Skip to content

Ronald P. Reale

Ronald P. Reale, 84, of Palmyra, passed away peacefully on May 27, 2021, in the Hershey Medical Center.

To Shirley he was a loving husband. To Yvonne he was a doting father. To Tony, he was a protective big brother. To many, he was a great friend, but to most he was simply known as “Pop”. The man with a huge heart, infectious laugh, and zest for life.

He was born April 21, 1937, in Carnegie, PA, son of the late Nicholas and Mary (Wagner) Reale. After the death of his father, his mother moved him and his brother to Hershey to enroll the boys in the Milton Hershey School. Ronald was a proud alumnus of the Milton Hershey School. The life lessons he was taught there along with his love of children lead him and Shirley to enjoy a 25-year career as houseparents in the Junior Program. While working as a houseparent, he taught his “kids” woodworking, took them fishing and camping, coached them in sports and passed along fatherly advice that had a positive impact on many of the Milton Hershey students. In 1986, Ron and Shirley were presented with the Houseparent of the Year Award.

Ron loved sports. For many years, he was a basketball and wrestling official which led him to take courses to become an athletic trainer. He became an athletic trainer for Milton Hershey School as well as a trainer for the Big 33 Football Classic.

Entering college later in life, he worked to achieve a master’s degree in Human Services from Lincoln University where he graduated with honors. In 1987, Ron left the student home and became Assistant Director of the Senior Program where he worked until he retired in 1997. Ron served as president of the Milton Hershey Alumni and the Optimist Club of Hershey. He was a man rich with many interests and talents. A man who gave generously to all who knew him. A man who touched the lives of thousands of children, A man who made a difference and changed each life for good! A great man simply known as POP!

Ronald is survived by; wife, Shirley L. (Eshleman) Reale; daughter, Yvonne (Ed) Weimer; and brother, Tony Reale (Sue).

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorial contributions be made to: Alzheimer’s Association, 2595 Interstate Dr., Suite 100, Harrisburg, PA, 17110.

©2024 Milton Hershey School, all rights reserved.