Lynyrd Skynyrd
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Aaron, Richard E.
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January 15, 1948 to October 20, 1977

COD:  Plane Crash


Original Location:  Jacksonville Memory Gardens, Orange Park, Florida.

Current Location:  Riverside Memorial Park Cemetery, Jacksonville, Florida.

Ronnie Van Zant, along with Gary Rossington (pictured with Van Zant to the left), was a founding member of the Southern Rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd.  The two attended Robert E. Lee high school together in Jacksonville, Florida.  At the height of the band's success in 1977, Van Zant was killed in a plane crash in Mississippi that also took the lives of band members Steve and Cassie Gaines.  The three were buried near each other in Jacksonville Memory Gardens in Orange Park, Florida.  On June 29th, 2000 Ronnie Van Zant's and Steve Gaines' graves were vandalized and Van Zant's remains were consequently relocated to Riverside Memorial Park Cemetery in Jacksonville.



Van Zant formerly rested next to the graves of Steve and Cassie Gaines.  Steve's is to the right and Cassie's is just behind the tree in the center.








Much has been made about Steve Gaines' brilliant guitar work and unfulfilled potential, and rightfully so, but just listen to the gorgeous guitar work here by the woefully overlooked Gary Rossington and the nasty chops of Allen Collins.  Lest we forget the purpose of this page, take note of the Van Zant vocals as well.  And what the hell?  What about the piano by Billy Powell.  Face it, they were a kick ass band.  Incredibly tight for as many members as there were.  Artimus Pyle on the drums anyone?






Ronnie Van Zant's daughter Tammy's future burial site is next to her father. 


Photo on Tammy's gravesite of her and her father.  Tammy is on the left.  Ronnie's other daughter Melody, by his second wife, is on the right.






According to a reliable, close family friend that we spoke with, Ronnie Van Zant is actually buried beneath this bench.  This was done in order to thwart future attempts at vandalism.  However, the crypt is buried beneath tons of concrete and would be impossible to open, much less remove.  In addition, the area is patrolled by security on a regular basis.  Originally there was no marker at all for Ronnie and his location was kept completely a secret.  The marker has since been added giving credence to the idea that the secret is out.  Lacy was Ronnie's father who funded many of the band's early endeavors, often driving them to different gigs.  He always encouraged and supported Ronnie's musical aspirations.


This is a shot of the Van Zant gravesite location from behind Leon Wilkeson's (another band member) gravesite.


Van Zant's father, Lacy, said, "He said to me many times, 'Daddy, I'll never be 30 years old.' I said, 'Why are you talking this gunk?' and he said, 'Daddy, that's my limit.'" Van Zant's father later noted that, "God was a jealous god. Taking him for reasons I don't know."  Van Zant was 29 years old at the time of his death.- WIKIPEDIA.






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