Ronald Dean Rea Sr., 79, of Granite City, passed away at 4:59 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis.
He was born Aug. 30, 1936, in Greenville, a son of the late Clarence Andrew and Della Marie (Bimes) Rea. He married Margaret L. (Smith) Rea on Jan. 6, 1957, in Washington Park and she passed away on July 24, 1996. Ronald retired in 1998 from ConRail after 20 years of dedicated service as an inspector. He had also worked for Terminal Railroad and for Dome Railway Services. Prior to his railroad service, he had also worked in the grocery business with A&P and also Guccione’s Grocery Stores. He and his wife had been very active and served as a Past President of the Spina Bifida of Greater St. Louis for many years. He was a talented craftsman and enjoyed making frames and worked at Silver Dollar City and numerous art fairs. He was always buying, refurbishing and selling something and was very good at making a deal. He was a car and boat enthusiast, loved the outdoors and enjoyed his days of camping and fishing. He enjoyed his trips to the casino and enjoyed his many travels with a special group of friends. His pride and joy was his Dachshund, “Petey.”
He is survived by three daughters and sons-in-law, Debbie and Gary Hency of Waterloo, Rhonda and Scott May of Granite City, and Lisa and Gary Jones of Collinsville; one son and daughter-in-law, Ronald and Kathy Rea II of Granite City; 11 grandchildren and their spouses, Kyle and Meagan Hency, Kory Hency, Adam Stout, Zachary May, Kelly and Brad Bagwell, Sarah and Dustin Gentry, Leann Jones, Gary Jones II, Ashley Rea, Ronnie Rea III and Jacob Rea; 14 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Betty Rea of Edwardsville; special nieces and nephews; other extended family and many special friends.
In addition to his beloved wife and parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Margaret Leann Rea; and a brother, Clarence Lavern Rea.
In celebration of his life, visitation will be 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City, where funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 22, 2016. Burial will be at Sunset Hill Memorial Estates in Glen Carbon. Memorials may be made to Spina Bifida of Greater St. Louis or to the American Cancer Society and may be accepted at the funeral home; www.irwinchapel.com.