Ron Lasley’s daughter recalls good times with 4evercard


Ron and Betty Lasley were married for 52 years. Photo courtesy of Carrie Beth Lasley
Carrie Beth Lasley

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.

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UofL fan makes the season brighter for Southern Indiana kids

Santa visits with Sara Neathamer and children who were struck by a motorist in front of the KFC Yum! Center in September 2014.
Santa Claus visits with Sara Neathamer and children who were struck by a motorist in front of the KFC Yum! Center last year. Sara is holding Nathan, the baby who was delivered by emergency C-section the night of the accident.

The Christmas season is always challenging for families of limited means, especially for those with seriously or terminally ill children.

Mike Benson, a long time University of Louisville fan from Sellersburg, Ind., makes it his mission during the holidays to bring cheer to some needy families. A big guy, he’s a natural fit for Santa Claus as he delivers laughter and gifts.

No doubt about Mike Benson's loyalties at Coyle Nissan in Clarksville
No doubt about Mike Benson’s loyalties at Coyle Nissan in Clarksville.

Among those he visited this year is the family of Sara Neathamer, who was six months pregnant, when she was struck by a vehicle in front of the KFC Yum! Center in September 2014. With her were her 6-year-old daughter Shyanne and 3-year old son Jayden. She gave birth to a 2-pound baby boy named Nathan by emergency C-section the same night.

Benson recently visited the family, providing them with clothes and toys. “Nathan has a brain tumor and may be going blind but his face lit up when he saw Santa Claus,” says Benson. “All of these families are going through a lot. Visiting with Santa is just a moment in time and hoping to give them a lasting moment of happiness.”

Born on Dec. 24th himself, Benson made an appearance at a local church on Sunday. On Christmas Eve, he will visit with five different families, delivering more gifts. He says the gifts are provided by Lamb’s Lawn Care & Landscaping, DeMarsh Graphics and Linda Graf, of Kohl’s, in Clarksville. He does it for free, of course, and his services are in demand from local organizations.

Benson got started doing Santa Claus because one of his granddaughters didn’t want to stand in line at the local mall. “I went out and bought a Santa outfit and went to her house,” he says. “Somebody saw it on social media and asked if I would play Santa Claus for some needy children and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

“Christmas has taken on a whole new dimension for me,” he says. “To see the smile on the faces of the children makes it all worthwhile.”

A service advisor at Coyle Nissan in Clarksville, Benson will spend Christmas day with his six grandchildren.