COLUMBIA — Ronald Marshall Falls, 87, of Columbia, SC, passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022. Ronnie was born in High Point, NC, on Feb. 18, 1934. He was educated in the High Point school system and graduated from High Point High School in 1952. He attended Duke University on a football scholarship and graduated in 1956. During his time at Duke, he was selected as an All-American and was a member of the team in 1955 when Duke won the Orange Bowl. Ronnie, affectionately known as “Monk” by his friends, was a member of Kappa Alpha fraternity. Upon graduation, he was drafted overall #158 in the 14th round of the 1956 NFL draft as a linebacker by the Detroit Lions and played with the team for a short period of time. He began his banking career with Security National Bank in Greensboro, NC. He was transferred to Charlotte, NC, where he was the Assistant Vice President for NCNB. He served as President of Carolina National Bank, Easley, SC, South Boston Bank and Trust, South Boston, Va., and Bank of Lancaster, Kilmarnock, Va. He furthered his career working for The Resolution Trust Corporation for four years, until retirement in 1995.
He and his wife, Nancy, have owned a home in Wrightsville Beach for 49 years. Many happy memories and good friends were made there. It was his greatest joy to raise his children and grandchildren in such a special and cherished place. In 1975, while in Wrightsville Beach, his close friend bet him he could not run 1/4 mile to Johnnie Mercer’s Pier. Ronnie lost the bet, but it sparked a fire in him. He developed a passion for running, which led him to start eight marathons. He completed seven, as he dropped out of the Richmond marathon at mile 20, because the soles of his shoes started to melt due to a very high temperature during the race. Upon retirement in 1995, Ronnie became a Master Gardener. His fascination with the German language led him to Germany several times to attend the Goethe-Institut. He loved watching Duke football and basketball, always cheering on his Blue Devils. Ronnie had a tender and caring heart, loving his animals as if they were his children. He even showed his affection for those he loved by adding “dog” to the end of their name. His greatest accomplishment was not his football legacy or his career, but it was being an exceptionally loving, devoted, kind and supportive husband, father and grandfather, otherwise known as “Grandee.”
Ronnie was the son of the late Roy Marshall Falls and the late Frances Boles Falls. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Nancy Asbill Falls; daughters, Tricia Miles, of Columbia, SC, Ashley (Lee) McLoud, of Mt. Pleasant, SC, and Kathryn (Christian) Roberts, of South Boston, Va.; grandchildren, Bryson Miles, Eleanor, Murray and Watson McLoud, and Virginia and Talley Roberts; sister, Patricia Falls Galyan, of Knoxville, Tenn.; nephews, Brett, Geoffrey and Justin Goins, Andrew Galyan, and Brian and Kevin Asbill.
Honorary pallbearers are Bill McGuinn (High Point, NC), Bob Featherstone (Lancaster, SC), Carl Blades (Kilmarnock, Va.) and Walt Cartier (Wrightsville Beach, NC).
We would like to thank Valerie York, Barbara Robinson, Jackie Ball, Patsy George and Alice King for loving him and treating him with kindness, caring and compassion during the last few months of his life.
A memorial service will be held Friday, Jan. 28, at 2 p.m., at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. A livestream of the funeral can be viewed at www.trinitysc.org/live. The family will receive friends in Satterlee Hall immediately following the service. A private burial will be held at Elmwood Cemetery prior to the service. Shives Funeral Home, Trenholm Road Chapel, is assisting the family.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Healing Species (healingspecies.org), P.O. Box 1202, Orangeburg, S.C. 29115, or Pawmetto Lifeline (pawmettolifeline.org), 1275 Bower Parkway, Columbia, S.C. 29212.
Memories and condolences may be shared at ShivesFuneralHome.com.