Ronald J. Belyea Jr.

Jul 01, 2019
Ronald Belyea Jr.

Sarasota, Fla. — "Jimmy, some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all of the way." — Lyrics from Jimmy Buffett’s “He went to Paris.”

Longtime media businessman Ronald James Belyea Jr., 59, died unexpectedly Tuesday, June 18, 2019, about a month shy of his 60th birthday.

Ron grew up in Rockland and was a 1977 graduate of Rockland District High School. He spent much of his life in the Midcoast, with a long residence in South Thomaston before he moved to “paradise” in the Sunshine State for the final years of his life.

Ron was born July 23, 1959, in Rockland to Ronald and Judith Belyea, who predeceased him, along with his maternal grandparents, Frank and Madeline Maloney, and paternal grandparents Joseph and Velma Belyea.

He is survived by his sisters, Brenda Munroe and her husband, Jim, and Terri Belyea and her partner, Jeff; daughters Lilliana and her mother, Averyl Catalano-Belyea, Alison Russell and her husband, Steve; stepdaughter Liza Lestage and her husband, Jeremy; his granddaughters, Tessa and Adelyn; his girlfriend, Jenn Jez; and nieces Kayla Munroe and Sheree Buotte; along with several cousins, aunts and uncles.

Ron had a love and zest for life. He was, by all measures, the life of any party. His huge smile could light up a room and his laid-back, chilled-out style endeared him to many.

He was a kindred spirit with singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett, as he loved Buffett’s music and message. Ron attended many Buffett concerts and often recited lyrics to Buffett songs — applying them to his own life — in his email and text communications.

In true Buffett style, he loved nothing more than to sit on a beach with his toes in the sand and a Corona (with a lime, of course) in his hand.

Ron loved to talk and have conversations — really, debates — with anyone about any subject. He had a dry sense of humor and was generous to all and protective of his family and friends.

He enjoyed sports, was a longtime basketball coach and referee, and an avid, accomplished golfer and spent many years playing men’s and coed softball. He enjoyed fishing and boating. As a youngster, he was a standout trombone player, skier, tennis and basketball player.

While living in Florida, he loved polo and his polo family, Siesta Key and the breathtaking sunsets.

Ron loved the Boston Red Sox and Boston Celtics, but especially his New York Giants, and he delighted when his favorite professional football team beat the New England Patriots in two Super Bowls.

During his time in Rockland, he held many jobs, most of them at the management level, including years with Courier Publications, VillageNet Media and then later the Herald-Tribune Media Group in Sarasota, Fla., all in high-level advertising, publisher or vice presidential positions. He also spent time working at EBS. In his younger years, he was a manager at J.C. Penney, LaVerdiere’s Drug Store and, while still in high school, at McDonald’s Restaurant.

For decades he was heavily involved with the Rockland Rotary Club and was a key member of the volunteers for the Maine Lobster Festival.

At points in his life, he loved the solace of riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle or in his Mustang convertible. He also loved the competition of cornhole, bocci ball and horseshoes, or simply a good game of cards.

He always was proud of the fact that his family was so “important” to the city of Rockland that they had a street named after them — Belyea Avenue — off Camden Street.

Ron, also referred to as Jimmy, was a no-nonsense guy, as he often viewed things in black and white, but also was compassionate, caring and understanding. He treated all with respect and always went out of his way help others.

He adored “his girls” — Lilli, Ali, Tessa and Adelyn.

Growing up, Ron was the typical older brother who always pranked his younger siblings. “Let’s be honest, terrorized us,” said his sister Brenda. He shot his sisters with rubber darts from his life-sized robot and chased them with worms and fish guts. Thank goodness he outgrew that and turned into a best friend, but never outgrew the pranks, Brenda said.

His daughter, Alison, said Ron always was there for his children and grandchildren and no one could have asked for a better dad. Ron always was there for Alison — through the good and bad — no matter what. Alison said she knew she could count on her dad, and that made him special.

Ron will be remembered as a wonderful father, brother and friend — and missed by those who knew him.

There will be a celebration of Ron’s life — “Jimmy Buffett-style” — Sunday, July 21, at 1 p.m. at the Rockland Golf Club.

Donations in Ron’s memory may be made to chronescolitisfoundation.org.

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