May 7, 1948-Jan. 12, 2022
Ronnie Russell Monroe, 73, passed away in Hammond during the early morning hours of Jan. 12 of complications arising from a series of chronic medical conditions.
Ronnie was born May 7, 1948, in Shreveport and raised for most of his youth near Montgomery. He graduated in 1966 from Montgomery High School, where he excelled in athletics including basketball and baseball. He was an active member of Hargis Baptist Church during his youth, and participated in summer Bible school regularly, accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior through the church and was baptized at an early age.
He graduated with a BA in history and a minor in mathematics from Louisiana Tech University in 1971, and in 1985, obtained a Masters Degree + 30 hours in Education.
Ronnie married Paula Monroe Aug. 30, 1969, with whom he had his only child, Russell Clayton “Clay” Monroe, in 1970. Although divorced in 1992, Ronnie and Paula spent much time together during the last 13 years of his life, living in Hammond and helping raise their two grandchildren, Wendy Paulina Monroe, 13, and Tiberius Clayton Monroe, 11. Prior to his death, he and Paula had cooperated very successfully in home schooling their grandchildren for four years.
Over his 35 year career as a high school math teacher, basketball coach, high school vice-principal, principal and athletic director, he touched the lives of hundreds of children by helping them establish a solid foundation in math, and teaching them the many virtues of competitive athletics. One of his most cherished memories was when, during his tenure as Athletic Director for Lakeview High School in Campti, the school basketball team went undefeated to win the Louisiana State Championship for their division. During his career he worked at Shady Grove High School, Hall Summit High School, Ashland High School, Martin High School, Center ISD in Center, Texas, and Lakeview Jr./Sr. High, retiring in 2007.
After leaving his high school basketball playing days behind, he excelled at his other true love of sports, the game of golf. He won the Coushatta Country Club Championship on two occasions in the 1980s, and competed in many golf tournaments around the state, often with his good friend and brother in law, Rudolph V. “Red” Smith. He played into his early 60s until his medical conditions prevented him from continuing, but followed the game enthusiastically on television for his entire adult life. He often talked of the enjoyment of playing golf with his brother, Bill Monroe, in Florida, and his excitement the year that Bill arranged for him and his son to attend a round of the Tournament Player’s Championship PGA event in Florida.
Ronnie’s other sports avocation was being an avid hunter and fisherman during most of his life. He was also very proud of the experience he had gained in various jobs working his way through school and in his off time, including that of being a mechanic’s assistant for his father-in-law, Olyan Streeter, summer work as a carpenter, and also many years working as a part-time hay and cattle farmer in Red River Parish.
After the birth of his second grandchild, he even came out of retirement for two years to assist his son as a receptionist in his law office, allowing the former receptionist, his daughter-in-law, Wanda Monroe, to enjoy a maternity leave and more easily care for his two grandchildren.
Ronnie is survived by his son, Russell Clayton “Clay” Monroe, husband of Wanda Lynn Wilson Monroe; his grandchildren, Wendy Paulina Monroe and Tiberius Clayton Monroe; his former wife, Paula Streeter Monroe; brother, William H. “Bill” Monroe, his wife Carol Monroe, and their children, Jason Monroe and Amy Monroe; his sisters Winnie Fern Land, widow of Bob D. Land, and their children Damon Land, Nathan Land and Laura Land Broomfield, Phyllis Elizabeth Diffey, her husband Huey Diffey, and their children Eric Diffey and Layne Diffey (also parents of Jennifer Ann Diffey who predeceased them), and Kathleen “Kathy” Werntz, her husband David Werntz, and their children Myles Werntz, Sarah Werntz Crum and Evan Werntz; and brother-in-law, Rudolph V. “Red” Smith, widower of June Smith, and their children John David Smith and Kenneth Smith.
He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, William Columbus Fletcher and Laura Kelly Fletcher; and his paternal grandparents, Louis E. “Cowboy” Monroe and Katherine Dowden Monroe; parents, E.H. Monroe and Lorna Dale Monroe; brother-in-law, Bob D. Land; niece, Jennifer Ann Diffey; sister-in-law, June Smith; as well as many beloved aunts, uncles, other relatives and close friends.
Services will be at Hargis Baptist Church in Montgomery, 1313 La. Hwy. 122, Saturday, Jan. 15 with visitation from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The funeral will be at 1 p.m. with interment at the Hargis Cemetery to follow.
Pallbearers are nephews, John David Smith, Damon Land, Nathan Land and Layne Diffey, brother-in-law, David Werntz, and friend, Jimmy Dyson.
Honorary pallbearers are Bill Monroe, Rudolph V. “Red” Smith and Ronnie’s remaining nephews, Jason Monroe, Eric Diffey, Myles Werntz, Evan Werntz and Kenneth Smith.