The youngest son of Howard E. and Kathryn Roberts, Ron attended Mottville Country School followed by Skaneateles Central School (class of 1958). In September 1958, Ron enlisted in the U.S. Army and did a tour of duty, stationed at Pirmasens, Germany where he met “the best thing that ever happened to him,” Wilma. When Ron returned to the US with an honorable discharge in 1962, Wilma joined him and they married.
Ron and Wilma enjoyed a happy marriage and together raised daughter Rita and sons, Rodney, Randy and Rollie. Ron loved spending time with his family. Sundays were for dinners with his sons, their wives, children and grandchildren. Cookouts and fish fry’s (yes, the boys made him clean all the fish!) were also special times for the family and a few close friends. For many years their Christmas party was the event of the season.
Ron was a lover of the great outdoors. He and Wilma worked hard to find just the right piece of land for their ‘forever home.’ Hunting in ‘his woods’ and watching the various waterfowl on the pond that the change of the seasons always brings were favorite pastimes. Friends were invited to come over and drop a line in the pond to catch a fish. Ron was loved and respected by all, including Wilma’s family in Germany who they visited over the years.
Ron also had a long, rewarding career with Carrier Corporation in Syracuse, NY beginning in 1962 until he retired after 34 years serving in building departments of TR2 thru TR20 in warehousing, shipping and receiving retiring as the foreman. While at Carrier, Ron made many friends who he remained to loyal throughout their lives, even after retirement.
Service was central to Ron’s life and included memberships in the Mottville Junior Drum and Bugle Corp, the Mottville Senior Drum and Bugle Corp, being a charter member of SAVES Ambulance in Skaneateles since 1967, and a member of the American Legion Robert J. Hydon Post 239 of Skaneateles. Ron loved being active in his community and was a lifetime member of the Skaneateles Rod and Gun Club. Ron volunteered for Ducks Unlimited and looked forward every year to donating his handmade table centerpieces to the Baldwinsville Chapter.
Ron loved his time with Wilma and they had lots of fun participating in league bowling, visiting local restaurants, traveling and maybe an occasional trip to the casino. The biggest Yankee fan in central NY! Ron loved to play pitch—probably because he was such a ‘card shark.’ And he was always a good sport when his fellow card players teased him about accidentally leaving the 5 of trump in the kittie which became known as “pulling a Ron” in his honor.
Ron was a creative and talented woodworker. He spent many hours in his woodshop turning out bowls, candle holders, bookshelves, children’s banks and many more items that he gave to his family and friends. You could give him an idea of something you wanted and he would draw it out and then build it for you. Ron loved turning Christmas themed items and having Wilma by his side doing the holiday decorating.
Always quick with a kind word or witty quip, Ron found a lot of joy in making others smile. His life was a life well lived with very few regrets. He acted when others hesitated and spoke up when others were unable. His passing leaves a huge hole and he will be greatly missed by many. His family and friends are grateful for Ron and will never forget the example he set by being honest, loyal to his family and friends, always willing to offer to help and support them.
Please join us as we honor Ron’s life and offer condolences to Wilma and his family at Robert D. Gray Funeral Home, Skaneateles on Thursday, December 2nd from 4 to 6pm with a Military service at 6.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to SAVES Ambulance Corp of Skaneateles or Hospice Foundation of Central New York.
And remember that when you go about your daily business, take the time to say something nice to someone else and make them smile!