Ronald Edwin Mabra, Sr. went home to be with the Lord on Friday, November 10, 2017. Although he passed at the age of 66 years old, Ron lived a full life. He was born to the late Burtis Nathaniel Mabra and Betty Whatley Mabra in Talladega, Alabama on June 4, 1951. Ron was raised in Talladega. He attended Westside High School where his father served as the school's principal. There he dreamed of one day playing in the National Football League (NFL) and putting his school and hometown on the map. Upon graduation from Westside High School, Ron attended Howard University where he played defensive back for the Bison and majored in Business Administration. He was a third-generation graduate of the university. After finding success on the football field at the collegiate level, Ron played as a free agent for the Kansas City Chiefs. Afterwards, Ron continued his professional football career in the World Football League (WFL) playing as an all-pro cornerback for the Philadelphia Bell. His notoriety in the WFL led to a contract offer with the Atlanta Falcons where he continued his NFL career. While playing for the Falcons Ron developed new friendships, many of which became lifelong. His teammates jovially nicknamed him "Deuce Nine" after his jersey number 29. Ron would go on to play cornerback with the New York Jets. He would later finish his professional football career playing for the Toronto Argonauts and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Canadian Football League (CFL). It was in Atlanta where Ron met the love of his life, Patty, a special education teacher for the Atlanta Public Schools. They soon fell in love and married on Valentine's Day February 14, 1976. Together Ron and Patty raised Ronnie, Ron's namesake and Brittany whom he affectionately called "Angel". The family eventually settled in Fayetteville, Georgia where they lived a very exciting life traveling the world. Upon retiring from football, Ron pursued his entrepreneurial aspirations. He owned several successful businesses including: Magnum Motor Express Trucking Company in Decatur, Pigskin Rib House Restaurant in Fayetteville, and All-Pro Produce and All-Pro Food Service in Forest Park, Georgia. He remained actively connected to his community through a host of organizations including: the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1996 (UFCW), Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., National Football League Players Association, National Football League Alumni, National Negro Golf Association (NNGA) and the 100 Black Men of Atlanta. Ron was also inducted into the Howard University Athletic Hall of Fame and served as an attaché for Kenya during the 1996 Olympic Games. Ron accepted Christ as his personal savior at an early age. In his latter years he renewed his walk with God and lovingly served those in need of assistance and spiritual encouragement. Family meant the world to him. Those Ron leaves to celebrate his life and cherish precious memories are his beloved wife of 41 years, Mrs. Patty Mabra; son, Ronald Edwin Mabra, Jr. (Dawn); daughter, Brittany Patricia Mabra (Gerald); grandsons, Ronald III and Colin; brother Robert; uncle Charles; and a host of loving nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Published by The Daily Home on Nov. 18, 2017.