Ronald Thomas George Platt OBE (OB 1936-1942)

My father, Ronald, died this past week on 16 June, 2021, in his home in Longboat Key, Florida, USA, surrounded by his 5 children.

It is with deep sadness that we share the news that Ron, a resident of Longboat Key for 30 years, passed away on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at his home surrounded by his children at the age of 94. He is survived by his children, Simon, David, Johanna, Stephen and Alison, their spouses and his 18 grandchildren. His wife of 53 years, Kathleen, pre-deceased him.

Ron spent the past 30 years in retirement, living in the home he built on the Key, travelling the world, and as an active member of the community – especially the Sarasota Audubon Society and the Sarasota British Club.

Born to Henrietta (Collins) and Arthur Platt, he grew up in London in the 1930’s. Volunteering for the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm at 17, he was about to complete his flight training in Pensacola when the war ended. Marrying his beloved Kathleen in 1953, they built their lives together in Southampton, Stratford-upon-Avon, Brentwood and Michigan.

He dedicated 45 years to the Ford Motor Company, in both the UK and US, having started full-time work while studying at the London School of Economics. He was able to translate his love of cars to success in sales and marketing, ultimately leading the sales and marketing operations of 18 European countries as the Vice President – European Sales Operations, Ford of Europe. Queen Elizabeth II conferred on him the membership of the Order of the British Empire, the OBE, in 1969 for services to British exports.

In retirement, he balanced his love of travel, exploring new places with enjoying the young grandchildren, who would gleefully use the beach and pool. The opportunity for a return visit to Britain was regularly pursued, including relishing the food, family and history that was so much part of his early years. In later years, he enjoyed the company of and travelled with his dear friend Karen Jensen.

He relished the challenge of solving business issues, helping and guiding others through difficult situations with humour, clear analysis and determination as to the right course. He was a friend, companion, mentor, patron, adviser, confidante to many, which just adds to the loss experienced by us all. May we all hug our children in his memory.

-Simon Platt

On behalf of Bancroft’s and the Old Bancroftians’ Association, our thoughts are with Ronald’s family at this sad time.