William J. Ronan, LTC, Army National Guard of Massachusetts, age 87

of Hull

William J. Ronan, LTC, Army National Guard of Massachusetts, age 87

Hull, William J. Ronan, LTC, Army National Guard of Massachusetts, age 87, of Hull, formerly of Walpole, passed away peacefully, Thursday, December 27, 2018 at the Alliance Healthcare at Braintree, surrounded by his loving family.

William was born in Waltham to the late James W. and Helen L. (Cody) Ronan. He was raised in Roxbury and was a graduate of Boston English High School. He had lived in Hull for over twenty years and previously lived in Walpole for many years.

He was employed as a sales representative for the former Boston Edison Company in Boston for over forty years.

Bill proudly served his country in the Army National Guard of Massachusetts. He enlisted in the 101st Infantry Battalion on November 25, 1947. Over the years he served in various command and staff positions, including command of the 101st Infantry Battalion, “The Fighting Irish” and the 181st Infantry Battalion, one of the four oldest organizations in the U.S. Army. Upon his retirement, after thirty-six years of service, he was placed on the State Retired List with the honorary rank of Colonel.

Bill and Cathy enjoyed travelling and dancing. Together they spent many winters in Naples, Florida where they also enjoyed golfing, playing tennis and living life to the fullest. Bill was truly “one of a kind”. He was always there for everyone and could never do enough for others. He will be missed and will always hold a “special place” in the hearts of those who knew and loved him.

Beloved husband for twenty-four years of Catherine A. (O’Neil) Ronan and the late Margaret (Fraser) Ronan.

Devoted father of Stephen Ronan and his wife Janet of Walpole, Genevieve Schechter and her husband Alan of New York, Gregory Ronan of Walpole, James Ronan of Franklin, Paula Simone and her husband Christopher of Attleboro.

He is also survived by Cathy’s children; Marie Leonard of Weymouth, Robert Leonard and his wife Diane of Pembroke, Patti-Ann Jaehnig and her husband James of Quincy, Thomas Leonard and his wife Jennifer of Seekonk.

He was loved and cherished by his many grandchildren.

Bill was one of four siblings and was pre-deceased by Mark Ronan, Lowell Ronan and Cecilia M. Milroy-Lacerenzo and is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Funeral from the Sweeney Brothers Home for Funerals, 1 Independence Avenue, Quincy, Thursday, January 3rd at 11 a.m. Funeral Mass in Saint John the Baptist Church, 44 School Street, Quincy at 11:30 a.m. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Visitation at the funeral home Thursday morning 10 – 11 a.m. Interment with Military Honors at the Massachusetts National Cemetery, Bourne.

The Ronan family would like to offer a special thank you to all the staff, nurses and therapists at the Alliance Healthcare in Braintree for the compassionate care that Bill received over the past year and a half.

For those who wish, donations in Bill’s memory may be made to charity of your choice.


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  • As a dear friend for many years and fellow traveler, I know Bill will be blessed always. He was much loved and loving, and the ending words of the song “Danny Boy” ring true: “For you will bend and tell me that you love me, And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me!”

  • We are so saddened by the loss of the one and only Mr. Bill. He was a charter member of the incredible Barstow Road gang who made growing up an unforgettable experience. Mr. Bill had such a presence – singing, playing the ukulele and incredibly bringing home a real Army Jeep to give us rides in! He was so fun and had so much positive energy to share. We are grateful that our children got to experience some of his gifts! We will always remember the Walpole Fireworks in his bright colored pants teaching us how to “ooh, ahh!” properly. He was the BEST Dad and grandfather and my own father’s Best Friend for Life. We love you Mr. Bill and will miss you. ❤️ Donna & Bill. Jupiter FL

  • I was lucky enough to be born across the street from Meg, Bill and the Ronan Family in 1980. The Ronans, along with the Treen and Bilotta families formed the nucleus of the Barstow Road crew. Each parent of those families, Bill, Meg, Vinnie, Dottie, Phil and Mary was a like another grandparent to me and I loved every one of them. I have so many great memories of Bill from growing up as I spent a lot of time at the Ronan house after school. He was always smiling; always positive; making everyone laugh. He taught me at an early age that laughter was the best medicine and that no problem was permanent. I was recently going through old photographs at my parent’s house and saw pictures of Bill from the many St. Patrick’s Day parties that he would be the star of; singing his renditions of “Oh Danny Boy”. It brings a smile to my face just thinking about it 30 years later. Bill, thank you for the positive impact that you had on my early life and for your decades of service to our country. You will always have a place in my heart.

  • Cathy and family, We are so sad for the loss of Bill, a wonderful man with a great sense of humor. You and Bill will be in our prayers. Cathy, please let me know if there is anything at i we can do for you. You were a great couple and I’m sorry for your loss. Love and friendship. Janice and Tom Bowers. Xxoo

  • I am really saddened to hear of Bill’s passing. I knew Bill for many years while serving in the National Guard. I also served as his executive officer while he commanded the 1-181 Inf. I shall miss him.