It is with a heavy heart we share the news that our dear friend, Ron Saul passed away early this morning. Thankfully, he isn’t in pain anymore.
Ron Saul was born on February 5, 1948 in Butler, PA. His family lived on a farm where Ron and his twin brother Rich learned the value of hard work. When the older kids in the neighborhood picked on Ron and Rich, their older sister Gene provided security and she would square up with the bullies. They followed their older brother Bill in playing football which was life in his hometown. They were leaders on their HS team and then both accepted scholarships to Michigan State. Ron was an Academic All-American and Athletic All-American and earned the nickname Hercules. He was the only offensive lineman to receive the honor of MVP in the state in 1969. The Saul family has the record for most years in the NFL. After college, Ron got married and had 2 children, Brian and Amy. They live in Texas and Alabama and love their father very much. Ron would always talk about his kids and grandkids and how proud he was of his family.
Ron was drafted in the 5th round by the Houston Oilers. They didn’t have NFL combines in 1970 and the draft stats showed him at 235 lbs, which was his weight as a college freshman. When he went to the Oilers, they were shocked he was 255 lbs and said they would have drafted him higher had they known. After playing against the Redskins, their hall of fame coach George Allen wanted to trade to get Ron on his team. After his physical, the trainer told George that Ron had too many physical issues and recommended not doing the trade. George spoke with Ron, knew his character and will to win so the trade went through. On the Redskins, Ron was a leader and mentor. He earned All-Pro honors in 1979 and was on the Super Bowl Champion Team in 1982. Kevin O’Connor met Hall of Famer Russ Grimm who told him with tears in his eyes that Ron Saul taught him how to be a professional. John Riggins, Dexter Manley and many others have continued their relationship with Ron well after their football careers ended.
O’Connor Plumbing was fortunate to have Ron join our team in July 2006. He loved to tell the story that he played 13 years in the NFL, then worked in recycling/trash business and now he is doing plumbing. He would say that he can’t get much lower than that. We did a lot of work with General Contractors and Ron brought a wealth of property management relationships to our team. When Tom and Tommy started the business we would grow 10% a year. When Ron joined the team we grew 200% that year. He made it a point to make his relationships, our relationships. When the economy crashed in 2008/2009, Ron was instrumental in helping us survive, then grow with our service work for property managers. O’Connor Plumbing and our team members were blessed to work with him, whether directly or indirectly. He could always put a smile on someone’s face. Ron brought humor into every situation and he will truly be missed by everyone that was lucky enough to have met him and call him a friend.
Dexter Manley said it best – A Life Well Lived