Ronald L. Grondin Sr.

SCARBOROUGH – Ronald L. Grondin Sr., 74, of Holmes Road died unexpectedly at his home on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021.

Ron was born in Portland on Dec. 28, 1946, the son of the late Ludger O. Grondin and Marie A. (O’Clair) Allen and his stepfather, George W. Allen.

He grew up in Scarborough on Willowdale Road. His father was working for Fred Nanny at Willowdale Golf Course and got Ron one of his first jobs working at the golf course driving the gang mower. One of his perks was free golf and he became a good golfer. He helped his father when building the back nine holes of the course.

Scarborough was still quite rural when growing up and Ron spent quite a bit of time riding horses on the farm where Scarborough Land Rover now sits. His father had a large sow on their home farm and Ron used to ride it when he was younger. The sow never let Ron’s sisters ride her. They owned many pets, especially a cat named Sussoon who lived to be over 20 years old. There was one time Ron’s Dad thought the cat was sick and should be put down, so he put the cat in a box with some chloroform and put the lid on the box. Surprisingly the next morning when his Dad uncovered the box, the cat stood up, stretched and jumped out of the box. They decided to let the cat just live out its time out on its own terms.

Ron always had an interest in cars (fast cars). He had a 1962 Corvette which he installed a 427, 4-speed that once reached 163 MPH. He was able to power shift and could pull a wheelie, lifting the front tires off the road. He took a trip to Daytona to watch the drag races when they still did them on Daytona Beach. He owned a 1966 Triumph 650 motorcycle and took it to Canada on vacation in the late ’60s and got stranded when a hurricane struck New Brunswick. He had to sleep in the lobby of a local motel because he didn’t have enough money to pay for a room for several nights. He used to spend the weekends in Old Orchard Beach when he and his friend Joe Wyman would rent a room for the season.

On Sept. 11, 1976, he married the love of his life, Pamela E. Beck, at Thornton Heights Methodist Church, South Portland. They bought their house on Holmes Road in 1977 and were still living in what they jokingly referred to as their starter home. They just celebrated their 45th anniversary.

Ron worked in automotive repair his entire life. He worked for Brule and Buck Garage and Broadway Industries in South Portland before moving back to Scarborough for the rest of his life. In 1974 he went to work at the Shell station at Oak Hill as the head mechanic. (It is now Citgo). In 1976 he established Scarborough Exxon Service Center at Oak Hill as an Exxon dealer and became a successful business operator and earned many awards and trips from Exxon. In 1993 he purchased the property from Exxon, and Village Center Auto Care was created. He remained in that business until his retirement. He had many loyal customers and built a strong business in the Scarborough community. Ron retired from the Village Center Auto Care in 2009. His wife, Pam, and their sons Jeremy and Mathew, still operate the business.

In his spare-time, Ron loved being outdoors, whether in his garden, doing landscaping, deer or moose hunting and fresh and saltwater fishing. The family spent a lot of time at the South Arm Camp in Andover that Pam’s father and grandfather built in 1957. Many snowmobiling, ice fishing and hunting trips there. They really roughed it — no electricity or running water. Called the outhouse the “golden room” because it had a “gold” handle on the door.

He and Pam went to Aruba in 1986 on their 10-year wedding anniversary, where they bought a week’s timeshare. They continued to go every year with their sons Jeremy and Mathew for years. He and Pam always went deep sea fishing, and one year he caught a 4 foot Wahoo which now hangs on the wall in their family room.

He worked with his son, Jeremy, restoring a 1951 International Farmall Cub Tractor that his father bought brand new for $500. Ron and Jeremy spent a lot of time together cutting and bundling firewood. He was meticulous with his gardens and was known for being able to fix anything. After his retirement he took up cooking. He was a former member of the Corvette Club of Southern Maine, Scarborough Rotary Club, Portland Chamber of Commerce, and the Exxon Dealer Advisory Board. Ron earned multiple awards for Commitment to Excellence program from Exxon, earning a trip to Canada and two trips to Hawaii.

Ron’s greatest love was his family, and he loved helping neighbors whenever they needed it. He will long be remembered as a loving husband, father and grandfather. He was passionate, competent, hard­working and confident.

Ron was predeceased by his beloved grandson, Kevin Grondin; three sisters, Trena Grondin, Rita Smith, and Marsha Spearin. He was also predeceased by his father-in-law, Linwood Beck.

He is survived by his wife, Pamela Grondin of Scarborough; three sons, Ronald Jr. (his wife, JoEllen Grondin, and grandson, Kyle, and granddaughter-in law, Liz) of Scarborough; Jeremy (his wife, Karyn, and granddaughter, Bailey) of Scarborough; and Mathew Grondin of South Portland; two daughters, Trena (husband, Robert Bevier, and granddaughters, Ellen and Samantha) of New Hampshire; and Tatum Grondin (and granddaughters, Chelsea, Madison and Kamryn) of Standish; three great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours celebrating Ron’s life will be held on Monday, Nov. 29 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Conroy-Tully Walker South Portland Chapel, 1024 Broadway, South Portland. A funeral service will be held at the chapel on Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 10 a.m. with burial to follow in Black Point Cemetery, Scarborough. Ron will not be wearing a suit, he will be dressed in the manner he always wore; plaid shirt and chinos. Please wear casual, comfortable clothes. To view Ron’s memorial page, or to share an online condolence, please visit http://www.ConroyTullyWalker.com

Those who wish may make contributions in Ron’s memory to:

Animal Refuge League,

217 Landing Rd.,

Westbrook, ME 04092 or

Project G.R.A.C.E.,

P.O. Box 6846,

Scarborough, ME 04070-6846

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