Dozens gathered in support of the Ealey family Tuesday, April 22, 2014 in Foley. A memorial service for Ron Ealey, who was killed at the end of a high speed chase April 16, 2014 in Foley was held. Ron’s family and friends came and shared stories and insight on him.
“I just want to tell Ron that I love him so much and I know that he’s hearing me. I love you so much Ron. I miss you. It was just awesome to have a son like you,” Ron’s father, David told those in attendance.
Ron Ealey was killed six days ago in a violent crash…not far from the store where he worked. In a picturesque Baldwin County pasture behind that store, family members took a few minutes to tell us a little bit about the kind of person Ron was.
“I remember the time I was hurt and he said in his goofy voice, ‘You want to go get some ice cream?’ And I would just laugh so hard. That was the type of person Ron was,” recalled Ron’s sister, Lori.
“He really was a people person. To know Ron was like meeting a best friend that you longed for,” said his long-time friend, Chris Matthews of Miami.
“We just have a lot of respect for Ron…an awful lot of respect and what a fine young man he was and this is the least we could do is come here and pay our respects for him,” said family friend, Dorris Hearn.
That sentiment echoed through the crowd that gathered. The Ealey family moved to Baldwin County from Miami, Florida just two weeks ago. They did so at the encouragement of Ron so that they could be close to one another.
“I am grateful for one thing,” his sister told the crowd. “He found true happiness down here. Sad to say goodbye like this, but I know you are watching over us.”
And for all of those in the community who have shown their support for the Ealeys during this time of loss, Ron’s little “big” brother as Ron called him had a message.
“I just want to thank everyone out there sincerely,” David Ealey, Jr. said. “It means so much to us. You guys have been here. I’ve never seen a community like this. In Miami you have a party. That’s about it. Up here everyone truly supports each other and I really appreciate it.”
So on a beautiful spring day, those closest to Ron let go of the man they knew here on earth, but at the same time hold on to treasured memories of the brother, the father, the son and the friend they’d all come to love. Dozens of purple balloons were set free to symbolize those feelings.
A memorial fund has been set up for the Ealey family to help with the funeral and other ongoing expenses. You can contribute by going to any Centennial Bank and asking for the Ron Ealey Memorial Fund.