In the five days since Ron Miller's passing, I've read many comments on Facebook and Foresters Forever (the Lake Forest College alumni website), participated in numerous conversations with friends, and heard two tributes to Ron at Lake Forest's commencement yesterday about the lives he touched. Touched is the wrong word. It's not strong enough. Ron changed lives. He left an indelible mark upon everyone he came into contact with.
In a conversation with Tim on Thursday about Ron's Kids, we discussed how Ron will live for generations at LFC because so many of Ron's Kids work at the College or serve on the Alumni Board and mentor students in the same way Ron mentored us. Those of us not directly involved with the College are out changing the world in our own ways, as teachers, police officers, counselors, religious leaders, activists, etc., relying on the lessons Ron taught us. It also struck us how many of Ron's Kids are still closely bonded all these years later. Ron brought us together as students and helped us form lifelong relationships that we celebrate in the good times and lean upon in the sad times.
There's a terrific article in today's Chicago Tribune about Ron's life from an interview with Ron's son Jim and executive director of Common Ground, Jim Kenney.
My favorite tribute to Ron was posted on Facebook by a woman I don't know and is actually a homily Ron gave for a man named Harold Kimball, who, according to his obituary, served on the board of Common Ground. While Ron is speaking of his friend in explaining the Beatitudes, the same words could easily be spoken of Ron. "In the Beatitudes, we find the heart of Christianity and in the Beatitudes, we find the heart of Ron Miller." (13:58 with a slight modification)
A memorial service for Ron will be held on Wednesday, May 11th at 9:30am at Christ United Methodist Church, 600 Deerfield Road, Deerfield.