Ron  Andre's Memorial

Ron Andre
(1949 - 2009)


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General Details

Name: Ron Andre
Nick Name: The Pitbull
Gender: Male
Age: 60 years old
Lived: Friday, 18 February 1949 - Saturday, 19 September 2009

My Story

    Ron Andre loved thrills and sought adventure throughout his life.  Shortly after he relinquished his work as a trader in the “pit”, the Chicago Board of Trade, to give fuller attention to developing his skills as a sky-diver, he stated that he had never been happier. Indeed, the events, travels and friends that sky-diving gave him formed the core of the latter part of his life.

    Ron was born in Chicago in 1949, the second of three sons of Fred and Edna Andre.  When he was 9, the family moved to the far southern Chicago suburb of Crete.  Ron graduated from Crete-Monee High School in 1968.

    Ron attended Western Illinois University and Southern Illinois University, and served for a year in between with VISTA in Wichita.  For most of the rest of the 1970s and 1980s, he lived in Carbondale or the Chicago area.  During those years, Ron traveled, and tried his hand at skiing, being a pilot, scuba diving, and racing his BMW at the track.

    In 1984, Ron took his first sky-dive and was hooked!  In the ensuing years, his sky-diving career took him to Thailand, Peru, Russia, Venezuela, Borneo, Norway and other locales.  He moved to Zephyrhills, FL and later bought land in Deland, FL to be close to the sky-diving center there.

    Ron was on the US Skydiving Championship 10 person speed teams in 1989, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995 and 1997, and competed in and often won numerous other events through the years.  He also participated in these record-setting formation sky-dives:

    1992     Myrtle Beach, SC             200 divers
    1994    Bratislava, Slovakia            216
    1998    Chicago                246
    1999    Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand        282
    2002    Eloy, AZ                300
    2004    Takhli, Thailand            357
    2006    Udon Thani, Thailand            400
    But any list of events fails to capture the commitment and zest Ron brought to this avocation. His peers nicknamed him “The Pit Bull” and tolerated his pugnacious attitude because his energy and dedication enlivened their gatherings.  While Ron was often cantankerous, his colleagues became his friends as they responded to his spirit, recognized that he was generous and caring, and appreciated that he challenged others because he wanted them to achieve all they could. (Please view the many photographs under the Skydiving portfolio of this website.)
    In 2004, Ron moved to Bangkok and then found where he wanted to build a house in Phuket.  Earlier this year Ron completed the construction of his retirement home in Phuket (see photos in the Thailand portfolio).  He died there from a heart attack on September 19.

    Friends of Ron from the Carbondale, IL and Chicago periods of his life are holding a memorial gathering in West Dundee, IL on November 7.  Many of Ron’s sky-diving friends will schedule a memorial skydive and celebration in Deland, FL in the near future and this website will post updates.

    Ron is survived by his brother, Ken, and sister-in-law, Lana, of Sarasota, and their daughters, Katie in San Francisco, and Erica and her husband, Rush, in Broomfield, CO, his brother, Rick, and sister-in-law, Susan, of Atlanta, Rick’s step-children, Malcolm Devine of Hollywood, CA, and Clare Forrest Curtis of Atlanta, and his step-father, Herb Rubin, of Roswell, GA, and Herb’s son, Alan Rubin, and daughter-in-law, Taryn Miller, of Wading River, NY.

    As a lover of liberty and an ardent advocate of the right of each person to pursue his own version of happiness, Ron was a long-time member of the American Civil Liberties Union.  He was also concerned with the plight of poor children in Thailand, and Father Joe of The Mercy Center kindly officiated at the cremation ceremony held in Bangkok.  The family gratefully requests that those wishing to contribute make donations in tribute to Ron to the ACLU at or to The Mercy Center at

Latest Tributes

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Candle Memorial Tribute
From: MichaelWolfe
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I stopped at the Deland, FL skydive center last week to make a long overdue contact with Ron. Ron's last dive there w...
Flower Memorial Tribute
From: msadams
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I will remember Ron with the fondest of thoughts. We went to the Senior Prom in high school. Then many years went by ...
Heart Memorial Tribute
From: Hart
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Ron, you were my first love, and you will remain in my heart always. You had a wonderful life and brought joy to so m...
Comment Memorial Tribute
From: philwolfson
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Ron was my best friend and I love him like a brother. He was the best man at my wedding, don't have the wife anymor...
Memory Memorial Tribute
From: Lana
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Ron was my brother-in-law and I loved him very much. We had such good times over the last 34 years that I have known ...


Siblings Names: Kenneth Andre, Richard Andre
Country of Birth: USA


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Place of Passing: Thailand
Date of Passing: 19 September 2009

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