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.

FILED UNDER: Obituaries, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. James Joyner says:

    Sad news, indeed.

  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.

  3. Steve Hynd says:

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

  4. Gromitt Gunn says:

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

  5. Hal_10000 says:

    Very said. RIP.

  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.

  7. Rick Almeida says:

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

  8. al-Ameda says:

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

  9. Mu says:

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

  10. Becca says:

    Sad news, indeed.

    Bye, Ron. See you in the stars.

  11. grumpy realist says:

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

  12. Argon says:

    My heartfelt condolences to his famiy.

  13. ernieyeball says:

    Damn. Some days life just stinks.

  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

  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.

  16. bill says:

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

  17. Moosebreath says:

    Truly a sorrow to hear this.

  18. James Pearce says:

    Sad to hear this. I always liked Ron.

  19. EddieinCA says:

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

  20. Loviatar says:

    I have something nice to say.

    R.I.P. Ron, you’ll be missed.

  21. de stijl says:

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

  22. Loviatar says:

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

  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.

  24. mike shupp says:

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

    Well, shucks.

  25. =(

  26. Greg says:

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

  27. Monala says:

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

  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.

  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.

  30. Anonne says:

    Condolences to his family.

  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.

  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 :-(.

  33. Scott says:

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

  34. C. Clavin says:

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

  35. dmhlt says:

    Requiescat In Pace

    Very sad – he’ll be missed.

  36. Ol' Nat says:

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

  37. PJ says:

    Way too soon.
    Condolences to his family and friends.

  38. Matt says:

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


  39. SC_Birdflyte says:

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

  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.

  41. MikeSJ says:

    I’m very sorry to hear this news.

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


  42. Kari Q says:

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

  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.

  44. LCaution says:

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