Ronald “Ron” Gene LaGrange

December 5, 1939 ~ July 21, 2022 (age 82)

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Ronald (Ron) Gene LaGrange, PhD, born December 5, 1939 in Abilene, TX, son of Gladys Moody and Gilbert Oscar LaGrange, passed away peacefully on July 21, 2022 in Irmo, SC, at home surrounded by family. 


Ron attended Austin High in El Paso, TX, Texas Western College and SMU (BA), University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne (MS and PhD in Physiology).  In addition, he also received a post doctorate degree from University of Southern California and from Boman Gray School of Medicine (now Wake Forest School of Medicine) where he researched and taught.  He taught Physiology at the University of South Alabama Medical School.  Ron’s research on venoms and the renal system was referenced by other researchers years after he moved on to another career.


Ron married the love of his life, Patricia Alisch Watkins, on March 6, 1976. Together they had a melded family that included six children.


Pat and Ron started a Scandinavian and contemporary furniture and design business, The Alltogether Shop, in Mobile in 1976.


Ron pivoted to a second career, commercial real estate, in 1980.  He worked for Omega Properties, Lagman Realty and Mortgage Company, then formed LaGrange & Assoc., and ultimately formed Helix Properties in 1987 with his dear friend and business partner, Steve Hanes III. Ron’s son, Marc Watkins, later joined Helix Properties as a partner.  Helix Properties was a business for 32 years. 


Ron was a true Texas cowboy who grew up herding cattle for summer jobs in West Texas.  He was fiercely intelligent, rather competitive and had a terrific sense of humor.  He had a passion for his family, friends, faith, learning, volunteering, reading, fishing, BBQ, woodworking, animals of all kinds especially every dog and cat he ever owned, sports, motorcycles, cars, music, gardening, camping, canoeing, playing the harmonica, whistling and Walker Texas Ranger. 


Ron was generous with his time and his gifts.  His record of service and leadership to the churches he attended and the communities where he lived was impressive.  He served on Church Council, built the cross for the church sanctuary, built the church’s playground, taught Sunday School, served on numerous church committees, served on the Board of Directors of Interfaith Caregivers Services, was VP for Economic Development for the Saraland Area Chamber of Commerce as well as Director of the Board, was appointed to the Prichard Economic Task Force, served on the Business Advisory Councilfor Springhill College, was Co-President of Shaw High School PTSA, was President of John Will Elementary School PTSA, was Cubmaster BSA, was a member of Mobile Chamber of Commerce, was a charter contributor to the Chair on Real Estate at the University of Alabama, was VP for Forest Hills Little League and coached various youth sports.


Ron is survived by his wife of 46 years, Patricia AlischLaGrange; five children, Carmen LaGrange (Randall) Morrow, Kimberly LaGrange (David III) Schaefer,  Donna (Marlo)Watkins (Scott) Wright, James Donald Marcas (Marc) (Randi)Watkins and Toni LaGrange (Travis) Box; 13 Grandchildren,David (Buli) (Julie) Schaefer IV, Madison Morrow, Brittney Watkins, Parker Morrow, Andrew (Ed) (Erin) Schaefer, Chad Lewis, Allie Wright, Hannah Wright, Cole Watkins, Peyton Watkins, Sophie Wright, Reid Watkins and Olivia Box and one great granddaughter, Emilia Schaefer; five sisters-in-law; fourbrothers-in-law and numerous nieces and nephews.


He was preceded in death by his parents, brother John LaGrange, son Timothy (Tim) LaGrange, father and mother-in-law Albert and Shirley Alisch and many aunts, uncles and grandparents that he loved.  


In lieu of flowers the family requests a monetary gift in Ron's memory made to a caregiver who gave his mother-in-law, Shirley, the kindest care for over five years. Rita is on limited income and is retired. The family would love to return herkindness.  Please make checks out to Rita Robertson and send to Pat LaGrange or give a donation to your favorite organization in memory of Ron.  Our family is grateful.

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