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Ron Beasley, Long Time Blogger And OTB Commenter, Dies At 69

I woke this morning to the sad news that Ron Beasley, a long time blogger who was also a frequent visitor to the comment threads here at Outside The Beltway, had passed away at the age of 69. The news came via a post on Ron’s Facebook page from his sister:

It is with a heavy heart that I inform all of Ron’s Facebook friends that my brother passed away suddenly yesterday – a few weeks short of his 70th birthday. He was a man of many talents, such as photography and he leaves a legacy of beautiful images for us to continue to enjoy and remember him. But, perhaps his greatest gift, was taking care of our dear mother during her final years. May you rest in peace dear brother – I will miss you – All my love, jo

Ron had been around the blogosphere for quite a long time, starting with his own blog Middle Earth Journal, which started back in 2004 and where he continued to post through September of last year. He was also part of the Newshoggers blog, and an Assistant Editor at The Moderate Voice. Joe Gandelman, the editor at Moderate Voice had this to say about Ron’s passing:

Ron was a very special person. He’s one of those people that cared soooooooo much, was creative, loved nature — and had a big heart. What you saw and read is what you got. I had never met Ron personally or even talked with him on the phone. But we had a long email friendship that goes back more than 10 years. It started when he had his blog, Middle Earth Journal, and I’d quote from it in my long political roundups. Then we started emailing. In 2005 when he criticized me in a post on his blog for my viewpoint on anti-war demonstrators, I took it as a sincere criticism from someone who merely had a different perspective and who wasn’t playing the tiresome attack and discredit games so many bloggers and partisans fall back on. Ron was serious and his criticism came from the heart and from another rarity on some websites: from an analyzing, thinking, weighing the thoughts brain.

Ron wrote on his blog and then on Newshoggers, and when he finally took me up on my longstanding invitation to coblog on TMV, I was thrilled, and he eventually became an assistant editor.

We all have our flesh and blood friends and our internet friends we’ve made via social media or email. Ron was a close friend who I never met but had wanted to. Some friends, particularly Internet friends, can be fickle. People will write in a way they would not dare speak; they will blow up sitting at a keyboard and typing words in emails, in comments and on Facebook in a way they might not if they sat down with a person and looked them in the eye and discussed. There’s far more possibility for an Internet friendship to evaporate or be damaged than with face-to-face friendships. I learned over the years that many Internet friendships end in misunderstandings and more profound grief than others know (but they do help keep a therapist in business). The key, I keep telling myself, is don’t get too attached, but I do. With Ron, there was no worry.

Ron was Ron. And that was a lot and meant a lot.

Like Joe, I never met Ron in person and only “knew” him through his posts at The Moderate Voice and, eventually, the comment threads here and on Facebook, where he would often drop by to contribute. We often disagreed on political matters, but Ron was perhaps a rarity among Internet commentators in that he was able to engage in a political discussion online without allowing it to devolve into an argument, and he usually had something that left me thinking even when I though he was incorrect. His own Facebook posts often focused on his photography, the often changeable in an instant weather in the area of Oregon where he lived, and other observations about daily life. There were some hints about his own health issues, but not always much detail.

Ron was also a frequent inhabitant of the comment threads here at Outside The Beltway. His last comment here was on March 19th, which was just a few days before a Facebook post in which he noted that he hadn’t posted much lately due to health issues. Whether that is related to his passing, I do not know. In any case, my condolences to Ron’s friends and family.

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. James Joyner says:

    Sad news, indeed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  2. Neil Hudelson says:

    Incredibly sad. A decade of reading his posts and comments left me with only one impression: he was a warm and generous individual. My prayers are with his family and friends.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  3. Steve Hynd says:

    Ron was one of the good guys, in every way. He’ll be sadly missed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  4. Gromitt Gunn says:

    My condolences to his loved ones. I always enjoyed his contributions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  5. Hal_10000 says:

    Very said. RIP.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  6. CSK says:

    So sorry to learn of Ron’s death. We chatted back and forth here occasionally, and I always enjoyed it. My condolences to his family and friends. I, like many, will miss him on this site.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  7. Rick Almeida says:

    Sad news, indeed. My heart goes out to his family and many friends.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  8. al-Ameda says:

    I very much appreciated his presence here.
    Rest in peace.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  9. Mu says:

    Your list missed the running scared blog with he who must not be named.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  10. Becca says:

    Sad news, indeed.

