“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
2 Timothy 4:7–8 — King James Version (KJV 1900)
Ronnie Hinnant was born December 14, 1959, and he passed away peacefully on September 12, 2022, with family at his side.
Ronnie lived a full life, which his caring and devoted mother, grandmother and father worked to ensure. Despite his mental and physical disabilities, Ronnie still was able to graduate from Goldsboro High School as well as enjoy a normal childhood with his brothers and sisters - riding bicycles and motor bikes, bowling, playing basketball, and taking care of the family’s dogs, Lassie and Rex.
There were things Ronnie couldn’t do that so many take for granted every day. Some people have good health, but they take it for granted; some people can walk without limitations, but they take it for granted; some people can speak, but they take that for granted as well. As a family, we saw all the things Ronnie could do. He could smile, laugh, and love without conditions. He showed love without ever having to say the word.
There were more things he could do. By seeing him work hard to overcome his challenges, it reminded others to work harder as well. Ronnie helped teach us about our own strengths and gifts in this way. He also taught us how to be happy because he took joy in simple things – joy in eating at McDonald’s, joy in going for a car ride, joy in washing a car, joy in watching sports, joy in taking out the trash, getting the mail as well as going to the vocational rehabilitation program at Wayne Opportunity Center when his health allowed.
Ronnie was a fighter. We could look to him for an example of perseverance and inner strength, as he continued to fight battles in health and limitations that would crush many of us. Ronnie showed us what it is to be strong, because strength is not just found in being the biggest, the toughest or the fastest. Strength is found in one who keeps on going, keeps trying, day after day, long after others give up. Strength is found in one who knows success is not always big and flashy but knows that sometimes the greatest success is found in the tiniest of victories. In this way, Ronnie was a true fighter – just like his family who also kept on going, day after day, through the best times and through the hardest times in taking care of him.
Ronnie was predeceased by his dedicated parents, Mrs. Odessa Hinnant and Mr. Felix Lynn. Precious, loving memories will remain with his siblings; Ronnie’s twin, Donnie Hinnant, his sisters, Cynthia Hinnant, Rachel Hinnant, Brenda Richardson (Levern), and Pastor Portia Brewington (Clifton); and his brothers, Jerry Hinnant, William Hinnant (Phyllis), James Hinnant (Louise) along with many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.
The family will hold a private graveside service, officiated by Reverend Levern Richardson on Friday, September 16th.