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Donald S. Ronnie


1931 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Donald S. Ronnie Obituary
DONALD S. RONNIE, 83 OF POTTSTOWN Donald S. Ronnie, 83, husband of the late Peggy J. (Derstine) Ronnie, died Monday, May 26, in his Pottstown home. Don, or Donnie as his mom always called him, was born April 9, 1931, in Maplewood, N.J. He was a son of the late Stephen Y. and Florence (Buob) Ronnie. As a lanky, 6'3" star basketball player at Columbia High School, Don earned the nickname "Needle." He was a standout in basketball and baseball at Colgate University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1954 and a master's degree in 1955. After college, he spent a summer playing semi-pro baseball in Iowa. He declined an offer to pitch in the minor leagues and chose to follow his dream of coaching high school basketball. Don fulfilled that dream when he was named The Hill School's head varsity boys basketball coach in 1955. Coach Ronnie guided the program to more than 400 wins during his 36 seasons on the bench. He stepped down in 1992 but continued to help the program as an assistant for another 17 seasons, a career of more than 50 years on the sidelines of Hill basketball games. Fittingly, it was through that dream position that Don met his loving wife, Peggy, who was working as a secretary for The Hill's athletic department in the 1950s. Mr. Ronnie taught mathematics at The Hill until his retirement in 2001 after 46 years, a tenure that also included time as Dean of Students, varsity golf coach and assistant baseball coach. In 1993, Don was inducted into the Tri-County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. In 2001, the center circle of Gillison Court was named in his honor. In 2012, Don was inducted into The Hill School Athletics Hall of Fame. Don was a life member of the Pottstown Elks lodge, where he enjoyed many seasons of league bowling. He was a tenacious blood donor and an avid fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles and college basketball. His summers were often spent in the Poconos operating a one-man lawn-care business well into his 70s. Don is survived by his children, Derek S. Ronnie, Pottstown; Cynthia J., wife of Kenneth J. Kirschner, Franconia Twp.; Kirk Y. Ronnie, Nashville, Tenn.; and Tad D. Ronnie, Reading; grandchildren, Kirsten G. and Sean S. Kirschner; and his brother, Stephen Ronnie, Ashland, N.Y. He was preceded in death by his siblings, Glenn Ronnie and Gail H. McCloskey. Memorial contributions may be made to The Hill School's Donald S. Ronnie Scholarship Fund. Funeral services are private. Arrangements are by Holcombe Funeral Home, Inc., Trappe.
Published in The Mercury on May 31, 2014
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