PGA of Canada Life Member Ron Healy Remembered For His Kindness, Dedication To People

Ron Healy (centre) with Arnold Palmer (left)
Ron Healy (centre) with Arnold Palmer (left)

Just two days after celebrating his 75th birthday, PGA of Canada Life Professional Ron Healy passed away on January 26th.

The sad news was shared by his daughter, Tara Healy, on behalf of her brother Scott, mother Carol, and the entire family.

“It’s with a heavy and broken heart that I tell all of you that my dad passed away today,” she wrote in a social media post. “We were just wishing him a Happy 75th Birthday a couple of days ago and he talked about how amazing it was that he had over 100 well wishers! He just loved all of you and loved life. He had so many friends around the globe with so many cherished friendships. We are heartbroken and at a loss for words.”

The Brockville native was well-known in the community, where he had chosen to semi-retire and make use of his honorary membership at the Brockville Country Club.

We mention semi-retire because, as many people know, Ron did not currently hold a full-time job in golf, but chose to spend some of his time in recent years sharing the love of golf with juniors and Special Olympics golfers he was so proud to be involved with.

Staff from the Special Olympics Brockville and Area shared about Ron and his involvement in their program, “We have been so fortunate to have his skills and endless patience in coaching our golf athletes. In 2016 Ron graciously offered his time and skills to build a golf program here in Brockville. We are forever grateful for all he did for us. Ron saw the potential in every athlete and was so pleased when he saw personal improvement. We will miss him.”

Ron Healy (second from top, right) with the Brockville and Area Special Olympic Golfers

During his long and distinguished career Ron spent time as a professional at Brockville Country Club, Miskinaw Golf Club (Fort McMurray, Alberta), Sunningdale GC (London, ON), but was best known for the twenty-two years he served as the Head Professional at the Beaconsfield Golf Club in Montreal beginning in 1968.

“Very sad to hear about Ron’s passing,” noted Black Bear Ridge Head Professional Bill Kerr. “He was my very first professional at the Beaconsfield GC, taking over the role from my grandfather, Bill Kerr, Sr.. He was still a keen teacher and promoter of golf and junior golf. He was a true gentleman and will be missed.”

Paul Carrothers, the Head Professional at The Royal Ottawa GC, noted that Ron was the pro when his parents took him to Beaconsfield GC at age 11. He would eventually work for him. He shared, “Ron was in a class of his own. A wonderful man and a sad loss for us all!”

Always one to give back, Ron spent time on the Board of Directors for the PGA of Quebec, on what was then the Western Ontario PGA, and as the President of the PGA of Ottawa.

“Ron was a Life Member of the PGA and a HUGE supporter of the business and its Professionals. RIP Ron. You will be missed,” was posted by the PGA of Canada Ottawa Zone.

PGA of Canada Ottawa Zone Executive Director Carol Ann Baxter added in a personal note, “Ron’s love of everything golf – the game, the students, the pros, the travel, the business, was always evident. He was always quick with a warm smile and loved to share his experience and his stories. His passion for teaching always shone through but even more so was his passion for, and patience with his students. A huge supporter of the PGA and his fellow members. He will be greatly missed.”

A Special Trip

To let you have a small taste of what Ron was like and what golf meant to him, the following is a message that he sent to Flagstick after a particularly memorable life event for him in 2016. We appreciated him sharing it at the time and could sense the joy in his words.

“As a Life Member of the PGA of Canada I have had many memorable golf events and have met great people along the way but nothing will top my trip last weekend.

An invitation came my way from a former caddy then an employee for me at Beaconsfield.

Last Friday flew to Orlando, on Sat morning went over for a practice session at Bay Hill, then back to Winter Park for a great dinner downtown.

Sunday morning we returned to Bay Hill checked into the Lodge, unbelievable room, great Palmer pictures.

Had a friendly round at Bay Hill, great conditions, the toughest greens I’ve ever played.

The next morning at 6:00 AM we we’re bused over to the Jet Blue hanger for our breakfast spread then boarded for our trip up to Latrobe.

In the air we were greeted my Charlie Reimer of the Golf Channel and filmed us live on Morning Drive, fun!!!

Touched down in Latrobe and who else but Arnold Palmer was at the bottom of the stairs to welcome us to Latrobe, goosebumps!!!

Mr Palmer’s 84th birthday was on the Sat, a little frail but was able to tour the course on a cart as we played and was at dinner in the evening.

Just playing the course where he learned to play , wow, his father has been the Head Professional and Superintendent, so much memorabilia.

I must also include in the seventies my host had caddied for Arnold at an event at Beaconsfield where I was the Head Professional at the time and the following year I arranged for him to caddy for Jack Nicklaus, Palmer’s remark to Jack “you stole my caddy”

How good is that for a young teen!!

We then returned to Orlando, the next day I returned to Ottawa, my host to China where he is working now.

All of this for his Hospital fundraising at Latrobe and Bay Hill; met some interesting people

Beat that one folks

– Ron Healy

A Life To Celebrate

A celebration of Ron’s Life will be held for friends and family at the Brockville Country Club, 1548 Highway 2 W., Brockville, on Saturday February 1st, 2020 from 2 to 5 p.m.

It will be followed by a private family internment.

In memory of Ron, donations to the Brockville and District Hospital Foundation Palliative Care or Cardiovascular Program would be greatly appreciated by the family. Barclay Funeral Home, 137 Pearl St. E., Brockville entrusted with the arrangements.

Messages of condolence may be sent online at www.barclayfuneralhome.com.