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Ron Carlisle

Menorah with Dad's Memorial Candle
It seems only yesterday that the holidays of 2011 were here and that the ending Saturday of that December was here.  I had finished my usual Sabbath observance when I called to return my mother's voicemail that was left.  I had a feeling that something was amiss as I saw that I had a Facebook notification from a family friend that I hadn't heard from in years.  (Thank God I didn't get the message then.)  My mother's three words "Dad passed away" have been echoing through my brain for the past year.

Captain Ron Carlisle was a person who I had the pleasure of sharing thirty-four years of my life with.  Even though I was unable to connect with him on certain levels, I was able to find areas to make those connections. 

He was born Ronald Gene Carlisle in Evansville, Indiana on August 7th, 1949 and was raised both there and in Kentucky where he enjoyed his summers on Kentucky Lake boating, fishing, and camping.  He graduated HS in 1967 and attended the University of Evansville for a short period of time before entering the United States Air Force.  

Upon entering the USAF, he was assigned to SAC (Strategic Air Command) being a technician for the ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) Titian II Missiles.  Being that I had and still have a fascination with thermonuclear physics to a degree, I was very interested in what he had to tell me about his experiences and distinctly remembering him downloading a movies about them off the internet later in life.  Of course, I couldn't forget the wall posters.

After he married my mother and my brother and I came into the world, I remember him being a hard worker and a great provider for our family.  I say this because that would have sufficed for me but my father did so much more for us than just provided our basic needs.  Being a member of the telecommunications industry for over 28 years, he took our family ijn our white suburban across the Midwestern United States, sometimes on his business trips.  I have very fond memories of our camping trips to both Kentucky Lake and the lakes of Southern Illinois and Missouri.  We also traveled to many other places across the eastern U.S.  One thing out of all I fondly remember is listening to the oldies stations traveling the interstates listening to music that he grew up listening to.


My father was a musician par excellence.  He played twelve string guitar (and electric for that matter) amongst many other talents.  I accredit most of my music talents to him, especially playing music by having listened to something only once or twice over the radio.  Growing up, he played in some bands and loved collecting guitars.  And trust me, he did till his last days..

THE NORTHWEST ERA (Our Main Connecting Flight)

Once my dad transferred to Michigan as a digital cable engineer, he started flying out of our home airport at the time (Midland/Bay City/Saginaw) MBS through Detroit on many business trips and Northwest Airlines was the main carrier at the time.  I remember connecting with him on one of our loves - Aviation as he would always tell me his experiences in the air not only with TWA but with NWA.  

One story that stuck out in my mind was where he was sitting next to an unaccompanied minor during meal time (Back when meals used to be served in domestic) and he helped the little girl cut her meat up.  So many other stories filled my mind up and after my Amsterdam trips on the 747 in June of 1996, I had a lot to share with him in return about our airline - NWA.  

My father reached Platinum on the WorldPerks scale and one of the greatest things my father could have ever done for me was to give me miles to fly where I wanted to visit friends.  I ended up using those miles to move to either Seattle or NYC to start my life where I always wanted.  In a large, or big city pursuing my dreams and leading an independent life.  

For that I will always be greatful...

Not only did my father enjoy flying but he also enjoyed his passion - sailing..  

We had our sailboat in Bay City, Michigan and even though I was not there for most of the trips, I was there for one with a short sailing out in Saginaw Bay (Lake Huron)  Photos tell the story of the many trips that my mother and he took along with my brother.


"Captain" was eventually attached to his name and it fit all too well for many reasons.

WHY ""?

The URL to this website is also a tribute to my father's life, what he was, how he raised me to who I am today, and to show that he will always be an inspiration as to what I will become, G-d willing.  Our website is also decked out in purple as it was his favorite color.  A color of royalty, bravery, and so many other qualities that he possessed.

For those of you who had the pleasure and honor of knowing my father, you knew what a brilliant person he was.  For those who never had the chance to meet my father, you would have loved him as much as he would have loved you.

I will close this post by the following poem that was recited on his behalf.  

You can shed tears that he is gone
Or you can smile because he has lived

You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back
Or you
can open your eyes and see all that he has left

Your heart can be empty because you can't see him
Or you can be full of the love that you shared

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday

You can remember him and only that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what he would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

Never take someone else's life for granted, family or not.

07 AUGUST 1949 - 23 DECEMBER 2011


  1. He loved you and was proud to call you his son. Hold your precious memories close and he will always be with you.
    Love, Mom

  2. Jeremy, this is a beautiful tribute to your father, and I know he still is proud of you. You live your life, how he would have wanted... with integrity and goodness. I don't know if we can connect with our parents on every level. But to find a connection of any sort is a special thing. Keep his memory alive, as he lives through you. Happy Holidays.


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