Robert Alaniz, owner and president of Sole Productions in Frankfort (right), met Ron at a record convention. Ron had noticed Alaniz and mentioned he’d been following Alaniz’s films for a long time, many of which are Christian-themed.
“I was blown away,” Alaniz said. “Because I think Ron was one of the first people to come up to me out of the clear blue and recognize me and give me that kind of compliment.”
Not only did Alaniz and Ron become good friends, Ron invested in some of Alaniz’s films and become executive producer of two of them: “Heavens to Betsy” and “Heavens to Betsy 2.”
Ron had just filmed the promotional video of “Honest to God” (which Ron was also producing) at the chapel three days before he did, Alaniz said.
Watch the video at bit.ly/2ToGlLV.
Alaniz said it's challenging moving forward with the the production of "Honest to God" without Ron, especially since Ron was "so fired up and pumped up about it and about me and the film and it's message."
Although the movie is funny, it's message about not taking life and God for granted is very serious, Alaniz said. And losing Ron while making a movie about life and death is "just a very bizarre thing," Alaniz said.
“He was very kind; he was very generous, a very compassionate person,” Alaniz said. “He loved God; he was very spiritual. And he was just wonderful to be around. His spirit was so strong and positive that losing him, to me, was a tremendous heartbreak and loss. I’ll never be able to get back the joy I got from him ... I miss him terribly."
Harrison said since Ron’s death, more people at the chapel have “stepped up to fill his boots.” A choir is being organized (Ron led all the singing and chanting) with a new director and members bring food to share after Sunday services, which Ron usually did, Harrison added.
“It’s almost like he said to me, ‘I want to step back.’ I thought, Well, he stepped back too far,’” Harrison said. “We really miss him.”
• To feature someone in “An Extraordinary Life,” contact Denise M. Baran-Unland at 815-280-4122 or firstname.lastname@example.org.