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Ron Moffatt (82), a man of courage and dignity, sadly left this world on May 13, 2024. Husband of Debbie Moffatt, father to Natasha Cole (Stu), grandfather to Paige Simonen, Rikki Moffatt, the late Lexi Brown, Aimee, Benjamin and Lilianna Bower and daddy to his fur baby, Angel. Brother of Timmy (Gail) and Raymond and son-in-law to the deceased Ann & Garnet Speers. Special brother-in-law to Donna Rossi. Best friend to John Brisson (late Tracy Farragini) and Marlene and Fred Irwin. 

Early life was not easy for Ron. Growing up in one of the poorest parts of Toronto, CabbageTown, Ron was the very definition of a survivor. As a survival tool Ron took up boxing at an early age and won a few titles. He spent a lot of happy times in the ring. 

At the age of 14, Ron was falsely accused of murder, with no evidence to support that claim. Alone, in an interrogation room without his parents or a lawyer present, Ron was coerced into a false confession. Ron spent a year of his life incarcerated before the real perpetrator confessed and with evidence to corroborate the confession, Ron was acquitted and released from prison as unceremoniously as he was thrown in. 

Ron did not speak of this segment of his life until he was in his late 70’s, when a crime writer by the name Nate Henley became interested in Ron’s long forgotten case. Nate and Ron forged a strong friendship and Nate ended up writing a book about Ron’s case, entitled “The Boy on The Bicycle: A Forgotten Case of Wrongful Conviction in Toronto.” This was a gift to Ron. It was a 3-year process for Nate to research and write the book and that time allowed Ron to truly heal. To say this experience shaped Ron’s life is an understatement. The family is eternally grateful to Nate for giving Ron his life back. He spent a portion of his life struggling to make sense of what had happened to him but with grit, tenacity, and a will to survive, he eventually built a good and fulfilling life. 

Ron’s later years brought him great peace. He lived a simple life, content to hang out on his deck with a cold one, enjoying the company of close friends in the sanctuary of his back yard. Often playing darts in his garage or watching his beloved Toronto Maple Leafs (paper bag ready to go). 

Ron was a man who was thoughtful and well spoken. He was a wonderful conversationalist and his intelligence shone through. He was well-read and informed. He loved history and politics and could converse just as easily about the latest show on Netflix to the most recent political upheaval. His wife of 45 years, Debbie, said the thing she will miss most about Ron is their daily conversations. She could ask him anything trivial or far-reaching and he would have an informed and thoughtful answer. Ron was the long-time cartoonist for Soo Today. His comics were known as wry and often commentary on larger social issues. He really enjoyed this outlet and took great pride in his role. 

Ron worked as a caretaker for ADSB for many years and made a lot of friends along the way. He ended his career at Korah where some of his cartoons remain on the doors.  

He met and married his wife Debbie in 1980. Debbie and Ron were opposites, with her being an extrovert and a social butterfly. Ron was the perfect counterbalance. He was happy to avoid the spotlight, take a backseat and let Debbie shine. He clearly adored her. He would quietly smile at her antics and was her biggest fan. During their early years together, it was Ron who encouraged her to go back to school to become a Registered Nurses’ Assistant. He always motivated her to do her best as that was a quality Ron admired most in people. When they took their circumstances and turned them around. 

Ron was the proud grandfather of Rikki Moffatt and Paige Simonen. He doted on them and was so proud of their accomplishments. One of Paige’s earliest memories of Grandpa Ronnie is of him teaching her how to draw a horse when she was a little girl. He spent time teaching her technique and the value of shading. Paige too is an artist, and it was something special and unique that belonged to them. She plans to redraw that horse as a tribute to him.  

Ron also had a very special relationship with his granddaughter Rikki. He valued their conversations and visits more than anything. Rikki, being the wise soul that she is, could talk for hours with Grandpa Ronnie. They delved deep and really knew the core of each other. With Rikki, he felt understood and so very loved and appreciated. 

If Ron adored you, you knew it. His daughter, Natasha Cole, could attest to that. It was a relationship of great mutual respect and admiration. Ron always expressed great interest in whatever current endeavor I was up to and always showed his support. Ron was the type of person who would ask you questions and was genuinely interested in your response. He was not hard to please and was always so grateful for the opportunity to share good food and drink together. He always let you know how appreciative he was.  

Ron had friends that were more than friends-he considered them family. His next-door neighbors, John Brisson and Marlene & Fred Irwin of Barrie deserve special mention. These friends play such an integral part in Ron’s life. Nights spent in his garage, playing darts, were nights perfectly spent for Ron. Especially memorable were the karaoke nights where after a few too many, they were able to convince Ron to croon “My Way” like he was Frank Sinatra himself. Debbie loved it, Ron...after seeing the video...not so much. 

Ron had a wonderful last day on this earth. He and Debbie met Marlene and Fred in Sudbury where he was due for an operation. They went to one of their favourite restaurants together and feasted on lobster. Before Fred and Mar left Ron embraced both and squeezed them extra tight and said, “I love you guys.” It was a pretty great way to spend your last night on earth.  

The next day Ron went into surgery. It was in the recovery room that his heart gave out. It had been a difficult year for Ron health-wise and he was just too tired and weak. The family wants to thank Dr. LeBlanc and medical team in Sudbury at Health Sciences North for their compassion and care. The doctors spoke to her at length afterward and wanted her to know that Ron was a real gentleman. And that’s the perfect way to wrap up this obituary. Ron was a gentleman, a kind and dignified guy, thoughtful and reflective. He was open-minded and forward thinking. He was not the type of “old guy” who was set on his beliefs from decades ago but was willing to learn and evolve. He had an admirable ability to really learn about nuance situations. He made you feel important, seen and heard.  

So goodbye Ron. We will keep you alive by staying on top of current news, smiling at the Sunday funnies, unapologetically rooting for your Maple Leafs and shamelessly participating in karaoke. We love you. 

In Lieu of flowers, a donation to Innocence Canada would be greatly appreciated by the family. This is a cause Ron held close to his heart and was invested in. 

Cremation services provided by Simple Wishes of the North, Sudbury.  

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