Editor’s Note: Those who knew Ron Lasley, either by his real name or his pseudonym of 4evercard, in Louisville are missing a positive force following his recent passing. His daughter, Carrie Beth, agreed to share her story about his generous spirit, old-school class and his dedicated UofL fandom.
By Carrie Beth Lasley
Ron grew up in the Taylor-Berry neighborhood of Louisville with his brother Charles “Sonny” and their mother and grandmother after losing his father in a car accident as a toddler. He found father figures in Carlisle Baptist Church and through basketball. He remained friends with his Sunday School teacher there throughout his life. Despite being raised in a University of Kentucky family, the interaction of sports and race relations in his youth drew him to become an ardent and proud University of Louisville fan. His generosity to others and class were on display at Louisville Male High, as he chose to break a white-student boycott of the integrated lunchroom and get in line with lunch with African-American students. He did this, in his words, “because I was hungry.” Ron dreamed of becoming a sports writer, and served as a dedicated Male fan after graduation as a statistician and on reunion committees.
He met former Presentation basketball player, Betty Lasley, through a neighbor. She didn’t run despite him arriving on their first date with a broken jaw. She married him 18 months later, despite him arriving to Holy Name Church with a brand-new crew cut. They remained each other’s most dedicated fans for 52 years. He spent his early years of marriage taking his role as uncle seriously, taking his family to the lake, showing off his water skiing skills and coaching their basketball teams. He would continue coaching others on and off, demonstrating his old-school class of saying everything but a curse word when losing his temper, and being available to any child who needed him.
After buying and selling a mythological string of boats and cars, Betty convinced him to settle down and become his daughter Carrie’s most dedicated fan in 1977. He took on fatherhood with his determined will, wanting to be the father he never had to all. From the moment he brought Carrie home, they read the sports section of The Courier-Journal together and watched games. Beginning in 1981, games at Freedom Hall would become regular father-daughter dates. This tradition continued through the 2013 National Championship, in which father and daughter traversed the South to see all four U of L games. Ron loved the history, present and future of the Cards, even during Denny Crum’s mediocre years. He could still fall in love with Everick Sullivan’s shot or Derwin Webb’s hustle. He loved statistics, comparing conferences, finding the diamond recruit in the rough, hustle and sportsmanship. He died prior to the recent NCAA sanctions on the basketball program.
Ron attended night school at UofL until beginning his business as a wholesale distributor in the business machine industry in the early 1980s. Beginning with only Betty by his side and out of the family house, his business would grow to take care of seven employees, some of which he helped with college, loans, and major purchases. His business out of the spare bedroom had expanded to a full warehouse and international manufacturers by death. Despite the challenge of owning a business, he made time for fatherhood. Even in the early years when money was tight, he took on the responsibility of raising girls other than his daughter when they needed father figures in their lives. He always took his youth basketball teams out for a movie together at Christmas and never turned down the opportunity to help others.
His UofL fandom grew with fatherhood as Ron became a women’s basketball and volleyball fan and raised the girls in his house to have positive role models and admire college athletes. He also paved part of the yard to expand the business and provide a half-court for games of H-O-R-S-E with his daughter. Despite not completing his education, he never let his daughter think it possible she would not attend college. He was proud of sending her the University of Missouri School of Journalism to later work in the sports section of The Journal-News in suburban New York City, living out his childhood dream. Ron would later support her return to education to earn graduate degrees at the University of Louisville and the University of New Orleans. She completed her doctorate, making him exceptionally proud.
When Carrie left for college, Ron discovered the UofL boards on the Internet and became 4evercard in that world. He would make friends through fandom that would last the rest of his life. In his posts, he would demonstrate the old-school class he embodied. He always had something positively constructive to say, and would respectfully request fellow Cards fans demonstrate class and grace — even to UK fans.
He semi-retired about 10 years ago, allowing him to expand his fandom to football, baseball and other sports using the Internet to see them all. This also gave him more time to follow his other passions: “favorite daughter” Lucy the Jack Russell terrier, golf, the Olympics and politics.
Over the course of his life, he faced and beat a brain tumor, several deer on the interstate, a quintuple bypass, colon and prostate cancer and had beat odds in the hospital for almost a month before he passed.
Ron made a point to treat others with respect and fairness, regardless of where they came from or if they were known to him. He was generous with his time and money. He cared about the world around him, and found no greater pride than the pride he had in the achievements of those he cared about. His spirit will live on when those who knew him celebrate those characteristics in their own lives.
Ron “4evercard” Lasley served as a model fan in life, love, fatherhood and team.