Ronald Birnie

Ronald G Birnie

1935 - 2022

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Obituary of Ronald G Birnie

Ronald Birnie


Spencerport, NY. Saturday, May 28, 2022, at age 86. Predeceased by his wife of 59 and a half years, Carol. Survived by children, Scott (Charlene), Lisa (Tim) Gordon, Todd (Nicole); grandchildren, Jillian Lore, Erin (Chris Sheasley) Davis, Matthew (Emily Foe), Hallie Miller; great-grandchildren Zak and Jake Davis and Carter Lore; several nieces and nephews and many "bonus" family members. After seven long years without Carol, it was time for him to be with her for her birthday.


During his 11 and a half week stay at the Sunset House, he received the best care possible.  He was able to tell stories and make friends with all the staff and volunteers that worked there. We were able to visit and reminisce about growing up, Kodak, the Coast Guard, Hawaii, and our many trips together.  He had many visitors and phone calls from family and friends during his stay.  We were able to decorate a wall in his room with all the pictures the kids colored and drew for him.

Special thanks to the wonderful, dedicated, caring staff and volunteers at the Sunset House.


Where to begin from Todd:

You were always there to support our sporting events, as much as possible while working at Kodak with different shifts.  Even arguing with certain Summer League Organizers who always seemed to make up rules that favored their team.


I will never forget the yearly trips to Toronto to watch the Blue Jays each summer starting in 1977.  Riding in the back of the truck (when it was still legal) with Lisa, the comfortable beanbag chairs, our cassette player, and the cooler with all the food and drinks.  One year though, dad I really did not want to go to the concessions with you, but did, and when we got back to our seats Mom had “caught” a foul ball off the bat of Kansas City Royals catcher Darryl Porter, that rolled by our seats into her purse.


I still take a cooler of drinks and snacks (usually cheese, crackers, pretzels, pepperoni, and carrots- Mom’s snack tray items) in my car for every trip I take.  I think we all do.


Your advice and guidance have made me the person I am today.  There are not enough thank yous out there for you to hear.  I am so glad you were able to re-join Mom on her birthday to enjoy eternity together! I will always love you and will enjoy all the memories!


“A Day at the Birnie’s” by Mary Tremper:

I have vivid memories from as far back as I can remember of my trips to visit two of the most wonderful people I have ever met – Mr. and Mrs. Birnie. Climbing out of the car, I would glance up at the most charming house imaginable. It was like it was straight out of a storybook, complete with an adorable little wishing well in the front yard. Rows and rows of colorful flowers and the perfectly straight lines of a freshly mowed lawn filled the air with the most wonderfully sweet smell, only to be topped when you entered the house and were met with an even better smell of freshly baked goodies. After warm hugs and huge smiles at the doorway, you’d be led through rooms so perfectly decorated with cherished mementos, framed memories, and gorgeous furniture – rooms so perfectly neat, orderly, and meticulously maintained – yet still warm and approachable, even to this rambunctious little child.


Heading down the stairs into the basement, you’d be met with the most unforgettable scent of inflatable pool rafts and pool equipment, a sign of the fun and joy to be had in the water that day. As fast as you could, you would choose a room to change into your swimsuit, but even your rush to get into the pool couldn’t stop you from gazing and admiring all the neatly lined tools and treasures Mr. Birnie stored in his workshop. Once you pulled yourself some pool toys from the storage bin, you were off as quick as could be to jump into the water for hours of fun. Every so often, you’d pop out of the pool for a trip to the basement fridge for a pop, then head over to the picnic table that was constantly overflowing with veggies and dips, crackers and cheese, snacks, and treats – anything you could ever want, and everything was made with love. Once soaked to the bone from a day of swimming, we’d follow Mr. and Mrs. Birnie through the perfectly beautiful garden, who would always take the time to point everything out and teach us all they could. Last but not least was always a game of kickball in the huge backyard with the greatest two fans sitting on the sideline next to each other, cheering on the kids and “grown-up kids” alike. Thoroughly exhausted, we’d reluctantly climb back into the car to head on home, but never without a handful of treats and a head and heart full of memories to last a lifetime.


A relationship between a kid and their grandparent is something to be treasured. And though I wasn’t technically a grandchild of Mr. and Mrs. Birnie, I certainly felt about as close as that with the love and warmth they shared with me, and my family, over the years. When you entered their home, you were treated like family. A big hug, a sweet smile, a delicious meal, and an eager audience to hear all about your life. How incredibly lucky and blessed I was to have had them in my life. In sitting down to gather my thoughts on Mr. Birnie as we say our final goodbye to him, it’s impossible to not include Mrs. Birnie in my memories, and in a way, it doesn’t seem right to not think of them always as the absolute soulmates and teammates in life that they so clearly were. At long last, they are finally together once again – right where they’re meant to be. Though the world will never be the same without them here to talk to and hug, it is unconditionally better because they were here.


I know I’ll think of them always…in the big things in life, like showing compassion and warmth to all the people in your life; but also, in the little things in life, like driving past a John Deere or putting together a snack tray on a warm summer day. Thank you for the love, the lessons, and the memories.


A family gathering will be held to honor Ron. Donations in his memory may be made to the Sunset House 3746 St. Paul Blvd. Rochester, NY  14617.