Like so many lives, his was not outstanding. Unless you counted his love of work and his fondness and compassion for horses.

Ronald Leroy Lindsay of Charlotte died March 30, 2011, of a heart ailment. He was 55 and a Charlotte native. He had attended Double Oaks, J.T. Williams and Independence High schools.

“He loved to work,” said his mom, Helen Lindsay. “He worked hard and loved to get to his job. He loved his mama, too. People would tell me how much he talked about his mama.”

Ronald loved children, too, she said, and “He would do what he could for people.”

His real love

Ronald worked at the Charlotte Observer from 1996 to 2008 as a circulation warehouse assistant and with the Park Road YWCA for a time. He was also a custodian with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools at Providence High, said his brother, Leon.

His other “work” was his real love, though. He may have been an earlier “horse whisperer,” as he had an unusual understanding with those magnificent steeds.

“Growing up, he didn’t talk much to people, but he could make a horse do anything. His best friend was a horse.” Leon said. “He loved horses.”

Ronald used to spend a lot of time at Bobby Martin’s barn and stables. Bobby had known Ronald – whom everyone knew as “Babra” – since Ronald was about 10 years old.

“He comes by once in a while, but when he was a teenager, he was around all the time,” Bobby said. “He was raised around horses and did lots of work around the barn. He rode a lot and did whatever we needed him to do; he’d do it. He was a good fellow and I can’t say nothing but good about him.”

Rode show horses

Bobby’s son, Bobby Jr., said: “He was good with horses. He could ride a horse. He’d ride show horses in horse shows and did “buddy pick-ups” where he would ride fast; I’d jump and he’d pick me up.”

An earlier relationship provided Ronald with daughter Amanda Bailey, who in turn was to provide him with another grandchild. Sadly, Ronald died just two weeks before the grandchild was to have arrived, his mom Helen said.

That child will never know this grandfather’s love and won’t hear his horse stories. Perhaps others, who do know, will tell and in that way help the child to know a grandfather — the friend of horses.

Editor’s note: This is our series called Lives That Matter. Written by Charlotte writer Gerry Hostetler, this weekly feature will profile individuals, recently deceased, who had a positive impact on those around them.

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