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?