Our beloved Ronald G. Louie (Ron), born October 4th, 1967 in Queens, NY, departed this world for the next on March 29th, 2020. He is survived by loving wife Janine, son Jackson, mother Rubi, while joining fathers Sen, Bruno, and John in Heaven. He leaves behind brothers Steven and Michael, alongside Christine and Cathy respectively, as well as loving in-laws, John and Deborah, Marlayne and Thomas, Daniel and Meg, and a myriad of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends with whom he shared a special bond.

Ron was an artistic visionary. Trained in design at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, Ron mastered his craft over a widely successful career at high-profile agencies such as Pentagram and The New York Times Electric Media Company, where he designed the original New York Times on the web at the dawning of a entirely new medium—the internet. A frontiersman in this sense, Ron’s talent for brand-building was unique. He was committed to study and process, believing greatness could only be achieved with a solid base of principals and ethics. While design is often recycled, these fundamentals allowed Ron to achieve new heights of originality with concept and creation pulled from his brilliant mind; new to this world and on display—a gift for us to enjoy. 

Ron was a mentor to many, both formally while teaching at SVA and professionally as he molded young aspirants in the principals of design and professionalism at Opto Design; a firm he and partner, John Klotnia, founded in 1999 and continued to lead for twenty one years until the day of his passing.  His standards were unmatched. Critiques were made with a sidelong smile and sideways glance followed by a laugh, inspiring those around him to work harder to meet such lofty perfectionism. It’s a testament to Ron’s work ethic and talent that friends and family are flooded with stories and praise of his impact on their lives and the individual endeavors Ron helped elevate.

While his influence abounds, Ron’s greatest mentorship was that on his son, Jackson. This particular father-son relationship transcends definition; two souls coexisting before this earth. They are physical individuals but a single being in spirit.  Both had a true understanding of each other. Ron’s spirit lives on through Jackson and his son’s bravery and strength during these tough times is a reflection of the tranquility his dad instilled in him.

Ron’s spirit can also be heard in the music he so devotedly followed. A walking musical encyclopedia, Ron found peace in Roots rock and more recently, Americana.  Known on the scene as ‘Ronny Vegas’, Ron was a fixture on the front-row rail at show after show in city after city for big and small acts alike. His appreciation for these individuals was not based on crowds but rather pure talent and potential. The outpouring of stories from these same artists and their community is overwhelming, allowing this world to keep a piece of Ron while his spirit journeys to the next.  

With his beloved wife, Janine, at his side, the two captured endless moments from their front row perch—both in the concert and in life. New York, Nashville, Hawaii, Florida—to name a few—became their stomping grounds. They gathered experiences and shared them for those at home to enjoy, reminding us that life is not to be waited on but to be seized. The result is twenty five years of marriage overflowing with a hundred years of memories.

Ron was the ultimate gatherer with a special ability to bring people together.  Ron was constantly scheduling trips to next year’s concerts, organizing the annual Poconos golf excursion, creating the roster for a summer softball team, and garnering interest for another curling event. Notifications would be sent months in advance and repeated bi-weekly detailing every aspect of the event down to the literal minute.  Diligence was not a quality Ron lacked. Eagerness to share his passion with others sometimes resulted in overpaying for another disappointing Knicks or Mets performance, only adding to the priceless memories. Each event was bookended by a breakfast sandwich and the best BBQ or chicken wings in town, often unbeknownst to Janine. Ron, we offer you a collective thank you. Our lives would not be nearly as full without you scheduling them for us.

This ability to join individuals extended beyond the playing fields and into the realm of charity work, where Ron and Janine helped orchestrate a multitude of fundraising events for the SOAR (Support Our Autism Rainbow).  Ron’s newest charity, Here With Us, aims to support young adults in the autism community by creating or enhancing any opportunities that will help provide them with success and accomplishment.

Please consider supporting Ron’s Here With Us charity.  Donations can be made at herewithus.org/donate/