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In loving memory of
Ron Lilly
  • June 06, 1947
  • -
  • July 21, 2022

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Obituary

Ronald “Ron, Ronnie” Lilly, 75, of Port Orange, FL, passed away peacefully at home on July 21, 2022.

He was born and raised in Beckley, WV. Ron was an athlete since childhood, and one of his favorite memories was his senior year. He was the leading scorer for Woodrow Wilson High School in Beckley when they won the 1965 West Virginia AAA state basketball championship. He is a member of the Woodrow Wilson Hall of Fame. He attended Marshall University, was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, and then enlisted in the USMC Reserves.

In the early 1970s, he moved to Maryland, where he learned the bar and liquor business and owned the Beltsville Tavern. In 1977 Ron made a trip, with friends, to Daytona Beach, where he met Donna. They married that year, embarking on a 45-year, life-changing, deeply shared love which, in his final days, he referred to as the most special memory of his life. They moved back to Port Orange, FL, and he became a lifetime Floridian in 1979.

Ron was fearless, which enabled him to become a self-made success in the hospitality industry. He poured his love for what he did into his business and into his extensive network of colleagues and partners who dearly admired and respected him. He humbly stood by his customers, treated them like family, and was often viewed as a mentor. He was also honored with several notable and prestigious sales awards. His creative vision and passion for design & planning allowed him to transform any restaurant space. His business was such a joy in his life that he happily did it until his very last day. His passion and joy for his work helped him through the medical challenges of the last few years.

He loved traveling, domestically and internationally, including trips on his Harley Davidson Road King, cruising, and touring Europe and Canada with friends and family who often enjoyed a “Tour De Lilly.” He was known for his sense of humor, love of a good time, sharing conversation, good food & wine, gardening, following college football, and playing poker & blackjack. He loved teaching his grandkids about the odds when placing a bet, whether it was cards, dogs, horses, or football.

Ron had a special love for his family and for his close friends, who he considered family. He was a son, husband, brother, uncle, nephew, father, and papa. He loved to talk about his grandsons’ athletics, academics, and style. He was incredibly proud of his daughters.

He was preceded in death by his father Henry Lilly. Those who will always honor his memory include his beloved wife, Donna Lilly, his daughter Tonya Bryant (Mike), and her children; Julia, Alexandra, and Ashton Bryant, his daughter Brandy Grabinski (Zach) and her children Jackson Grabinski and Hayes Grabinski, his mother, Helen Lilly, his sisters, Barbara Liskey (William), Peggy Haynes (Colby), and his brother, Mike Lilly (Dianna). He also leaves many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins behind.

Ron lived life to the fullest; he left us with memories that will forever inspire everyone who knew him. In true Ron Lilly fashion, he requested that we celebrate his life with a party. Please join us on August 10, promptly, at 6:00 – 9:00 pm at Riverside Pavilion; 3431 S Ridgewood Avenue, Port Orange, FL.  In lieu of flowers, please share a memory of Ron.


Service

Location:
Riverside Pavilion
3431 S Ridgewood Avenue, Port Orange, FL
Get Driving Directions



Date & Time:
August 10, 2022 at 6:00 PM


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  1. Dave Sotak lit a candle:
    10 Aug 2022
    Lit since August 10, 2022 at 8:52:53 PM

  2. R Fred Lewis says:
    09 Aug 2022
    May you rest in peace my best buddy. You are a true Mounrain Man with a heart bigger than life and made of pure gold. We have been fast friends since August of 1961 when we first joined athletic forces during football practice at Beckley Junior High School. The football season led to basketball and the creation of a friendship never to be surpassed. We spent more time together as we passed through high school than we did with our blood families. How could anyone ever forget that big black buick, one tank of a machine. Doing anything and everything together, both good and questionable, maybe much of which we should have avoided but it was one hell of a ride. Our senior year was one for the ages . We were locker mates all 3 years at WWHS and during that final year I was always looking downfield to deliver a pass to you for another TD. We finished football in the top 3 in WVa in the fall and then went on to be side by side as we won the WVa state basketball championship which most people thought impossible.
    While much of our time together involved athletics, the important time involved life in general. You have always been the person I could turn to no matter what the problem may have been. You have been my most loyal friend and I only hope you knew just how important that friendship has been to me. Although we were physically separate for a number of years a quick phone chat always made the time seem meaningless. Finally, you moved to Florida and it was as though we stepped right back into those golden years.
    You and Donna always joined us for ceremonial events at the Florida Supreme Court and you both joined us as one family when I became Chief Justice. We shared time in your home, in our Miami home, in our Tallahassee home and even in our beach house on the Gulf of Mexico.
    My heart ached for you during the last several years as you battled that insidious disease and Donna cared for your every need. We shall always be greatful and extend our love to Donna for her super attention to every detail. We love you our brother and will miss you forever.
    R. Fred and Judy Lewis

  3. Winnie Ng says:
    06 Aug 2022
    Ron Lilly is one fantastic man. He was not only my sales rep but my mentor in all aspects of life. You have a big heart and are always good to your family and friends. And you will pick up the phone and call to chat. You left a significant mark in our lives, and you will never be forgotten. RIP

  4. Barbara & William lit a candle:
    05 Aug 2022
    Lit since August 5, 2022 at 8:13:12 PM

  5. Dianna Lilly lit a candle:
    05 Aug 2022
    Lit since August 5, 2022 at 8:21:38 AM

  6. Mike Lilly posted an image:
    04 Aug 2022
    Mike and Ron at Stevens Lake, Beckley, West Virginia.
    Mike and Ron at Stevens Lake, Beckley, West Virginia.

