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Ron Bath, well-respected and cherished by everyone, went home to Jesus on September 24, 2023, being "three-quarters of a century old." Born on September 18, 1948, Ron lived an incredibly blessed life filled to the brim at the end with love, faith, and hope. He overflowed with a "joie de vivre" that deepened as he aged and matured. He was an imperfect man with flaws who grew to become an amazing husband, stepdad, and Boppa and a quiet inspiration to us all.
Ron re-dedicated his life to Jesus when he was 50 years old. Our LORD transformed his mind and heart and matured him into a humble man who served His LORD well. People who knew him found him to exude a calm presence. He was gentle, patient, encouraging, kind and fun! His joyful demeanor came from his hope in Jesus Christ, and he shared his faith at every opportunity with others.
Ron’s legacy will forever be his embodiment of the fruit of the Spirit and his photography. In his interactions personally and professionally, he was genuinely interested in understanding people and demonstrating the art of receiving love and passing it on. He was a good friend and mentor to many. His deep knowledge of the Bible enabled him to share his knowledge and facilitate studies online and in classes.
Ron was a photographer and photojournalist but thought of himself all the time as the latter. He was a solid shooter who produced high-quality work consistently. Passionate about photographic portraiture and capturing moments, his goal was always to create communicative photos that told their stories well. He earned numerous awards for his images that seamlessly captured people's true selves. He worked at 4 newspapers, retiring after 29 years in 2013 from American City's Business Journals' Louisville Business First weekly newspaper to pursue a career as a freelance photographer for six more years. Other interests were photographing architecture and God's creation. In retirement, he spent a lot of time in his home studio, sometimes manipulating his photos to reflect his favorite painter and illustrator, Maxfield Parrish. Parrish was known for distinct saturated hues and idealized neo-classical imagery. Many of Ron's photos have a similar remarkable quality and many reflect his own artistic touch.
During the Vietnam War, Ron received his draft notice and immediately joined the Navy following in his father's footsteps. He served 4 years as a submariner, first on the auxiliary research USS Medregal (AGSS-480) and his last 2 years on the Lafayette class ballistic missile submarine, USS Henry Clay (SSBN-625). His duty was to steer the submarine at the helm. He was honorably discharged in 1974 holding a quartermaster third class rank.
It was later in life that serving his country became truly heartfelt. Wearing his Navy ballcap with pride, he would occasionally talk about his experiences such as the deafening quiet when passing an enemy ship or sub, the great Navy food he consumed, friends he encountered, or 'hot racking" on top of a missile. He loved the USA!
Ron had a collector gene in him and as an avid collector, Ron's interests varied with different seasons of his life. His collections included music, primitive art, Japanese netsukes, Oriental art, watches, pocketknives, and cooking recipes. He was a "foodie" at heart and over the years became an extraordinary chef. The journalist in him always had a love for word usage and he had a running collection of quotes, stories, and words. His multifaceted interests further illustrate the depth of his character.
Ron will be sorely missed by family and friends. He leaves to grieve his beloved wife, L Jill Bath, his stepdaughter, Ina de Mattos Miller (Ben), grandchildren Ella, Lusiana, and Jackson in Louisville, KY, siblings Ed Davis (Lois), Dan Davis (Donnetta) in Missouri, Donna Knouse (Joel) in Florida and Patti Ewing (Robert)in Kansas, Cousin Gerri Gordon (Margaret) in CA and many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his father, Charles Williams Bath, Jr., mother Norma Jean Cagle Bath, stepmother Monta Catherine, his brother Ronnie Honeycutt, and his aunt and uncle Jean and Jim Bowie.
His Celebration of Life will be held on October 6, 2023, at the Chapel in the Woods in Louisville, KY. Visitation will be at 10 am followed by the memorial service at 11 am. Come expecting to share your stories, drink coffee, and eat his favorite Nord's Bakery donuts!
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations be made in Ron's honor to any of the following organizations:
The Finishing Fund - finishingfund.org - mail checks to National Christian Foundation of Kentucky, Account 2375075 - The Finishing Fund, PO Box 175, Lexington, KY 40588
Valorous Church, North Myrtle Beach, SC- valorouschurch.com
Ethos Church, Nashville, TN - ethoschurch.org
Tunnel to Towers Foundation - t2t.org
Red Cross - redcrossblood.org - Please donate blood in his honor. There is a nationwide shortage.