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.
3431 S Ridgewood Avenue, Port Orange, FL