‹ Return to Current Obituaries

Order Flowers now for guaranteed delivery before Ronald's visitation.

Ronald Thorpe

Ronald D. Thorpe died on May 2, 2020. He was 89 years old. Ron was a guy with many talents. There were some who considered him to be a Renaissance Man. Ron loved Deborah, his wife of 41 years. He loved his family and his friends. He had a special love for his animals, and his log home on the south mountain in Cooke Township, which he called Bell Oaks. He is survived by his wife, Deborah, his son, William and wife Donna, daughter, Anne and husband Stephen Walizer of Pittsburgh, and daughters-in-law, Judy Prescott of Carlisle, and Margaret Honey of Connecticut. Also surviving are his grandchildren, Daniel, Christopher, Zachary, Katherine (Terry Kerr) and great-granddaughter, Alice Kerr.

Ron was born in a steel town in western PA, during the Depression years, and learned early the value of hard work. He went to work in a steel mill the day after he graduated from Tech High School in McKeesport, PA. A year later, he enrolled at Lock Haven STC as a Penn State freshman. Then as a sophomore, he transferred to the main campus in State College where he became very active in college life. He was initiated into two hat societies, Skull & Bones and Blue Key, and two honor societies, Sigma Eta Alpha and Alpha Phi Omega. In his senior year, he was awarded the All College Cabinet Award for outstanding service to the college and the student body.

After graduation he returned to Carlisle, PA to become involved in various business ventures and to raise a family. His three boys and daughter Anne were the pride of his life and the sudden deaths of Ron Jr. and Christopher at the prime of their life was devastating. His son William, and daughter Anne gave him much to live for and he carried on.

Ron was most happy in life when he was building homes and he built quite a few. He had seventeen years service with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as an administrative officer and project manager in the Department of General Services. Ron was an ardent photographer of wild and native plants. He and his wife Deborah spent many hours in sometimes difficult habits seeking the wild elusive orchids. He was a member of the Harrisburg camera club for several years and served as president for one year. While a member, he received several awards in nature slide competition. He was a member of the Photographic Society of America and won numerous awards in international competitions. He was a 64 year member of the Carlisle BPOE.

In his retirement years, Ron remained active with woodworking and gardening. He handcrafted many hiking sticks that were auctioned off at events for The Chris Thorpe Foundation, which was established in memory of his son.

A private burial will be held at the Mt. Holly Springs Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Chris Thorpe Foundation, 28 S. Pitt St, Carlisle, PA, 17013. Condolences and memories can be shared at www.hollingerfuneralhome.com.

He requested that this short verse he penned be part of his obituary.

Shadows and Memories

The winter sun sets, and long shadows fall on virgin snow.

Their beauty lasts till fading light,

Then only memories remain.

I too, have cast shadows before the fading light.

Will memories remain?

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ronald Thorpe, please visit our flower store.


My heart shattered for Debbie today . She was the love of Ron’s life. He loved to surprise her with beautiful fine adornments that he took his time in selecting . I was one of the lucky ladies that witnessed that enjoyment. Few husbands treasure their wife and family like Ron did . I was friends with Chis (his son) that inherent that same passions as his dad. They both saddened my world by passing . I am a better person for have knowing them both. The warmth in the smiles , the twinkle in the eye, the emotional intelligence of belonging to Mother Earth whispers, yes they lived life to the fullest leavening rich memories in all that crossed their paths.

Debi Jun 8 2020 12:00 AM

Dear Deb and the entire Thorpe family, It was with a sad heart that I read of Ron's passing. It was a privilege to share some time with you this past year. I will never forget how Chris had helped me when my husband was ill and needed to go to the Dana Farber Hospital in Boston. I know some of the heartache you are feeling, I am here for you. With deepest sympathy, Tricia Negley

Tricia Negley May 11 2020 12:00 AM

Deb,Candy and I will pray for comfort in your loss. You had a great man to share your life with. We miss the good times we shared. With love,Ed and Candy

The Kulpas May 9 2020 12:00 AM

Deb, I am so sorry for your loss. May your precious memories help to comfort you and your family.Fran Leonhard

Fran Leonhard May 6 2020 12:00 AM

Bill and the entire Thorpe family,   I am quite sadden to hear of your Dad's passing . You are in my thoughts and prayers in this difficult time. Bill, always remember he will always be in your heart.Ronnie Krosnar formerly of PEMA

Ronnie Krosnar May 6 2020 12:00 AM

My condolences to the Family. Knew Ron as a team leader with many PennDOT projects while we worked at DGS. He told great stories- PSU and Family and we had lots of laughter. He was a great mentor too. Keep those good memories of Ron- I will. Peace be with you. 🙏Regards,Jackie Koons- Felion

Jackie Koons-Felion May 5 2020 12:00 AM

Deb,I am so sorry for your loss. Be strong and keep the faith. It does get better.Pat

captsampat@embarqmail.com May 5 2020 12:00 AM

Love you Ron! We shall meet again!Tam

Tam Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM