Ronald “Ron” C. Riley, 62, of Newborn passed away on October 8, 2015, at Rockdale Medical Center in Conyers from complications due to end-stage renal disease. Ron’s wishes were to be cremated and for close friends and family to celebrate his life with a private memorial gathering at a date and place yet determined.
Ron was born in Atlanta on September 19, 1953. He was a 1971 graduate of Towers High School, president of his senior class, an Eagle Scout and a batboy with the Atlanta Braves. He was working home plate on April 27, 1971, when Hank Aaron hit his 600th homerun at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Following high school he attended West Georgia College, then worked with his father at Riley’s Engines & Parts, Inc. in Atlanta until 1992. From 1994-2014 he was the head technician for The Oaks Golf Course in Covington. During his tenure The Oaks was consistently ranked as the top conditioned public course in the metro-Atlanta area. He was often seen on the grounds with his “assistant” and canine best buddy, Ratchet, in the golf cart seat beside him.
Ron’s personality was larger than life. He had a big heart and was gregarious and witty with a terrific sense of humor. He was honest and would tell people the truth whether they liked it or not. He had the amazing ability to never forget the names of people he met no matter how long ago he had met them. A University of Georgia fan from age 5, Ron was a passionate member of The Bulldog Nation. He was a veritable encyclopedia of sports statistics, military history, film/television/rock-and-roll trivia and numerous other subjects. He amassed a vast rock-and-roll music collection and film library. The Beatles, The Moody Blues and Led Zeppelin were his favorite rock groups. His favorite motion picture was “Patton.” He was an expert model hobbyist, an enthusiastic fisherman and enjoyed observing nature. His culinary skills were the highlight of many gatherings with his friends and family. He was a true patriot, loving his country unconditionally, and holding the utmost respect for veterans and those who actively served in the military. Ron’s favorite vacation spot was Saint Simons Island where he requested that a portion of his ashes be scattered along the beach. All that knew and loved him will miss his gentle and loving spirit.
Ron was preceded in death by his loving mother, Helen E. (Pace) Riley of Conyers. Survivors are daughter, Mandy Lynn Riley Cronan, of Oxford; father, John M. Riley, Sr., of Conyers; his “second mother” and life-long family friend Agnes Side of Lilburn; brother and sister-in-law John M. Riley, Jr. & Barbara Parks Saunders, of Clarkston; sister, Brother-in-law and nephew, Jennifer Riley Van Vickle, James Van Vickle and Connor Van Vickle of Caryville, Tennessee.
In honor of Ron’s life and memory the family requests that donations be made in his name to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KA 66675, woundedwarriorproject.org or 877-832-6997.
Condolences may be extended to the family at horisawardfairviewchapel.com.