Veronica ‘Ronnie’ Keating Ford left us suddenly on the morning of Friday February 2. She was born in Wilmington, Delaware in August of 1943, to Ralph and Margaret Keating (Braun). She was the kid sister to her big brother Bob whom she adored. She was a very outgoing and athletic girl who was looked up to by her many, many cousins.
Ronnie grew up on the Brandywine in Wilmington and always shared how magical her childhood was. However, at the start of high school, Ronnie’s father was transferred to Utica, NY. Ronnie continued to excel at school and sports and graduated from Utica Free Academy in 1961. She was an excellent field hockey, basketball and softball player and even enjoyed some time as a majorette with the marching band. Although moving to New York and leaving her home in Delaware behind was hard for a teenager, it did bring three lifelong friends into her life through field hockey then Nursing school at Faxton Hospital. Those friendships have endured over all these years and throughout numerous life events such as graduation, marriage, children, divorce, grandchildren, and Covid. She looked forward to her weekly Zooms with the ladies, whom we affectionately referred to as “The Aunts”.
She came from a large family and had many cousins who were like sisters and friends to her. They frequently had ‘luncheons’ to celebrate important life events or to just catch up. Laughter was always the focus at these outings. She always looked forward to seeing her cousins and loved getting updated on all the family happenings. She recently made it to one of these luncheons and was in great spirits and enjoyed herself thoroughly. What a blessing!
Ronnie was born to be a nurse and discovered her passion for the profession in high school. She became a career nurse, enjoying many years in geriatrics. Her extreme kindness and patience allowed her to guide families and patients through the aging and ailing that comes with growing older. She was adored by employers, co-workers, and patients alike.
Later in life, Ronnie had the good fortune of moving downstate and living in Gull Point, a community on the Indian River. Living for nearly 20 years a stone’s throw from where she spent every summer growing up was amazing. She hosted family and friends, took good care of her mother and aunt, and ate crabs as often as she could.
She had 3 children whom she loved very much and was active in their daily lives but her five grandchildren aged 24 – 8 were the light of her life. Thankfully she was surrounded by all 5 of them this past Christmas Eve. That was her present, the best one she could have ever received. The only thing that would have made these last few months even better would have been a Super Bowl appearance by her favorite team – the Dallas Cowboys, but sadly that was not meant to be, much to her chagrin.
Ronnie is survived by her daughters Kathleen Ford, Melissa Moritsch (Dan), daughter in law Jen Barnett Ford (Patrick), grandchildren Gavin, Mia, and Tristan Ford; Cooper and Samantha Moritsch, beloved nephew Bobby Keating and grand dogs Apollo and Stella.
Ronnie is deeply missed by her family and friends but is no longer battling her illnesses that consumed so much of her life these past few decades. She is happy and healthy and reunited with her mother and father, brother Robert (Bob) Keating and son Patrick Ford.