Ralph Michael Barron, known as Mike by most, was born on June 24, 1956, the youngest son of Dwain Barron and Helen Keel Barron Alison. Raised in the small town of Jackson’s Gap, Alabama, his childhood days were spent as many young children today would dream of – skipping rocks on the water, playing barefoot in the mud, placing pennies on railroad tracks, or spending a nickel on an “RC and a CR,” as he would say (an RC Cola and a Cinnamon Roll) at the local store. They were days that he spoke of often, and he always cherished the family and friends that were a part of that upbringing.
Mike met and fell in love with his high school sweetheart, LuAnne Thompson, and they later married while at Auburn University in December of 1976. LuAnne was his everything. He adored her from the moment he first saw her, and that love carried them through forty-three years of marriage.
While Mike spent most of his career as a mortgage banker, his early days as a high school educator and coach were undoubtedly the ones that he most treasured, often sharing stories with his family of special students and football players that made a lasting impact on his life. He most certainly always hoped that his impact on them was as meaningful.
Family meant everything to Mike and his two daughters, Ashley and Kelleigh, brought him so much joy. Known to them (and most of their friends) as “Gaga,” he loved to love his girls – and did so well.
Perhaps his greatest joy came in his role as “Papa” to his five grandchildren. He adored each of them, gave them special nicknames, and teased and joked with them to show his love. They describe him as “so silly,” and he’d have it no other way.
Mike loved the little things – working outside, spending time with family and friends, watching sports, telling jokes, eating ice cream (oh how he loved a good banana split), and vacuuming – yes vacuuming. And he loved his Lord.
On January 22, 2020, Mike went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ after a courageous, two-and-a-half-year battle with cancer. Surrounded by his wife, daughters, brother, and loved ones, he passed peacefully to his heavenly home.
Mike is survived by his wife, LuAnne Thompson Barron; two daughters, Ashley Groves (Tucker) and Kelleigh Riddle (Michael); five grandchildren, Anne Barron and Gracie Groves, and Hannah, Shelby, and Luke Riddle; two brothers, Larry (Dawn) and Randy (Kathie); his sister-in-law Jamie Barron; six nieces and nephews, and numerous great nieces and nephews and cousins, all whom he loved dearly. He is preceded in death by his mother, Helen Keel Barron Alison; his father, Dwain Barron; and his brother, Jimmy Barron.
Services to celebrate his life will take place on Saturday, January 25th at Jackson’s Gap Baptist Church, with a visitation from 9:00 am to 10:00 am and a graveside service to follow at 10:30 am. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name can be made to his home church in Birmingham – Bluff Park United Methodist Church, 733 Valley Street, Birmingham, AL 35226.
Langley Funeral Home of Camp Hill, AL is directing.