This is Ron's younger sister, Anita. Most of you know Ron passed away Friday from terminal cancer. Some of you didn't know that he had been sick for the last 3 years because he didn't want sympathy or pity, and frankly he believed he was going to win the battle. But know this, Ron's life on earth may have been cut way too short, but he lived his life to the fullest.
Ron grew up in Connersville, Indiana, a town much too small for a teenage boy with bigger dreams and a desire to experience more than it could offer. His first step out of town started in the early 80's, at the tender age of 17 (I think), with his friends, Luther Steele and Luther's sister, Angie. They hit the road for Texas, and Ron stayed for less than 2 weeks after figuring out that working in a factory, in the sweltering heat making cowboy hats was not the glamorous life he was chasing. So Ron got the first bus back to town as soon as he got his first check.
Still knowing he couldn't be confined to Connersville, he made his way to Pennsylvania in 1983 soon after with his Dad, his oldest sister Victoria, soon followed by his very best friends, Luther and Leary Ledbetter. Life for this young gay man really started to offer the experiences he was looking for in Williamsport, PA. It was a much bigger town that had gay bars! I can only imagine how great that must have been to finally have found your community! Imagine this young man who loved Donna Summers and Madonna, dancing his heart out on the dance floor having a blast. He and his friend, Leary, became hair stylists in Williamsport (I know what you're thinking...so gay, and of course) haha.
Ron then packed a backpack and left for West Palm Beach in 1985 with some friends, then to Fort Lauderdale in 1987; and believe me, he had a grand time in South Florida. He did very well there in the hospitality industry working at upscale restaurants and luxury hotels. So well, in fact, he bought a brand new car one summer and drove it back to Connersville to see family. I can remember being a young girl, admiring my older brother and the fun beach life he was living. He came home all tanned and so much more handsome.
In 1991, Ron moved to San Diego with his friend, Dave Groft whom he had met in Pennsylvania. They definitely enjoyed the night life and were your stereotypical west coast beach guys...blonde, handsome, and the life of every party. When our mom and I visited him, he was so proud to take us for a very fancy brunch where he worked at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort. It was a fun time having him show us around his beach town that he loved.
However, being the rolling stone that he was, Ron then moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 1994. The three amigos were finally back together...Ron, Leary and Luther. He also gained more lifelong friends here. Johnny Hackney became part of the close knit group of friends that Ron had. They shared many camping trips together and lots of nights where what happens in Cleveland, stays in Cleveland ;-) Ron then met Maria Takis, a co-worker whom he became fast friends with when he started his long career with the Sheraton Hotel Group. He and Maria were like family, always keeping in touch and being there for each other. The family was so happy to have Ron closer to home. He was now only a 5 hour trip away and we were able to spend most holidays together. It was great to go visit Ron because it was like a vacation away from home, visiting him in the big city. He took me and our niece, Jen Lewis, to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame many times. He also took us to the pride parades, the celebrations were so much fun! Another perk of Ron living in Cleveland was that our sister, Vikki, and I were able to join him for his big 4-0 birthday bash that Leary hosted.
In 2012, Ron moved to Indianapolis. Yay! Now he was only an hour from home. This is when he really started to settle down, at least by Ron's standards. It couldn't have come at a better time for him to move closer to home since our Mom passed away only 3 years later. He spent most weekends with her, and she was ecstatic to be able to spend a lot more time with her baby boy...yep, he was a momma's boy. She loved being able to cook for him and have his favorite food stocked in the fridge and cabinets.
When Ron moved to Indy, he continued to work for Sheraton and befriended a co-worker, Amy Davisson. They became the kind of friends you could tell anything to without fear of being judged. They shared a lot of things in common, including a love for horror flicks, even meeting Neve Campbell together at a horror convention.
In 2015, Ron met his partner, Tom. He had finally found a wonderful man that adored and cherished him. They shared a love of all things Disney, and took 8 trips to Walt Disney World. Ron and Tom were foodies, and enjoyed dining out at their favorite restaurants, befriending their favorite servers. Tom and Ron also enjoyed feeding the birds and squirrels on their front porch. Ron really loved feeding the squirrels and eventually was able to get them to take peanuts from his hand. After 3 years together, Ron began battling cancer. I'm so grateful to Tom for his unconditional love and support while Ron endured several rounds of radiation and chemo. He was there for him every step of the way.
In 2017, our great-great nephew, Silas, was born and he became the apple of Ron's eye. Although he loved all of his nieces and his nephew very much, Silas was extra special. I suppose this was because he was able to bond with Silas by spending so much more time with him. He loved taking Silas to the Indianapolis Children's Museum. Ron knowing that his time was limited, he and Tom made sure Silas' Easter basket this year was overflowing with candy, and toys. He really enjoyed watching Silas hunt for Easter eggs outside his home.
This past year has been grueling for Ron, but he made sure to let all of us know that he was at peace and had accepted the hand he was dealt. I imagine partly because he wanted it to be easier for us. He made the best of it and knew he had fought as hard as he could. He shared many times that he had lived a full life and was happy that he had moved closer to home to be with family.
I wasn't able to be here to help with Ron's care as often as I would have liked, but am forever grateful to Angie Boughner, Victoria J Bradley Ayala, Leary, Lora and Tom for taking such good care of Ron. They always made time to drop in to check on him, take him to his treatments, and stay with Ron when he became homebound. In the times that I was able to travel home to see Ron, my partner, Danielle came with me most trips. She helped me take care of Ron as if he were her own brother. He adored Danielle. She knew how to make his coffee just right, fry his bacon the way he liked, and he really loved to share stories with her from his hay days which in turn made her blush, haha.
Ron truly was adored by his family, friends, and co-workers. Everybody loved Ron, even Ron, lol. He was the quintessential guy with good looks, style and personality. He loved his family, friends, traveling, Madonna, Christmas, cats, the beach, any mountains, elephants, horror flicks, gaming, and nature. He could fascinate you with all of his trivia knowledge of music, movies and pop culture.
Ron's journey on earth may be over, but he is relieved of his pain and suffering here. He's taking his holiday to forever be with those he loved that passed before him.
Remember the good times with Ron and celebrate them. He would have wanted it that way.
Ron is survived by his sisters Victoria (Armando) Bradley Ayala, Anita (Danielle) Wommack, and Farrah Stravinskas; his brother Robert Bradley; his nieces Jennifer Luecke (Skip) Lewis, Angela Luecke (Brandon) Boughner, and Lexus Hartung; his great-nephew Nicolas Lewis; his great-niece Ciera Evans; his great-great nephew Silas Roberts; and his partner Thomas Ball.
Ron is preceded in passing by his mother and step-father Linda Mae (Bogue) Wommack and Ralph Nelson Wommack; his father William Morris Bradley Jr; and his brother James Bradley.
Services for Ron will be 7 PM, Thursday, May 13, 2021 at Fountain Square Cremation & Funeral Services. Visitation will be from 3 PM until the hour of service.
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