My dad could have lived to be 200 and it’d be too soon. He gave me my sense of humor, zeal for life and all around swagger.
Here is his obituary in full.
Ronald Ashley Zoerner Sr., better known as Bird to his family and friends, passed away on December 26, 2017 at the age of 54. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on September 14, 1963. His family is briefly summed up as follows: He is the biological child of Albinus Zoerner II and Nellie Arnold and is survived by his siblings Michael Zoerner, Tonya Chatman, Albinus Zoerner III and Andrew Zoerner. He also has half and step-siblings; Iva Buchanan, Chris Wilson, Barbara-Jean Gray, Jenny Box and Mary Rush.
His proudest role in life was as a father to Ashley Zoerner, Misty Fitts (husband, Keenan Fitts), Ronald Zoerner Jr. and Frank Zoerner, as well as a Paw-Paw to Javen, Rome, Payden, Jace, Bryson, Alivia and Liam.
He was divorced from Suzette Flores but both will tell you that they remained the best of friends until the end. Suzette’s current (and hopefully last) husband, Jesse Flores, couldn’t help but also fall for Bird’s charming personality and they developed a strong friendship, which resulted in labeling each other “husband-in-law”. Bird also considered his ex-wife’s step-daughter, Jessica Flores, as his very own. Long story short, he had a wonderful, quirky, unconventional family and wouldn’t have had it any other way.
In retirement, Bird lived his perfect life. Everything he owned fit in a backpack and he traveled via plane, train or automobile, splitting his time between his kids. In fact, the joke was always that when he left this earth the only thing his kids would have to divvy up would be his awesome T-shirt collection and maybe a bag of weed.
He was extraordinary. He wasn’t a conventional father and for that, his kids will forever be grateful. He was whatever they needed him to be at any given moment: a babysitter, handyman, confidant, cook, motivational speaker and always a friend.
Bird lived how he wanted and didn’t care what anyone else thought. He always said, “If it makes you happy and isn’t hurting anyone else, do it.” If you loved him, then there’s a good chance he loved you back. If you didn’t, he’d shrug you off seemingly without a second thought
He was laid back and didn’t see the point of being any other way. He figured that everything turns out the way it’s supposed to. “Don’t stress. Things always work out in the end,” he’d say.
He was a hard worker as a sheet rock finisher and his handiwork can be found in homes and businesses across the Mississippi Gulf Coast, New Orleans, Louisiana, Florida and beyond. Each of his kids grew up working beside him on job sites. He taught his kids to take pride in their work and the benefit of doing it right the first time. He was proud that anyone of his kids could texture a ceiling, spot nails, fix a patch and paint an entire house with ease.
He loved Popeyes Fried Chicken, Barq’s Rootbeer, Hubig’s Pies, Yuengling Lager, and if you ever offered him anything other than Blue Plate Mayo, he’d lose a little respect for you. He hated pickles and didn’t understand what all of the fuss was with sushi.
It’s tough to sum up anyone’s life in a few paragraphs but even more so with someone who had such a big personality and spirit. Bird was what most would call “a character,” and for many, there will forever be a void with him gone.
Bird wasn’t much for formalities, so close friends and family will be celebrating his life at Suzette’s home on Saturday December 30, 2017. There will be lots of tears and laughter. A few middle fingers will be tossed up in jest and many beers raised to a great man who is gone far too soon.