The Passing of A Friend, A Neighbor, and A Devotee of Old Louisville

Ronald Lew “Ron” Harris
1953 — 2023

It is with much regret that we must mention the final curtain call for Ronald Lew “Ron” Harris at the age of 70. Ron grew up in Louisville and one of his greatest wishes was to own a home in Old Louisville. Ron’s love of acting and the arts started at an early stage in his life and resulted in his moving to New York City where he attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. While in New York, Ron met and married his wife, Jane Badgers. They spent 32 years acting and directing on Broadway, off Broadway, and in a television series. Ron spent the last 3 years in New York working on Law and Order Criminal Intent. After retiring from the stage, Ron and Jane moved to Old Louisville in 2004 where he realized his dream by buying a home on the 1300 Block of South 3rd Street. Called the “Bishop Hat” house, Ron and Jane’s home was the showcase of the neighborhood.

Ron and Jane, exercising their entrepreneurial spirit, started the Old Louisville Candy Company which sold bourbon balls they named Happy Balls. The bourbon balls were based on a recipe from Ron’s Aunt Happy.

Not giving up his love of the theater, Ron helped initiate the ghost walking tours that in many forms continue to this day. Ron, dressed as Mr. Dupont, would appear out of the Central Park bushes as tour groups walked through. Dressed in tails and top hat, he would enthrall the tour members with tales of his mansion on top of the Central Park hills and his life as the most eligible and richest bachelor in Louisville.

But Ron also did so much for the neighborhood. One of his most important initiatives was the upgrade of the archways of the Old Louisville Visitors Center. The archways used to be filled with concrete blocks. He one by one got sponsors (individuals and associations) to pay to have the blocks removed and replaced with large glass windows. The present open and airy look of the Visitors Center is a result of Ron’s initiative and love of Old Louisville. Ron and Jane’s name is embossed on one of the windows.

A visitation for Ron will be held Wednesday, September 6, 2023 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM at Arch L. Heady at Resthaven Funeral Home (4400 Bardstown Road, Louisville, Kentucky 40218), followed by a memorial service at 2:00 PM. Born on May 29, 1953, he passed away on August 24, 2023.

Remember him well.