By: Marilyn McCarthy Ralph – February 2013

Ronnie Ford and Tom DugganRonnie Ford’s family and friends are still reeling from the suddenness of his death. Laughing and telling stories one week, then buried the next. We are happy that Ron did not suffer, but the quickness of his death has left us shattered.

We have heard on the radio and in the street of many stories of the character and goodness of Ronnie. What made him so unique, what influenced him, what molded him, what made him go the extra mile to help anyone in need? The gang that hung around the Downey Flake Donut Shop or Lawlor’s Drug Store and our neighborhood can tell you. How? We are from the same mold and environment and nurtured the same as Ronnie was.

Ronnie had good strong parenting, reinforced by the influence of the Notre Dame Nuns, the Marist Brothers, the Augustinian Priests, good lay teachers and the Dominican Nuns. All of the above laid down a blue print of what was right and wrong, what was acceptable or not. God help us if we deviated from being good. We were punished, not like today.

My child would never do anything wrong mentality! Ha. We never had much money, but we never lacked for fun and good times. Ronnie chose to be in politics, which he loved. It gave him access to help many people in various situations. Ronnie would be the first one to go into his pockets and give money to people in need, knowing full well he would never be repaid. Ronnie was blessed with a wonderful personality, and quick wit, and he had a fierce loyalty to family and friends. Ronnie loved his wife and children and grandchildren and family beyond all measure and with all the strength of his being. And he was immensely proud of all of them. And he had a memory like no other. And he never told a lie! How many of us can say that? I am very happy that the old neighborhood got together for the last nine years for reunions.

We renewed old friendships and saw people we grew up with, and had not seen for some forty or fifty years. It was great! Ronnie was a big factor in overseeing the arrangements for our reunions. I am glad we have these memories. Sometimes Ronnie could drive you to distraction, but you could never stay cross with him! He would pull his “puppy face” or say something so funny that your sides would hurt from laughing.

His story telling is legend and his imitations of voices were hysterical. And his heart was as big as himself! Anne and Ronnie’s children and family have a lot to look up to. I am sure they emulate their parent’s values and will play it forward for generations to come. What better tribute can they give?

So our pal is with those from the gang who went before him, and of course his beloved son Danny, Mom and Dad, sisters and brother, aunts, uncles and cousins.

We will never see his like again!

As Ron would say, May the good Lord take a liking to you. Do something nice for someone today. And, we wish you enough.

Ronnie may be contacted by dialing 1-GOD, just ask for Ronnie.