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In Memory Of Our Poets

Ronald "Ronnie" Bruce Barze, Sr. (1943-2014) - Class Of 1961

Ronald Bruce Barze, Sr. of Atlanta, Georgia passed away at the age of 71 on December 12, 2014. He was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and raised in Montgomery where he attended Sidney Lanier High School.

Ron graduated from the University of Alabama in 1966. Upon graduation, he went to work for Aetna Life & Casualty, where he enjoyed a successful career in property and casualty insurance. Ron started as a safety engineer, eventually working his way up to a regional position as Managing Director of National Accounts.

After employment with Aetna for 30 years, he worked for a few other insurers, ultimately retiring from Discover Re in Atlanta. His career with Aetna moved Ron and his family around the country, giving them numerous opportunities to make new friends and see the United States.

After retirement, Ron was a frequent participant at local duplicate bridge games and in sectional and regional tournaments. He achieved Bronze Life Master status in the American Contract Bridge League.

Ron also treasured his interactions with dear friends in the Pacesetters Sunday School class at Dunwoody United Methodist Church. For many years Ron helped prepare and serve meals to volunteers working on Habitat for Humanity houses. He was an ardent fan of the Alabama Crimson Tide and attended the highest-scoring Iron Bowl in history with his family a few days before he died.

Ron was a voracious reader, but his true passions were fishing and traveling, particularly when it involved his family and friends. He most particularly loved spending time with them at his favorite fishing spot in Geiger, AL, where he taught his grandchildren to fish.

Ron was preceded in death by his parents, Bruce Enlow Barze and Gwendolyn Knight Barze, and his granddaughter, Mary Parker Barze.

He is survived by his wife, Martha Whaley Barze; his sister, Donna Kay Gache (Matt), of Pensacola, FL; two sons, R. Bruce Barze, Jr. (Melissa) and Brian Keith Barze (Wendy), both of Birmingham, AL; five grandchildren: Murphy, Henry, Jay, Edward, and Sarah Patrick; two sisters-in-law, Susan Whaley Ozment, of Huntsville, AL, and Peggy Lee Marshall (K.B.) of Atlanta; his brother-in-law, James Thomas Whaley (Monica), of Seattle, WA; and seven nieces and nephews.

A memorial service is being held at 11:00 am on December 22 at Dunwoody United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Habitat for Humanity Fund at Dunwoody United Methodist Church, 1548 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338 or to Geiger First United Methodist Church, 233 Kirkland Blvd., Geiger, AL 35459.

Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Dec. 19, 2014.