Richard Ronayne
Richard Ronayne
Richard Ronayne
Richard Ronayne
Richard Ronayne
Richard Ronayne

Obituary of Richard Robert Ronayne

Richard Robert Ronayne was born on May 11, 1939 to William and Isabel Ronayne in Somerville, MA. He was the only boy between two beautiful sisters, Barbara and Rita Ronayne. Richard was a feisty young man with deep convictions. His desire at an early age was to be a Marine. Twice at the age of 17, he tried to enlist as an 18-year old, but was found out. The second time, the officer in charge decided to just let him join. Richard was quoted as saying, “The Marines saved my life.” The Marine Corps gave him structure and discipline, and strong direction in life. He became a rifle and short arms instructor, which began a life-long interest in guns. The Marines caused him to become a true patriot. Richard loved his country and passed on his patriotism to his children. After he got out of the Marine Corps, he married Barbara Small, also from Somerville, MA. They were married in Chula Vista, CA on July 2, 1960. The young couple moved to San Francisco, CA shortly after. A little over a year later, Richard and Barbara welcomed a darling daughter, Susan Mary. They had so little money at that time, they had to put their baby in a drawer, as her first little bed. Three years later, a sister for "Susie" was born, Lisa Marie. Three years after that, “The Little Guy” Michael William, was born. Richard worked at the San Francisco Chronicle for a short while, then studied for the postal exam, hoping to have a more secure income for his family. He took the test twice and failed, but the third time was indeed a charm, and he passed! Richard was a determined man all his life. Once when he was renting an apt. in San Bruno, CA, the landlord, who previously told him he would never raise his rent (this was because of the extra things Rich did to care for the complex), raised his rent anyhow. Rich was so angered by this betrayal, he vowed, as his Irish forefathers did, never to be under the yoke of a landlord again! And this put him on a mission to be a home owner. He would be the first in his family to own a home. As the years went by, he bought and sold many homes and always resold them at a profit! Richard was a devout believer in the Catholic faith. As a boy, he was an altar boy and would often attend mass, which was said in Latin. Even though he didn’t understand what was said, he felt the services were sacred and sensed God’s nearness to him. As a father, he made sure he took his children to church throughout their lives and that they received all the sacraments. Once when his daughter, Lisa, asked him if he thought he would go to Heaven when he died, he said that he believed he would. When she asked why he believed that, he responded with emotion in his Bostonian accent, “Only by the blood of our Lawd Jesus Christ.” <3 Richard moved to San Diego CA in 1981, hoping to save his struggling marriage with a change of scenery. This was not successful, but the move was a good one for him and he loved living in the San Diego area. He worked on his relationship with his children for the rest of his life and succeeded in making them feel loved and valued. He was engaged twice, but never could make the commitment again. He was a lady's man for sure, had plenty of girlfriends, and went dancing a lot. He even asked to go dancing the last week of his life, when he could barely stand! He loved to look “sharp” and took care of himself and always looked impeccably neat and stylish. He was a very handsome, charming, and debonair man. Richard worked for the postal service for 25 years. When he retired, he put on the third uniform of his life, working for the San Diego Police Dept as a traffic control officer. He was very proud of this position and earned many certificates, awards and commendations for his service. He also headed up the Honor Guard in his area. He dressed up as McGruff the Crime Dog, and went to schools with a team to speak to children. Richard ran in several 5k races for the senior age group, and won first place on more than one occasion! He also enjoyed biking long distances. Richard had several hobbies throughout his life time. He took jujitsu classes and finished as a black belt. He loved to go to the shooting range and later in years, his daughter, Susan, would often accompany him. He loved nice cars, jewelry, and all types of electronics and gadgets! Rich loved his family. He had 9 grandchildren and many great grandchildren, who he welcomed into his heart. "Poppie" was a dutiful grandfather, who sent out cards and money every year of their lives, until there were just too many birthdays to remember! He called his grandchildren and kept in contact with them all their lives and they each adored him. He was also a devoted uncle to his four nephews: Wayne, Eric, Johnny and Shawn Humphrey. He was particularly close to his niece, Donna Rushall, when he lived in San Diego. Richard leaves behind his two sisters, Barbara Thorton of Somerville, MA, Rita Humphrey of Tewkesbury, MA (Richie Humphrey), their boys, his three children Susan Mead of Concord, CA (Doug Mead), Lisa Nolte of Colstrip, MT (Don Nolte), and Michael Ronayne of Boulder, MT (Cristina Ronayne), a brother-in-law who loved him dearly, Rand Small, sister in laws, Donna Carbone and Carole Small, his grandchildren, Autumn Stewart, Seth Nolte, Kaitlyn Arndt, Caleb Nolte, Grace Dancy, Julian Ranieri, Erinna Ronayne, Liam Ronayne and Clare Ronayne, as well as 13 great-grandchildren and his best friend and constant companion, Hosanna the Cat. He was a beloved brother, father, uncle, brother-in-law, grandfather and great grandfather. Richard will be remembered with much love and missed by all who knew him.
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