It is with great sadness that the family announces the passing of Ron on Saturday 8 January 2022 of heart failure.
Beloved husband of the late Mary Viola Geraldine (née Howard), son of Philip Willoughby Willenberg and Angel Erin Louise (née Obeyesekere). Brother of Maurice (Marion), Louis (Marjorie – dec.), and Marlene (dec.). Beloved Dad of Christopher, Warren (Susie), and Joanna. Much loved Papa of Juliette. He was born in Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) on 25 August 1938.
With courage and determination Ron left Ceylon early to forge a new life in England where he married, settled down, and started a family. Ron and Vi eventually settled in Toronto, Canada where they raised their family.
A kind, gentle, quiet, big-hearted and generous person, he was an animal lover and loving pet-Dad to Bella and Tessa. He was a keen and skilled cricketer, in Ceylon, England, and Canada and followed sports passionately, especially hockey, baseball and F-1 auto racing. He also had an abiding love of music, especially jazz, dancing happily with Viola, throughout their lives.
Ron was a person who rarely complained but just “got on” with it. Bound by an incredibly strong work ethic, his sense of integrity, duty and care to his family, loved ones and friends was exemplary.
His determination and quiet but profound strength were displayed spectacularly during his recent illness. He repeatedly defied doctors’ prognoses and overcame hurdle after hurdle with divine intervention and the sheer will of his indomitable spirit.
Ron was one of the heroes we encounter in our daily lives, our rock, our protector and our continual, unquestioning and loyal supporter. ‘Reliable’ could have been his middle name. He always stood by his commitments, no matter how daunting, and helped those in need without fanfare or kudos.
Ron will be greatly missed by his family and many friends. A private family service will be held this week with a memorial service and celebration of life to follow later this year.
“Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.” Saint Francis de Sales
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Ron’s name to any of the charities below.