You ever have one of those days where something you spot on Facebook stops you in your tracks and instantly makes you tear up? Today was one of those days for me.

I was just scrolling through my news feed and saw several people share the "Obituary for Ronnie Dale Gilley" and my heart instantly broke.

Not sure who Ronnie Dale Gilley is, well let me tell you he is about as good of a person as it gets.

Ron started Gilleys Sheet Metal back in 1985, which is now a second-generation family owned business called Gilleys Heating & Air, but running a successful Rockford business isn't what Ron Gilley should be known for. Ron's huge, giving, caring and devoted heart is what his legacy should focus on.

I have spent more hours than I can count doing promotions with Ronnie Gilley, and I always looked forward to his bug hugs, and fun stories about his family and recent vacations that he had taken with them. His love for his wife, kids and grandchildren was the first thing that impressed me about him, but then I learned just how much he cares about and does for the Rockford community.

Shaun Rundblade
Shaun Rundblade

He was the sole reason Q98.5 was able to give away several new cars during the "Great 98.5 Days of Summer" giveaways, literally. Ronnie poured in endless hours of time and a lot of his own money to make the promotion happen, and the only reason it stopped was because Ronnie no longer felt up to the task..

You couldn't find a bigger supporter of the Rockford Speedway than Ronnie Gilley, and I'm pretty sure he is the reason Culver's does so well in the Rockford-area.

For the last several years we here at Q98.5 have been praying for Ronnie Gilley as his health began to fail, and on Monday he finally "went home".

Ronnie, we will miss you more than I can find the words to say, and we promise to keep an eye on your beloved family.  Thank you for all the ice cream, gifts and incredible memories. Go rest easy on an endless beach with plenty of racing to watch.

If you would like to pay your respects to Ronnie Gilley's family, a visitation will be held at Forest Hills Lodge on Saturday, February 23 from 10 to 11:45 a.m. with services following at Noon. You can read Ronnie Gilley's full obituary here.

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