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Ronald N. Legge

Ronald N. Legge, 67 of Phoenix, AZ

“Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings.”

Ronald N. Legge, scientist, inventor, educator, husband, brother, uncle, and friend passed this life to the next on February 9th, 2017.  Ron will be greatly missed by all who knew him as the man who made all of our lives better.  He started out this life as a typical child growing up in Ferndale, Michigan.  During that time he was honored to serve as the elementary school’s crossing guard. This was diminutive in comparison to the honors that he would eventually receive, but this was a memory that he always cherished.  Ron graduated from Wayne State University with a Ph.D., in electrical and computer engineering, and a master’s degree in mathematics.  He truly was the quintessential intellectual. Upon graduation, Ron took a job with Motorola in Phoenix, Arizona, where he served as a Senior Staff Scientist within the Solar Energy Group in conjunction with serving as Adjunct Professor within the Electrical Engineering Department at Arizona State University.  He retired from this post in 2002 as the Head of Corporate Research Development. During his time with Motorola, Ron patented many inventions that revolutionized the world.  Ron was truly a man of many achievements, but did so in an unassuming way. When Ron was not busy inventing or reinventing the world, as the case may be, he had many interests that included; hiking, racquetball, and coaching softball.  He inspired many when he hiked the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim a total of three times. The rim-to-rim hike is a classic bucket list adventure, and is no stroll through the park. To be sure, Ronald was in his best shape ever to complete such an endeavor. In 2002 he married Vicki Lee Nelson, whom he met at a Thanksgiving dinner at the home of Jonathon and Karen Andell. The moment that they met he knew that he had to spend the rest of his life with her.  In a spring wedding they became husband and wife. Vicki survives Ron at home. In addition, Ron is survived by his sister Gayann (Mark) Lankin of Ferndale, MI, nieces Jennifer (Tim) Tanason, and Anna (Brian) Ellsworth.  Also survived is a brother, Robert D. (Angela) Legge of Royal Oak, MI, and nephew Robert A. Legge, and an uncle, John Hochrein of Dexter, MI and many cousins. Ronald was preceded in death by his Mother, Bernice (Fellows) Legge, Father Robert C. Legge, Sister, Diana D. Legge, Grandparents, Charles and Bertha Legge, and Bernard and Ethel Fellows. Service time and date are to be rescheduled at a later date. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to a charity of your choice. “The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling”. Ronald believed that you need to follow your calling.


  • Lorna Knapp Posted February 13, 2017 4:47 PM

    Yes, Ron you will be missed. You were a great boss and friend.

  • Rick Aldom Posted February 13, 2017 7:17 PM

    Rest in Peace Ron, Enjoyed our time while at Motorola.

  • Susan Dicklitch-Nelson Posted February 13, 2017 8:29 PM

    This world has lost a great one. I loved our conversations and admired your mind, but most of all, I admired your kind soul. There are few people in this world that had as big of a heart as you did. You were too good for this world, and you will be sadly missed.
    Vicki, you are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Diana Dicklich Posted February 13, 2017 9:02 PM

    Rest in peace, Ron. I will remember you as a humble, gentle man with a wonderful mind and an endearing love for the cats you had over the years. May you shine among the stars and safeguard Vicki from above.

  • William E. ( Eddie) Howard Posted February 13, 2017 9:19 PM

    Rest in peace Ron.. you will be missed by all who had the blessing to have known you…you was a man of few words but all was kind to the person you spoke to or about… yes, I will miss our times together; and those times was good,no; they were GREAT and then the sad time of seeing you pass from this earth time to a higher peace that no person still on earth knows…until we meet again, rest in peace my friend,,you will always be missed.

  • JoEllen Nelson Posted February 13, 2017 9:23 PM

    “There are three things we cry for in life: things that are lost, things that are found, and things that are magnificent.” Tonight Ron, I cry for you.

  • Willie B Howard Posted February 13, 2017 9:27 PM

    Ron May Your Memory Be Eternal because you will be missed by many. Peace to You

  • Rudy Lucero Posted February 14, 2017 11:18 PM

    Ron was one of the first people I worked with at Motorola more than 30 years ago. I always remember how helpful he was and how he would stop what he was doing to help out a colleague. I feel very lucky to have known him. Although we fell out of touch, I certainly remember his smile and gentle heart. Rest in Peace Ron.

  • Pat Norton Posted February 15, 2017 12:44 PM

    It all seems to be covered in the comments above, but I remember Ron to be the only person I ever knew who would never say no, no matter what the request. It has been quite a few years since I worked with him, but his name and face are embedded in my memory. What a guy! The loss is great, but I am sure God has him in a very special job and we will all be able to see him again.

  • Jonathan Bernstein Posted February 16, 2017 4:31 PM

    Ron: you were a great boss and a great friend. Thanks for the bachellor party. It’s the world’s loss. We’ll all miss you.

  • Theresa Hopson Posted February 25, 2017 10:48 AM

    I met Ron at Motorola. I recall the company was restructuring and I needed to find a spot for myself. HR – finally hooks me up with an interview, in 30 minutes!! So great, but it also happened to be Halloween. I dressed up that day- as Raggity Ann. Red mop wig, white face paint & big red nose. No time to change – I was very nervous. Ron was such a great sport ! Instead of talking in the inference room he suggested we go for a walk. I calmed down – got the job – and had the privilege to learn from a great scientist. For 15 wonderful years we shared exciting work through lasers, electron and atomic force microscopes. I am forever grateful for the skills I learned through my good friend Ron.

    What a good, generous, generous with his knowledge, gentle, respectful, and kind hearted man.
    I will miss you deeply my friend.

    • Gordon Tam Posted March 11, 2017 1:53 PM

      I went to the mortuary and found no one there.

  • Ray Tsui Posted February 25, 2017 11:54 AM

    Like a number of the folks who posted here, Ron and I worked together at Motorola for many years. I will always remember Ron as a creative scientist, quite but purposeful, and kind to the people he interacted with. He will be missed by many, as the testaments here show. Rest in peace, Ron.

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