Losing a Giant

Guest Correspondence

BY CHRISTINE ROBINSON SRQ DAILY SATURDAY PERSPECTIVES EDITION SATURDAY DEC 16, 2017

We lost a giant in the business community this past month. Ron Royal was a past president of The Argus Foundation, past Sarasota Chamber chair and past chair of the Gulf Coast Builder’s Exchange, to name
a few of the many business leadership positions he held. His obituary was long and told the story of a man who loved his community and his family.

At the funeral, the church was packed just shy of a half an hour before the service began. It was incredible to see the number of people and the caliber of leadership in our community gather together to honor a man who was rightfully celebrated for the gifts he gave to us.

Ron was the epitome of a traditional Argus member; he had a host of leadership positions in the business community, but it was his philanthropic leadership that showed his passion for our community. He was president of the Jaycees, on the Goodwill Board of Governors, a Spanish Point Development Board member, a Sarasota Memorial Hospital Foundation Board member, a New College Board of Trustee, a volunteer with SW Florida Chapter for the Red Cross Disaster Services and a Pines of Sarasota Board Member. But even before that, he served his country for eight years in the United States Coast Guard.

I listened to the family reflection of Ron’s life and his fourth daughter, Chris Royal Lindsey, told a beautiful love story about Ron’s dedication to his wife of 59 years, Marilyn, and his growth in his Faith late in life. It was a magnificent story befitting of a great man who loved his wife and five daughters. Ron was continuously engaged until he fell ill a few months before he passed away. In 2015, he came to The Argus Foundation strategic planning and actively participated in our future planning. He attended many of our Argus events, even speaking at our 2016 new member/past president reception. At that reception, he told the story of Argus and the importance of being engaged and not forgetting how far we have come as a community. His fervor for the community, for The Argus Foundation, for people in general, was clear.

We have lost many great men in 2017, Wendell Kent and Hollis Tucker being among them. Wendell, Hollis and Ron were all Argus Lifetime Achievement Award winners for their work in our community. We mourn their loss but celebrate their lives and achievements. We thank their families for the time their loved ones spent making our lives better. They have enhanced the quality of life, environment and economic well-being of Sarasota County.

Christine Robinson is executive director of The Argus Foundation.

 

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