COLUMBUS -- Ronald Alexander Wingo, age 76, passed away on 21 May 2022 after valiantly fighting HPV+ tonsil cancer for most of the last 5 years. Ron was born on 20 December 1945 in Spartanburg, SC. He lived in many places around the USA, settling in Lighthouse Point, FL for over 20 years, before becoming a resident of Columbus, NC in 1999.
Ron and Sherri (Sherril Luff Reoch Wingo) met on a blind date in Fort Lauderdale and married 7 months later in March 1995. Previously, he was married, without children, to Susan Gardner 1979-1984. After 15 years of bachelorhood, Ron became a husband to Sherri and father to 9-year-old Megan Courtney Reoch and 2 Boston Terriers. This “instant family” became Ron’s focus, and all their lives were enriched. In 2001, a foreign exchange student from Belgium, Emilie, joined the family in NC and immediately became a permanent and loving member.
Ronnie received a BS in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina in 1967 and served in the US Air Force in Vietnam flying reconnaissance and the Lockheed C-141, used to transport outsize equipment, before he started as a professional commercial pilot in 1972. He always knew he wanted to be a pilot and considered himself lucky to have had a 33-year continuous career with Northwest Airlines. Captain Ron was very proud to have flown many “classic” airplanes, all over the world, including the DC-3, Martin 404, DC-9, Airbus A-320, Boeing 757 and the Boeing 747-400 before FAA-mandatory retirement at age 60 in 2005.
Ron enjoyed spending time with friends, jogging, fishing, sailing, and playing golf, tennis, and duplicate contract bridge. He was a member of the Tryon Investment Club, Old Time Radio Club and previously the Tryon Country Club. Ron volunteered in numerous ways, especially with the Rotary Club and Congregational Church (UCC) in Tryon and supported many non-profit organizations. In retirement, Sherri and he travelled the world extensively. During the last three years, Ron was thrilled to be a grandfather, known affectionately as “Roo”.
Ron is survived by his resilient and loving wife Sherri (Columbus, NC), children Megan and Nick Holmberg (Littleton, CO) and Emilie Jusniaux and Martin Descy (Namur, Belgium), and grandchildren Juliette Emilie and Jackson Alexander Holmberg and Jules and Abel Descy. Ron was predeceased by his parents Julian and Elizabeth Webber Wingo, and stepmother Louise Webber Wham Wingo (all of Spartanburg). Surviving relatives include brother David Wingo, stepsister Betty Genoble, sister-in-law Debbie Carboni (daughter Kristen), brother-in-law Bill Luff (wife Holly and children Tyler and Nicole). In addition, there are extended families in South Carolina and Belgium along with countless friends far and near. Four Boston Terrier “children” during the last 30 years were very, very loved by Ron.
The Wingo family will be holding a service outdoors (or indoors if inclement weather) on the property they built and created in Columbus, NC at 9:30 AM on Monday, 30 May (Memorial Day). Carpooling is requested. The service will also be available on livestream (https://youtu.be/uDgQSEZcxsY). In lieu of flowers, donations in Ron’s memory may be made to the charity of your choice. The family thanks the caring and attentive cancer teams at Mission Hospital (Asheville, NC) and UNC Pardee (Hendersonville, NC) and the compassionate staff of Hospice of the Carolina Foothills.