  7. Mike Lilly says:
    04 Aug 2022
    A tribute to my dear brother who I have a great deal of respect for. It is an honor to be your brother, very well loved by all. I will truly miss you and your encouragement and advice you would share with me . Even during his toughest times he always showed strength and kept a positive attitude. I will carry that with me for the rest of my life. I love you so much. I know we will meet up again in the kingdom of God . Not only were you my brother you were my friend.
    My heart would like to share a story about me and my brother when we were young. I was around the age of ten at that time and we shared a bedroom with twin beds. Late one night I heard Ron coming in so I put pillows under my blankets to make it look like I was in my bed but! instead I hid under his bed and in the pitch darkness of the room he stood by his bed removing his pants and I reached out making a very loud growling sound grabbing both his legs with my hands. Boy! did I make him dance! a dance I never knew existed It was so funny to say "I got-cha" needless to say there was some choice words from Ron that I should not repeat. A night I will always remember "got the big brother". LOVE FOREVER! Mike, Dianna and Family

  8. Godfrey / Ratana International says:
    03 Aug 2022
    It was a pleasure working with Ron.
    Ron will be in our hearts and memories.

  9. Godfrey says:
    03 Aug 2022
    It was a pleasure to work with Ron.
    Ron will be in our hearts and memories.

  10. Frank Talbott posted an image:
    28 Jul 2022
    I can remember the first time I met Ron. Donna had called me up over the weekend and told me she would like me to stop by the house early Monday morning so that could meet someone special. Well she wasn’t kidding. I met Ron Lilly that morning and yes he was “special”. From that moment on and for the next forty plus years we were the best of buddies and had so much in common. Our families traveled together quite regular. Ron was for sure a great person and a wonderful part of my life. I hope to see him again in the life here after. Love you Ron
    I can remember the first time I met Ron. Donna had called me up over the weekend and told me she would like me to stop by the house early Monday morning so that could meet someone special. Well she wasn’t kidding. I met Ron Lilly that morning and yes he was “special”. From that moment on and for the next forty plus years we were the best of buddies and had so much in common. Our families traveled together quite regular. Ron was for sure a great person and a wonderful part of my life. I hope to see him again in the life here after. Love you Ron

  11. Barbara says:
    27 Jul 2022
    Oh my beautiful brother how I will miss your smile, your great words of wisdom, & your love for all your family. All of the memories that we have shared will never be forgotten. You always made our mom’s birthday very special with a celebration. Talking with you on the phone ( which we did often) you always gave me words of encouragement about life and life lessons and living the best life. You navigated thru all your health issues for a long time and was still able to have a great attitude with a smile. You are a very special brother and I will forever miss you ..

  12. John R Hall posted an image:
    27 Jul 2022
    Thank you for the thousands of miles from tour de Lilly.  From trips in rain, sun and even days in the 30’s. There were so many fantastic trips. We are all your brothers. I know we will see you again and we will be ready for another tour de Lilly, Love you man, John
    Thank you for the thousands of miles from tour de Lilly. From trips in rain, sun and even days in the 30’s. There were so many fantastic trips. We are all your brothers. I know we will see you again and we will be ready for another tour de Lilly, Love you man, John

  13. Peggy Haynes posted an image:
    26 Jul 2022
    Christmas 2021
    Christmas 2021

  14. Barbara Meyerhoff says:
    26 Jul 2022
    George and I can’t even say how sorry we are !! Ron was just a beautiful human being!!! He was kind, loved to ask how others were doing and was just genuinely fun talking to. If he was out by the mailbox and we saw each other he just always made you laugh !!! He sure fought his sickness with great might and much grace !! We can all take a lesson from this beautiful man !!!
    Much love to Donna, and Family
    Barbara & George

  15. Peggy says:
    26 Jul 2022
    Time and days slip by as I process the surreal reality that my beloved brother , Ron passed away in his sleep on the morning of July 21st. He fought a very diligent battle against all odds, of multiple health issues. He navigated those challenges with such grace and strength. I looked up to my brother , he was a man of great wisdom and set many good examples of great friendships, business opportunities, and living life filled with enormous love. I loved being his sister and I’m going to miss his visits and phone calls , always asking about the family ,expressing his love and concerns. He loved his family with gratitude and enormous responsibility. I’ll miss his words of wisdom and support with deep despair and I’ll mourn the loss of his beautiful smile and joy he emits when he is present. I love you with all my heart, and my heart tells me you’re with our father in heaven. I pray we will be together again down the road.

  16. Meryl Kiser says:
    26 Jul 2022
    Wow...truly one of the good guys...Ron and I were high school classmates and spent so much time together, obviously now not enough...after we got out of high school, as was the case with many kids in the 60's, we all scattered to the four winds... the military obligations, college, families, and life, happened without our even realizing it...thousands of times over the years I've thought of Ron, and wanted him to be ok...he's one of those rare people whose impression upon the lives of those around him is an indelible one...I've missed him over the years, and I'll continue to do so until my time here is up...one thing I'm sure of, there is a poker game being played and a helluva party being held right now, attended by Ron, Ron Kyle, Beaver Ford and many more of the great ones...I hope they save me a seat at the table!!! Meryl Kiser

  17. Brad Jeffreys says:
    26 Jul 2022
    Ron was the epitome of a Southern gentleman in life and in business. He will be missed.

  18. Mike Slade says:
    26 Jul 2022
    Great athlete and a wonderful guy. Condolences to Ron’s Family. Thanks for the great memories Ron.

  19. Rob Rappold says:
    26 Jul 2022
    Ron was truly one of a kind and will be missed terribly by those of us who played ball with him and admired his numerous abilities and warm personality. Barb and I were blessed with a great visit from Ron, Donna and Ron Kyle the night before our high school reunion about 12 years or so ago. So thankful that we all hugged that evening. Blessings and strength to Donna and Ron's entire family at this sad time.
    Rob and Barbara Rappold

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