James Roland VanZant, Jr and LaDonna Lynn Balentine. Rj grew up initially in Hominy attending school until the third grade. He then moved with his mother to Yukon, Oklahoma. He continued his education until his Senior year in high school and wanted to move back to Hominy to graduate with his friends that he started school with. Rj graduated from Hominy High School with the Class of 2013. Throughout growing up, Rj was very active in baseball and loved playing the sport. After graduation, Rj began working in the oil fields of Oklahoma and soon joined the United States Army. Sergeant (SGT) Ronald J. VanZant enlisted in the United States Army on April 7, 2014. He attended Basic Combat Training (BCT) while assigned to Bravo Battery, 1-40 Field Artillery Battalion (BN) at Fort Sill, OK. After completion of BCT he was assigned to Bravo Battery, 3-6 Air Defense Artillery (ADA) BN at Fort Sill, OK for Advance Individual Training where he was awarded the Military Occupation Specialty of 14E Patriot Fire Control Enhanced Operator/Maintainer. On November 18, 2014, SGT VanZant was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 4-3 ADA as a Battalion Readiness Center (BRC) clerk. While serving as a BRC Clerk in 4-3 ADA BN, SGT VanZant deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Spartan Shield where he was directly responsible for four Patriot firing batteries’ maintenance and readiness. On 20 July 2017, SGT VanZant was assigned to White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico as a Patriot Fire Control Enhanced Operator/Maintainer with the 3-6 Air and Missile Defense Test Detachment (AMDTD). While assigned to the 3-6 AMDTD, SGT VanZant participated in countless testing and evaluations of future Air and Missile Defense (AMD) systems that will be used to shape the future of AMD. SGT VanZant displayed outstanding technical knowledge while performing New Equipment Training and Log Demo. SGT VanZant's passion to provide mentorship to local youths, while volunteering as a coach for both local football and baseball teams, have left a lasting impact on both the athletes, fellow coaches, and families. SGT VanZant dedicated over 300 hours of his personal time to ensure children within the community have the direction and guidance to consistently put forth their maximum effort towards their passion, while participating in team sports. SGT VanZant’s Awards include the one Army Commendation Medal, two Army Achievement Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and one Overseas Service Ribbon. Rj was currently stationed in White Sands, New Mexico with the Air Defense Artillery.
Rj loved helping others. He was a fun loving, caring individual with a splash of orneriness. Rj also liked going to flea markets mostly for the food but always seemed to find something that he could take and fix. Going hunting and fishing was also somethings Rj enjoyed doing. Working on cars even as a youngster was things Rj loved doing. At that age of 18, Rj began driving mini stock cars at Creek County, Kellyville, and Meeker; his number was 39B. He was currently helping coach a little league baseball and football team wanting to teach others what he knew about the sport. Rj presently played on a recreational league softball team “Hitmen” on the base. Most of all in life Rj loved his kids and family. There was not a day that went by that he didn’t stop to call to make sure that everyone was doing fine.
Survivors are his wife Jessica of Whitewright, Texas; two children Lejand and Knoxville both of Whitewright, Texas; parents LaDonna Balentine of Hominy, Oklahoma; James Vanzant, Jr and his wife Karen of Drumright, Oklahoma; maternal grandmother Shirley Balentine of Hominy, Oklahoma; paternal grandparents James VanZant and his wife Joyce of Oilton, Oklahoma, Virginia Landreth of Cleveland, Oklahoma; maternal great grandparents Dean and Nora Estes of Cleveland, Oklahoma; three sisters April VanZant of Chandler, Oklahoma, Kristina VanZant of Waxahachie, Texas, Brye Branum and her husband Damien of Colorado Springs, Colorado and a host of other relatives and friends. Rj was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather Jerry Balentine and paternal grandfather Dean Landreth.
Funeral services will be 2:00 pm, Thursday, April 4th, 2019 at the First Baptist Church in Cleveland, Oklahoma with Pastor Bob Thompson officiating. Burial will follow in the Woodland Cemetery in Cleveland with military honors provided by US Army, Fort Sill. Pallbearers will include Sgt. Justin T. Parga, Spc. Keenen R. Williams, Spc. Nathan J. Basham, Spc. Cuauhtemoc Ortiz, Sgt. Alec D. Walsh, and PFC. Damien Branum. Chapman-Black Funeral Home will be in charge of the arrangements. Friends and family may visit an online guest book and memorial page for Rj at

Copyright Notice

© 2019 (Chapman-Black Funeral Home, Inc.)

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This obituary is a work protected under international and federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reproduction, distribution or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this compiled work may be reproduced, altered or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author.

The author hereby grants the newspaper the right to publish the compiled work on the dates and location provided in the submission details and further grants to the newspaper the right to reproduce the work electronically in any website or digital medium owned or controlled by the newspaper provided the copy is not altered or modified in any way. The funeral home's website domain must accompany any reproduction of the work. The work must not be used for or by any person for direct commercialized gain in competition with the author, the funeral home, or their respective businesses.

Privacy Disclaimer

The information contained in this Tribute Wall is intended solely for the private use of the families and friends of the deceased to support each other and honour, respect and pay tribute to the memory of the deceased.

Any and all other use is strictly prohibited. Without limiting the foregoing, any reproduction, distribution of the information contained herein, nor any contact or solicitation of any person identified in this work, nor any attempt to use the information in the work is prohibited.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ronald James Vanzant, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Public Viewing

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

10:00am - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, April 4, 2019

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

First Baptist Church - Cleveland

201 Crestview Drive, Cleveland, OK 74020

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 17

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree