Obituary: Ronald Barsanti

By Dan Moffett

    MANALAPAN — Over the years, Manalapan’s Ronald Barsanti gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to help poor families, but he also helped them with his hammer and saw.
    “Ron was a skilled carpenter who knew a lot about woodworking,” said Bernard Godek, the executive director of Habitat for Humanity in Palm Beach County. “He liked to do a lot of the finish work and cabinetry.”
7960656877?profile=original    When the house was built and the family took the keys, Mr. Barsanti was there to wish them well. Godek said those who knew Mr. Barsanti from his service on Habitat’s board of directors understood that the man with the native Chicago accent and sometimes crusty demeanor had a warm and compassionate nature within.
    “He couldn’t keep from tearing up when families got their new homes,” Godek said. “He had a rough exterior, but there was a big soft heart inside. What Ron loved even more than Habitat for Humanities was the families we served.”
    Ronald P. “Ronnie” Barsanti died on June 2 at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach after a short hospital stay. He was 73.
    Mr. Barsanti moved to Manalapan 11 years ago and served several terms on the town’s architectural board. Two years ago, he was appointed to an open seat on the Town Commission, representing Point Manalapan residents.
    Mayor David Cheifetz describes his “good friend and colleague” as a man for all seasons.
    “Ron was a Renaissance man of sorts — a successful businessman, a professional grade woodworker and a lover of life in general,” Cheifetz said. “Ron gave freely and generously of his time not just to Manalapan but to Habitat for Humanity and the Food Bank as well. I will sorely miss Ron, his friendship, and his contribution to our town will be very difficult to replace.”
    As a commissioner, Mr. Barsanti was a believer in consistent enforcement of building codes and protecting Manalapan’s small-town atmosphere. He worried that plans to overhaul the Plaza del Mar shopping center might go too far and uproot small businesses. Barsanti supported the town’s use of security cameras, believing they are a useful tool for deterring crime.
    “He was a straight-shooter who always said what he believed, regardless of any political fallout,” said Vice Mayor Peter Isaac. “He devoted a lot of his time to helping with various charities. His no-nonsense approach on the dais will be sorely missed.”
    Mr. Barsanti grew up in Chicago and built a successful career as a mechanical engineer, working as a tool-and-die designer and then starting his own plastic injection molding company. Over three decades, he built the company into an enterprise that employed 650 people and supplied products to numerous Fortune 500 corporations.
    Mr. Barsanti is survived by his daughter, Aimee (Dave) Tanking, his grandchildren, Morgan and Mackenzie; his nieces, Christine Schmid and Kathy (Dennis) Spahr, and nephew John Schmid.
    “Ron Barsanti gave of himself — his time and his talent — to an organization he really loved,” said Habitat’s Godek. “He donated more than a half-million dollars to us but, gosh, he gave so much more.”
    The family requests memorial donations go to the Barsanti Family Foundation, 1295 Lands End Road, Manalapan, FL 33462.

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