Surrounded by his six devoted children, Ronald Edmonstone peacefully transitioned from this material world towards his heavenly home on September 10, 2020 in Black Mountain, North Carolina, at the age of 86.
Ron, born on December 10, 1933 in New York City, was the only child of George Edmonstone and Mara Martocci Edmonstone. His mother was an Italian-American Catholic from a large family and his father was of Scotch-Irish descent. George was a casino manager running gambling tables in both NYC and Miami. When Ron was about 12 the family settled in Fairview, NC in a house on Flat Top Mountain.
Ron graduated from Western Carolina University in 1955 where he earned a Bachelors in Physical Education and Social Science. He taught History and Physical Education at Biltmore High School. After marrying and growing a family, he became an insurance broker by profession. For many years, he dedicated his time as coach of youth football, basketball, softball and volleyball. He was a founder of the South Park Recreation League in Charlotte including the first women’s basketball club team pulling together athletes, some who had never played the sport, to learn the game and compete against high school and college level teams across the region. He was also the first coach of the women’s basketball team at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina.
In the 1930s, Ron’s mother, fondly called Granmara by her grandchildren, became a member of the Baha’i Faith, a beautiful religion that teaches the oneness of God, the oneness of religion, and the oneness of humanity. Ron was raised as a Baha’i and, as a youth, accepted the religion as his own, remaining devoted to the Faith for the rest of his life. For many years, he helped organize Baha’i summer and winter schools (like church camps), taught children and youth classes, participated in teaching projects and community outreach. Ron was elected to serve as a member of one of the first Local Spiritual Assemblies of the Baha’is of Charlotte, NC and served as well on Assemblies in Asheville and Buncombe County. In 1999, Ron moved to Honduras as a Baha’i pioneer (missionary) serving at an orphanage, teaching children’s classes and coaching basketball. He returned to the U.S. and the primary focus of his retirement years was teaching the principles of the Baha’i Faith, a gift he wanted to share with anyone open to learning. He organized race unity day gatherings and created spaces for discussing the fundamental truth of the equality of all people and the power of love and unity to realize the promised Kingdom of God on earth.
Ron’s life has been an active and adventurous one. In the early 2000s, he travelled around the world by himself and proudly professed that he “did it on a dime”. He was a lover of humanity no matter their race or background. He was a devoted father who loved his children and his relationship with God above anything else. He stressed creativity, independence, and being well-rounded spiritually, emotionally and academically. As a grandfather of 11 and great-grandfather of five, he created memorable adventures from the simplest daily activities – rides in the car, trips to the general store or the local ice cream shop always included elements of creative fun. Till his last days Ron was witty and quick with a joke, bringing laughter to his family, his caregivers or anyone who may have crossed his path.
Ron is survived by his seven children, 11 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren: Bruce Edmonstone [wife, Dawn and children Chloe and Chase}, Damaris Pittman [husband Terry and children Christian (Christine) and Elias (Sarah)]; Charla Edmonstone-Pickens (husband Pierre), Sharon Tokanel (husband Shawn and children Sierra, Spencer and Seth), Martha Edmonstone [children Brittany (her children Jessica, Tyler and Isabella), and Zachary (Sarah and their children Madison and Hayden)], Tara Reese (husband David and children Noah and Samantha) and Cheryl Balke (husband Randy). Anyone who ran into Ron in recent years most likely met his beloved dog, Beau. Ron would say Beau was “the love of his life”; sweet Beau was by his side in his final days.
Ron’s final resting place will be at Cane Creek Cemetery in Fairview, NC next to his father. The graveside service will be held Saturday, September 12 at noon followed by an outdoor lunch.
Graveside Service for Ronald Edmonstone:
Date/Time: Saturday, September 12 at 12noon
Location: Cane Creek Cemetery, 94 Graveyard Road off of Hwy 74, Fairview, NC
Note: Graveyard Road is unmarked so, for GPS, try 1507 Hwy 74 which takes you to a Dollar General Store. Graveyard Road is the first left after the Dollar General.
In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to the Dean E. Smith Opening Door Fund, an endowment honoring Ron’s favorite basketball coach and team that ensures college access for outstanding undergraduates from low income families.
Please note: taking safety measures due to Covid-19 is of utmost importance. Be assured that steps will be in place to help us follow the necessary precautions together. We ask that you wear a mask and/or maintain a safe distance of at least six feet.