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Remembering Elk Ron Reasoner

I have known Ron Reasoner mostly through the Noblesville Elks Lodge, which I joined in 2004.

But I met him many years before that when I attended Elks events, when the Elks Lodge was out on 196th Street.

I came to know Reasoner even better when I interviewed the Elks secretary for a story for The Noblesville Ledger in February 1996. I would interview him about the Elks’ move to town.

The Elks Lodge 576 on Nov.  6, 1995, purchased property and moved in 1996 to its current location on the west side of Ninth Street, between Conner Street and Maple Avenue, where Max D’s watering hole used to be.

Two years later, in 1998, Reasoner was voted with distinct honors as an Honorary Life Member of the Benevolent and Protective Order (BPO) of the Elks.

Reasoner, who was always warm and approachable, found it easy to talk about the place and people that he loved. He was a member of the Noblesville Elks Lodge for 59 years.

He was lodge president in 1973 and was District Deputy for two terms, in 2002 and in 2012. Reasoner served the state, community and local lodge, most recently as Chairman of the Trustees.

Ron Reasoner

Just this past February, he was proud to share that the Noblesville Lodge had the largest gain in membership for the state of Indiana, and had 18 more new members to be initiated that month. Some said that Reasoner held that place together. He definitely always had a good answer whenever I asked him anything.

By now, most of Reasoner’s friends and fellow Lodge members have received word of Reasoner’s unexpected passing on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. He was 78.

Ronald Joe Reasoner, or “Ronnie,” as some of his friends called him, was born on Dec. 7, 1943.

He was a 1962 graduate of Noblesville High School and proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy.

I learned about Reasoner’s passing on Tuesday evening, following a Facebook post that very afternoon. “The City of Noblesville as well as the Elks family lost a caring, great person this morning that built our lodge into what it is today, and supported contributing to youth and worthy causes in our community. RIP Ron, and thank you for all you did for the BPOE while on this earth,” wrote Pete Smith of his “Beloved Elk Brother.” Smith, the Elks Lodge chaplain, also sent out an email to Elks members.

Smith wrote, “Shortly after 4 a.m. this morning, Ron was not feeling well and called 911. He was transported to Riverview Hospital but did not survive upon arrival. I had been with Ron late one morning last week, and told me he knew something just “was not right” and had not been feeling well. He had several doctor’s appointments this month but with no success in finding out “what was wrong.”

Smith said he knew Reasoner very well, meeting him in 1991 when Smith moved to Noblesville to become the Millers’ boys basketball coach.

(Photo courtesy of Pete Smith)
Noblesville Elk Ron Reasoner (middle) always spearheaded Flag Day services every year at the Noblesville Elks Lodge 576.

“He convinced me to change my membership from the Elks Lodge in Rochester to the Elks Lodge in Noblesville that year, which I did,” he said.

Smith has now been an Elk for 41 years and is a past Exalted Ruler in 2019 of the Noblesville Lodge. Currently, he is serving as the Lodge Chaplain, and has been an officer in one role or another for a lot of years at the Noblesville Lodge.

Smith has a lot of memories with Reasoner. “One would be when we went downtown Indianapolis one Sunday to donate and stock a food pantry for a veterans-only apartments complex and pass out pizza and drinks in appreciation of all the veterans service over the years.”

Smith said, “He got the lodge through some rough, rough times when the economy has been down and the lodge has had financial challenges. Yet that never stopped his passion to help youth organizations and great causes in the Noblesville community and state-wide, too, with contributions from our lodge. He was a great mentor to me as I became an officer of the lodge in the late 1990s, and encouraged me to become the Exalted Ruler when I retired from coaching basketball in 2018. He was so friendly to everyone that stepped into our lodge, and loved Noblesville in general.”

What else? “Ron loved Flag Day services. It was done outside the Lodge on Ninth Street on the sidewalk. “He loved that cars would stop, drivers give our group the ‘thumbs up’ sign, and sometimes even honk. I loved his patriotic spirit,” Smith said.

Reasoner’s passing came as “a punch in the gut” to many, as ‘73 NHS grad Jeff Zeckel said in a Facebook post. “I always enjoyed talking to him; he had a good memory when it came to old Noblesville and our history. He will be missed by many.”

(Photo courtesy of Pete Smith)
Noblesville Elk Pete Smith (right) has a lot of memories with fellow Elk Ron Reasoner (left). “One would be when we went downtown Indianapolis one Sunday to donate and stock a food pantry for a veterans-only apartments complex and pass out pizza and drinks in appreciation of all the veterans service over the years,” Smith said.

Dennis Dash enjoyed morning coffee with Reasoner at the American Legion.

Cindy Humes said, “I loved our morning talks when I worked at Noblesville Legion.”

Reasoner had more energy than most of us.

Marilyn Musselman said, “He never really changed that much, still thin, handsome and walking with a bounce in his step.”

Yes, “he bounced into a room with so much energy and life,” said Kerri Hipsky, girlfriend of Reasoner’s son, Reid Reasoner. He also has a daughter, JoAnn Cunningham; brother, John, and seven grandchildren.

Carol Ott said Reasoner was a wonderful leader at the Elks.

Freda Wyatt knew Reasoner since seventh grade. “He was a sweet friend.”

Nancy Lipps-Louks called him “a true gentleman,” and “always nice and caring.”

Elk Geoff Robinson said Ronnie was a tremendous asset to our members and organization. 

William Carroll called Reasoner “one of the finest runners in NHS history.” John Stanley said, “He knew everybody in this community.”

He said, Reasoner was “a great ambassador for this town and will be missed by all who knew him.”

Smith said, as for our Elks efforts with helping veterans, Reasoner never hesitated to go to places to provide services, and would be the first person to say, “I’m there, who’s going with me?”

Services for Ron Reasoner will be at 2 p.m. Monday at Randall & Roberts Funeral Center on Westfield Road in Noblesville, ending with Elk Rites. Visitation will begin at 11 a.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Elks Lodge, 35 S. 9th St., Noblesville, IN 46060. Read Ron Reasoner’s obituary in today’s edition of The Times.

– Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.