Ron Schroeder was always up for a new adventure. He embraced them all – scuba-diving, sky-diving, piloting his own Cessna 182 – and came away from each with his dazzling smile and at least one great story.
Ron, who died on Dec. 23 at the age of 67, also loved music and sharing his gift with others. A guitarist since high school, he later created a five-person band, Key West, known for its Jimmy Buffett renditions. His wife, Ruth, was initially not pleased by the transformation of their Florida room into a practice room, but she became the band’s biggest groupie, dancing during nearly all of their concerts.
Ron also played solo and never refused a family request for a performance, whether it was a wedding, bar mitzvah or graduation party. His repertoire, though, extended far beyond “Margaritaville.” Later in life, he played guitar at the folk Mass at Mary Help of Christians Church in Fairborn and sang oldies like “Oh! Susanna” from as far back as the 1800s at retirement homes. He enjoyed talking with the residents and brightening their day just as much as performing.
Ruth and Ron were married for 45 years. When Ruth first met him, he was dating one of her friends at Sinclair Community College. One day, Ruth was sitting on top of a couch in the student lounge. When Ron walked in, she was so excited she fell off the couch. Their future was destined. Not too long after that, they started dating, and two and a half years later they got married.
Most of all, Ron loved to have fun and to make people feel special. His son, Adam, remembers Ron reading a bedtime book to him and his sister, Lauren, and throwing it on the floor when he was done. They tried to report him to Ruth, but he tickled them so hard they couldn’t get the words out.
Ron and Lauren had a tradition of going to University of Dayton and Dayton Dragons games, where they’d eat soft pretzels. After Lauren moved to Florida, he surprised her on her birthday, flying from Ohio, renting a convertible at the airport and bringing soft pretzels for them to share.
In addition to his talent as a musician, Ron was a skilled artist. In paintings and sketches, he drew remarkable likenesses of loved ones including Ruth, their children, grandchildren and his parents and siblings.
His artistic abilities led to the start of his business. While Ron was taking art classes at Sinclair, he got a call from a furniture company that wanted him to illustrate a newspaper ad. He gave it a try. The company liked his work and then asked him to help create a radio ad. He agreed – even though he had never done one before. That, he later said, was the key to his success: Even if he didn’t know how to do something, he’d always say yes and then figure out what to do.
At a young age, Ron launched Eastpoint Studio, an advertising and marketing firm, which he led until he retired in his mid-50s. Eastpoint’s first headquarters was his house in Dayton. It continued expanding, and years later Ron constructed a building for it in Fairborn, providing space for its growing video production work. Eastpoint’s clients included General Motors, P & G, the Dayton Dragons, Weber Jewelers and Roark Furniture.
Outside work, he served on the board of the Fairborn Parks & Recreation Department, read in elementary schools, and did the marketing for the annual United Way campaign for two years. And he generously shared his time with his relatives, whether it was taking nearly every niece or nephew for a plane ride or visiting his mother-in-law to play her music.
Ron and Ruth had spent time on and off in Osprey, Florida, since 2002. They moved there in 2019. Although no one likes the beach as much as Ruth, Ron delighted in biking to Nokomis Beach, where he swam, surveyed the scene at the jetty and, of course, engaged strangers in conversation.
He is survived by his wife, Ruth; two children, Adam (and Andrea) Schroeder and Lauren (and Dustin) Lee; and five grandchildren, Kiara and Kellen Schroeder and Alexa, Hudson and Calder Lee. Ron is predeceased by his parents, Lee and Helen Reiger Schroeder, his brother, Rob, and his brother-in-law, Tim Beach. He is survived by his sisters, Karen Beach and Cathy (and Don) Obringer.