In lieu of flowers, Ron’s family has asked that memorial gifts be made to United Way of Forsyth County. Click here to make a memorial gift.
Ronald Joseph Drago passed away Sunday, May 20, 2018, after several years debilitated by Lewy body dementia. He was born on October 10, 1945 in Easton, PA, to Mae Bubba Holden. He was preceded in death by his mother, and his brother Robert Holden. He is survived by the loves of this life: his wife of 46 years, Lucinda Mahoney Drago; his son, Michael Drago (Paulette), Knightdale, NC; his daughter, Sarah Talman (Stefan), New York City; grandchildren: new born twins Grace and Ethan Drago, Gabby Phanor, and Jelena Cherubin; and his sister, Cynthia Holden Wimer. Emmaus, PA.
He graduated from Easton High School, and East Stroudsburg University, where he was also a member of Sigma Pi Fraternity. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer (1967-69), in Sierra Leone, West Africa. His international experience continued with the US Agency for International Development in Danang and Saigon, Vietnam (1971-75). Following the end of the Vietnam War, Ron led the staff of International Rescue Committee at Fort Indiantown Gap, PA, Seattle, WA, and Bangkok, Thailand, to assist in the resettlement of Vietnamese, Laotian, Hmong, and Cambodian refugees.
His 30-year career with United Way began in Harrisburg, PA, and included serving as the President of United Way of Northampton and Warren Counties (Easton and Bethlehem, PA), and of United Way of Wake County (Raleigh, NC). He retired after 16 years as the President of United Way of Forsyth County in 2011. He was passionate about the mission of the United Way to develop community-based collaborations to meet the needs of individuals in the areas of basic needs, education, financial stability, and health. His special forte was fundraising and strategic planning. He was inspired by the commitment of volunteer business and community leaders dedicated to creating positive changes in human services. Ron enjoyed filling his yard with pots of flowers, cheering for Wake Forest basketball and football teams as well as his lifelong loved New York Giants, meeting the early morning with a daily run, and adding to his Santa collection. He was always impeccably attired from his blue button-down lightly starched shirt in his African village to his coordinated running shorts with tucked in shirt.
A Memorial Mass will be held at St .Leo the Great Catholic Church, Winston-Salem, NC, on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the United Way of Forsyth County, 301 North Main Street, Suite 1700, Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Online condolences may be made at www.hayworth-miller.com.