    Bye, Ron. See you in the stars.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  11. grumpy realist says:

    Oh dear. Very distressing. R.I.P., Ron…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  12. Argon says:

    My heartfelt condolences to his famiy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  13. ernieyeball says:

    Damn. Some days life just stinks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  14. CB says:

    Oh man, very sad. He always seemed thoughtful and sincere, and he was definitely one of the good guys.

    RIP Mr. Beasley

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  15. Franklin says:

    Our fellow commenters gain a reputation in our minds, and seeing certain avatars often cause one to give more attention to a certain post. His beard and glasses, which were all I know him by, told me to carefully read and consider what was said. His experience and thoughtfulness showed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  16. bill says:

    Too bad, nice guy even though we rarely agreed on much.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  17. Moosebreath says:

    Truly a sorrow to hear this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  18. James Pearce says:

    Sad to hear this. I always liked Ron.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  19. EddieinCA says:

    My big black Lab, Max, passed the same day. I hope he finds Ron up there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  20. Loviatar says:

    I have something nice to say.

    R.I.P. Ron, you’ll be missed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  21. de stijl says:

    I hope he passed easy and well. He was a mensch.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  22. Loviatar says:

    just gave him a thumbs up on his last comment. ; )

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  23. Gustopher says:

    Well, that sucks. Like others here, I would notice his picture and immediately assume there was going to be good thoughtful stuff there. He was a good guy, and his heart was always in the right place.

    Condolences to his family and loved ones.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  24. mike shupp says:

    The internet’s supposed to be always getting bigger and better, dammit! Not smaller.

    Well, shucks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  25. =(

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  26. Greg says:

    So sorry to hear.
    R.I.P. Ron, you’ll be missed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  27. Monala says:

    I’m so sorry. I enjoyed Ron’s posts a great deal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  28. Mikey says:

    I am sorry to hear this. He and I generally agreed, but it is a testament to Ron’s qualities as a person that even those who disagreed with him also regret his passing.

    May he rest in peace.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  29. Tony W says:

    Ron’s contributions and insights will be missed, my thoughts are with his family and friends whom I am sure continue to benefit from his legacy of moderation and true morality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  30. Anonne says:

    Condolences to his family.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  31. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    Nothing to add to the comments but to repeat that he was a good guy and we will all miss him.

    RIP, Ron.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  32. Ebenezer Arvigenius says:

    That’s horrible news. As far as one can say over the internet he was an awesome human being. I will miss his contributions here :-(.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  33. Scott says:

    It sounded like he had a full and interesting life which he brought to his posts. He will be missed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  34. C. Clavin says:

    We’ve lost a good one.
    May you rest in peace, good sir.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  35. dmhlt says:

    Requiescat In Pace

    Very sad – he’ll be missed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  36. Ol' Nat says:

    My condolences. I always enjoyed reading his comments and seeing him among the regulars here!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  37. PJ says:

    Way too soon.
    Condolences to his family and friends.
    RIP.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  38. Matt says:

    I was wondering why I hadn’t seen him comment lately.

    RIP

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  39. SC_Birdflyte says:

    Very sad to learn the news. My condolences to his family and friends.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  40. JohnMcC says:

    Will add my voice to the chorus regretting his absence. A warmth and decency always seemed to emanate from his comments.

    Will also say thank you for the entry here telling us of his death.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  41. MikeSJ says:

    I’m very sorry to hear this news.

    Ron was always a class act and he’ll be missed.

    RIP

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  42. Kari Q says:

    I will miss his thoughtful contributions. My condolences to his family and loved ones.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  43. CSK says:

    I hope Ron’s family and friends see this thread, just so they know how well-regarded he was by people who never met him in person.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  44. LCaution says:

    Darn. He was one of my favorite commenters on this site. Condolences to his family.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0