Ronnie Ray Blackham was born November 19, 1945 in Mount Pleasant, UT to Ray D and Dorothy (Shepherd) Blackham. Growing up, Ronnie loved to play baseball. He was an amazing left-handed pitcher. He was scouted by the White Sox in high school. Ronnie earned his Eagle Scout award in his teen years. He graduated from North Sevier High School in 1964. He then attended Snow College in Ephraim, UT and went on to get his bachelor’s degree in Statistics and Computer Sciences from Utah State University in Logan, UT. On September 10, 1965 he married LaReta Seely from Redmond for time and all eternity in the Manti, UT Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Temple. After moving from UT to AZ in 1984, Ronnie worked for the City of Mesa Fire Department until his retirement in 2010. Although he would say he walked the dog and greased the pole, he worked with and managed the city’s communications system for the fire department. From 2014-2016 Ronnie and LaReta served a two-year full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake. They worked hard and loved the people they served with.
Ronnie had an infectious sense of humor and wit. Up until he passed, he kept his family laughing. He loved all things Disney, baseball, and family. Ronnie loved to go to Disneyland or Disneyworld as often as he could with LaReta and his family. One of his favorite things was to take LaReta and their grandchildren to Disneyland around the time they turned 10 years old. The grandkids loved this tradition and looked forward to their one on one time with Grandpa and Grandma at the “happiest place on earth”. He loved to travel and would often take trips to see the fall colors in the north eastern states. Throughout his life, Ronnie served and gave willingly and freely. All who met him, loved him and his kind heart. God and his family always came first; he was incredibly selfless. Ronnie passed away on January 28, 2023 in Tempe, AZ after a year of health issues. Ronnie is survived by his wife LaReta, their four children; Rhonda (Mark) Huish, Jeremy (Becky) Blackham, Kimberly (Eric) Pyles, and Shelly (Edward) Hiatt, sixteen grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He was welcomed to the other side by his father, mother, baby brother and many loved ones. Although we miss him terribly, we are thankful his body is no longer struggling. We rejoice in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and the knowledge that we will be with him again someday.
A viewing will be held at Bunker Mortuary University Chapel 3529 E University Dr, Mesa, AZ 85213 February 10, 2023 7pm- 8pm. The funeral services will be held at the Mesa South Stake Center 2334 E Pueblo, Mesa, AZ 85204 on February 11, 2023 at 11am.
Arrangements by Bunker’s University Chapel, www.bunkerfuneral.com. Should this obituary appear anywhere but bunkerfuneral.com, please check our website for accurate details and service information.