One of his biggest sources of support was his father Lacy Van Zant. The elder Van Zant died on August 3, 2004 in Jacksonville, Florida of pulmonary problems. He was 89 years old.
Had a closed casket funeral. Many thought this to be because he was horribly disfigured or even decapitated during the 1977 plane crash. That is not true. Ronnie had a bruise about the size of a quarter on his temple (which was the cause of death - blunt head trauma). His wife, Judy, remembered that Ronnie once said he did not wish to have people "gawking" at his body, so she made it a closed casket funeral.
Was buried next to Steve and Cassie Gaines at Jacksonville Memorial Gardens in Jacksonville, Florida
Ronnie was buried with his fishing pole and his trademark black hat.
A character in the supernatural thriller called The Coffin (2010) was named after him, in his honor. One of the writers is a big Lynyrd Skynyrd fan.