Ronald Bernard Stiles, affectionately known as Ronnie, passed away unexpectedly at 77 in his home on August 18, 2022 in Carmel, IN. He was born in Ft. Wayne, IN on January 7, 1945 to Albert and Maxine (Dean) Stiles.

Ronnie attended Central High School in Ft. Wayne and grew up in the Turner Chapel AME Church where he gave his life to Christ at an early age and later was a committed and devoted musician for several years.

At the age of 5, Ronnie’s grandmother, Esther Raines, bought him his very first drum set and this is when his love for music began. Although he was a multi-instrumentalist, he had a special love for the drums and guitar. Following in his father’s footsteps, a History Maker and accomplished tap dancer, Ronnie developed into a very talented professional musician. As a teenager, he followed his dream, went to New York City and played on Broadway.

He was a regular at The Apollo Theater in Harlem where he and his bandmates won 1st place in the Battle of the Bands competition. Throughout his life, he performed with legendary acts like “Bonnie Lloyd Sims & The Untouchables”, “The Commodores”, “The Ohio Players”, “Earth Wind & Fire”, “The Chi-lites”, “Jimmy Reed”, “Lionel Ritchie”, “Carolyn Franklin”, “James Brown”, “Wilson Pickett”, “Sam Cooke”, “Mary Wells”, “John Thomas” and a host of others. Ronnie went on to form his own bands “Jimmy Lynch and the Boss Players”, “Ivory Blues Band” and “Big R.B. Stiles & E-Waw Blue Band”, just to name a few. He often played with “Bob Greene & Friends” in Fort Wayne and enjoyed sitting-in on sets at the Slippery Noodle and The Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis. He was a poet and avid song writer, composing over 400 songs. Ronnie was also a self-taught artist and would spend hours drawing portraits of people and cartoon characters. After marrying his wife, he drew a portrait of them that was so life like, it seemed as if you were looking at them up close and personal.

Ronnie was also instrumental in the success of the Talent Factory, a non-profit organization in Fort Wayne, which was founded by his father Albert “Al” Stiles in the 1980’s to help inner-city kids hone and develop their singing, acting, dancing and oratory skills. Ronnie was so proud of the work and accomplishments of the Talent Factory because of his passion for youth and it was another testament of his profound love of the arts. In 2002, Ronnie collaborated once again with his father and released the compact disc We Can Fly. The nine-track CD features blues, jazz and 1950s-era rock sung by Ronnie, Al Stiles and Herb Banks. Although Ronnie has produced multiple CDs over his lifetime with various groups, he was most proud of this last CD as he had the opportunity to work with his best friend as well as his father.

While music was Ronnie’s passion, his children and grandchildren were the light of his life. He was a very involved father who loved to take his kids to drive-in movies, roller skating, and carnivals when they were young. Holidays were always a special time spent with his family and you could count on enjoying his famous barbecued ribs every Sunday afternoon. Ronnie’s love language was quality time, words of affirmation and acts of service. He developed special relationships with each of his grandchildren and instilled these virtues in them. Ronnie was a sports fanatic and supported his grandchildren by cheering them on at all of their games. He was known as an “honorary mascot” for the Fishers Tigers Football Team, Kokomo Wildcats Basketball Team, and the annual Jeff Teague AAU Basketball Invitational. Ronnie was also a diehard Pittsburgh Steeler and Baltimore Ravens fan as he adored and respected Rod Woodson and the entire Woodson family.

After living in Chicago, IL, Pleasanton, CA and Las Vegas, NV for close to a decade he eventually settled in Carmel April of 2020 to spend his remaining years closer to his family. Ronnie became a member of Pasadena Heights Church of God where he was a faithful member and musician under the leadership of Pastors James and Jean Morehead.

Ronnie is survived by three daughters, Rhonda (Chris) Chin of Carmel, Rochelle Monique (Clinton Caudill) Mahone of Avon, and Raquel (Torray) Pittman of Fishers; one son, John Ross (Teresa) Stiles of Fishers; eighteen grandchildren, Jasmine Stiles, Christiana Chin, Christan Chin, Chrisopher Chin II, Magnum Mahone, Arielle Wallace, Denzel Fletcher, Denijah Fletcher, Denkota Fletcher, Torrian Pittman, Torray Pittman II, Jalen Norman, Olivia Norman, Jaelyn Stiles, Kyla Stiles, Tailynn Stiles, and Teresa Stiles; one great-grandchild, Rashinn Ward; and his sister-in-law, Delois Stiles.

He is also survived by his former wife, Mary Stiles of Carmel; his companion of 23 years, Linda Woodson of Ft. Wayne; Linda’s children, Rod (Nickie) Woodson, Jamie and Nela Woodson and Joe Woodson; many cousins including, Ila Stiles, Bernard Kinsey, Lawanna Walker, Lynette Scroggins, Kitty Scroggins, Scrappy Scroggins; and long-time friends and bandmates, Charles Stuart, Tom Hendry, Herb Banks and Dave Lehrman; and many loving extended family members and special friends.

Ronnie is preceded in death by his father and mother, Albert and Maxine (Dean) Stiles; brother, Dr. Reginald Stiles; grandmother, Esther Raines; uncle and aunt, Perry Green and Ester (Gladys) Green; uncle and aunt, Gerald Edwards and Catherine (Day) Edwards; great-uncle and great-aunt, William and Rosemary Easterly.

Funeral services will be held at 12:00pm on Saturday, August 27, 2022 at Turner Chapel AME Church (836 E Jefferson Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN 46803) with Pastors James and Jean Morehead officiating and a very special thank you to Reverend Kenneth Christmon as well as the entire Turner Chapel family for extending their church home. Friends may call from 11:00 am until the time of service. Interment will follow at Lindenwood Cemetery in Ft. Wayne, IN. There will be a repast at Turner Chapel AME Church immediately following the burial service and the family encourages attendance so that they can greet you.

Ronnie’s memory will be cherished always and the family is eternally grateful for all the love and support during one of the most difficult times in their lives. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love – but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the family by clicking here.