Dr. Ronald LiDr. Ronald Li, age 70, passed away Saturday, July 19th, 2014 at his residence on Hilton Head Island. Born in Kunming, China on September 14th, 1943 he emigrated to the the United States in 1945 via India and the Suez Canal. After graduation in 1960 from Great Neck South Senior High School in Great Neck, NY he attended Princeton University in Princeton, NJ, graduating in 1964 with a B.A. in Biology, then attending Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, graduating with an MD degree in 1968. After serving a year of internship and a year of residency at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, NY, NY, Department of Surgery (1968-1970) Dr. Li completed his residency in Urology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, NY, NY in 1973. Dr. Li served in the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio, Chief of Urology Section from 1974-1976. While in the military Dr. Li received a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Dayton. Dr. Li practiced Urologic Surgery for 25 years in the United States Air Force, the Rochester, NY area, and in Milledgeville, Georgia. During the years of his practice he was consistently involved in land investment and management, multi-family housing development, and commercial property ownership. With a long-standing interest in architecture and real estate development, Dr. Li left his Urology practice in 1998 after starting a "spec" home business in Hilton Head and Bluffton, South Carolina. The business grew quickly and a decision was made to relocate to Hilton Head Island in 2000. Teaming with a local builder and completing home designs with local architects he built over 60 "spec" homes in Hilton Head and Bluffton, encompassing almost every plantation on Hilton Head Island. With the entry of major national builders into the Hilton Head market, further "spec" building stopped in 2005. After 2005 Dr. Li did LEEDS certified, energy efficient multi-family projects in Savannah, and land development in Middle Georgia and the North Carolina mountains. Dr. Li's leisure-time interests included fishing, sailing, diving, and travel. He was a fervent supporter of the Arts on Hilton Head, particularly the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina. The Doctor is survived by his wife and best friend, Janet Palmer Li, about whom he wrote: "She has brought intense joy and love to my life and has been my support, my right hand, and my preventive medicine guru through these many years. I hope I have been at least some of these things to her." Very close to all of his family, he is also survived by daughter, Christina Li, MD (husband, Alex Rodriguez, MD and grandchildren, Javier & Maya); step-children, Shalon Palmer Heitmann and Paul Heitmann (granddaughter, Savannah) of Hilton Head & Todd Palmer (wife, Kim Palmer and grandsons, Preston & Garrett) of Wolcott, NY.
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Published in The Island Packet from Aug. 6 to Sept. 17, 2014