Sunday, August 14, 2016

Tribute to a Wonderful Friend Lost too Soon!

This blog is dedicated to a high school buddy that I stayed in touch with through the next 25 years until his passing June 17, 2016. His name was Ron "Ronnie" Lester.

What all but a few very close people knew was his organs were failing him for the last 4 months of his life due to complications from his gastric bypass surgery which enabled him to go from 508 lbs to 160 lbs losing an astounding 348 lbs. He had complications through the surgery as he flatlined the first time so they had to stop and go back 6 months later to complete it. He had 18 surgeries to take care of the excess skin that came as he lost the weight.

What the majority of us closest to him did know was he loved drinking and couldn't give it up for anything even when his organs were failing. He was drinking and partying as far back as high school. He drank and talked about drinking and partying all the 25 years I knew him. We tried to help him, but as is well known, they have to want to change for it to work.

The public saw Ron Lester as the lovable fat guy "Billy Bob" in "Varsity Blues" alongside Paul Walker and James Van Der Beek. They saw him as "Spatch" in "Goodburger" alongside Keenan and Kel. He played a parody of his "Varsity Blues" self in "Not Another Teen Movie", and as "Sug" on the 2 season show "Popular". He was even part of the show "Freak and Geeks".

What the public doesn't realize is he was also in an episode of "CSI" in his new skinny body. Unless you were friends with him or knew him, you wouldn't have recognized him. He did 2 other projects yet to be released that I hope will get the funding and be released because he worked very hard on them only to at one point get scammed.

I always kept in touch with Ron over the years even though we did one year of high school together because he and I were kindred spirits in wanting to help people and be kind etc. whether it was messages on Facebook, a phone call on his birthday into his radio show even though I was out on a date, we stayed in touch almost to the very end. Our last call was in November as he was getting released from the hospital he said he had to go because he was heading to Vegas. Just like Ron.

My fondest memory of Ron was his high school graduation because it was my sisters as well. He had a cap on with 4 tassels marking each year he was supposed to graduate but. Ow was because he was 21. So, when they called his name, we gave him a standing ovation....I think the teachers did it cuz he was finally outta their hair ;)

Myself and others tried over the years to help him with his drinking, but I. The end, it was his choice. It was also HIS choice to discontinue being on life support. See, while his organs were failing, he was not in a coma, he was lucid enough to convey that request to the nurses and his fiancee Jennifer Worland who'd been by his side throughout it all.

In the 25 years I knew Ron, he also struggled with love. I was there for him each time another girl hurt him telling him the right one was out there just hold on. He had to lean on his friends because he told us he had no family, they were all dead. He told us this many times over the years including on his radio show. So when Jennifer came along, I saw a change in Ron. A beautiful change. A change for the better! He proposed to her and they were to be married on his birthday AUGUST 4, 2016.  Instead, we were celebrating the life he had as a memorial. I was so sad he never got to have the wedding I'd had and the happily ever after with Jennifer because she's a wonderful girl who would have been an amazing wife for him.

So for now, I do this blog to memorialize him since no one that really knew him was allowed to speak at the service. Ron, you were loved by many and will be missed so much! I hope you are up there having fun with Paul Walker and with Howie ;) give him a hug for me til I can hug both you again!

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