Ronald "Ronnie" Lee Matsushima

June 17, 1958November 14, 2020

MATSUSHIMA, Ronald Lee (62) of Fort Lupton, Colorado, passed away on November 14, 2020.

Ronnie was born on June 17, 1958, to George Hiroshi Matsushima and Lillian Yuriko (Uchida) in Denver, Colorado. He was raised on the family farm along with his brother Larry and his sisters Debbie and Carol. He was a member of Future Farmers of America and a state-qualifying wrestler at Valley High School, where he graduated in 1976. He also was a drummer for Valley’s renowned marching band, traveling with them to Hawaii and continuing to perform with the Pride of the Valley Alumni Band.

Ronnie married Karen (Toyota) on August 25, 1990 at the Denver Buddhist Temple. They built their home on the Matsushima farm, where they raised their three children: Kirstie, Stephi and Drew. Ronnie loved coaching their sports teams and traveling to their many games where he could be found at the top of bleachers, in press boxes or climbing ladders so he could film their games and distribute copies to all the coaches and players.

Ronnie’s countless hobbies and interests were a catalyst to his ability to connect with family, friends, and his community. Ronnie “had a need… a need for speed” (a quote from his favorite move Top Gun). He reached the top of his field racing three-wheelers around the country and was a lifelong car and truck enthusiast.

An expert skier, Ronnie was easy to spot being one of the smoothest on the slopes. In addition to teaching his kids how to ski, he enjoyed sharing time on the slopes with friends and family. Ronnie loved to help organize family golf tournaments and could always make time to hit the greens to test out the latest clubs that were going to improve his game. He also played in various volleyball, baseball, basketball and softball leagues throughout his life.

Ever the diehard sports fan, Ronnie especially loved attending Denver Broncos home games with his cousins and friends and even traveled to New York for Super Bowl XLVIII. He loved going to Colorado State University’s Ag Days with his Uncle Johnny and a host of cousins.

Ronnie loved gatherings with food and especially loved his Auntie Oki’s cooking. Going to restaurants with family and friends was a favorite pastime, and very few people ever beat him to the punch when the bill came.

These are but a few of Ronnie’s interests, but he was best known for his love, commitment and dedication to family and friends. He remained close to the many cousins who spent summers on the farm working hard and playing harder, often traveling to California to visit the Uchida and Onishi families. Reunions were a cherished tradition started by Auntie Margie Miyoshi. Ronnie loved joking with her and teasing his Auntie Sach Katayama. Many of his fondest memories were in hosting everyone at the farm for various gatherings and celebrations.

In addition to running the Matsushima farm with his brother Larry, Ronnie worked for Amoco Oil, McLane Company, and Xcel Energy. He was an active member of the Fort Lupton Buddhist Temple and Fort Lupton Japanese American Citizens League, and was deeply involved in the community at large.

It is an impossible task to mention all those who touched the life of Ronnie Matsushima. We truly appreciate all the family, friends, coworkers and community members who have reached out to us and kept us in their thoughts. A memorial service and reception will be held in the future whenever it is possible. Please help celebrate Ronnie's life by sharing a photo, a memory or a personal reflection.



No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Show Your


Ronald "Ronnie" Lee Matsushima

have a memory or condolence to add?

Brysnt and Donna Galusha

November 25, 2020

Dear Karen and family,
Bryant, Justin, Christopher and myself, send you our deepest sympathies. We are so very sorry for your loss and you are very much in our thoughts.
Fondly, the Galusha family.

donnie munesato

November 25, 2020

Deepest Condolences Karen at the loss of Ronnie were so sadden wishing you peace in these so hard times we so loved Ronnie & all Matsushima family
Sincerely Donnie & Cindy Munesato & Family

Nancy Oliver

November 25, 2020

So many fond memories, all of them bring a smile and warmth to my heart. From the early years of trips to: Lakeside (where it seemed I was never tall enough to ride the roller coaster with you and other cousins), Estes Park go-carts, Celebrity Sports Center, then meals at the Yum Yum Tree. Reading endless magazines with you- Mad, Hot Rod, comic books. Who taught me about Hooker headers :-) Whenever I hear Fleetwood Mac ... always reminds me of Ronnie, that was a fun concert. Your love of cooking, your green chili (which made my eyes water), to learning how to grill the perfect steaks, from Uncle Johnny. All the wonderful family golf tournaments you helped put together, to helping with family reunions, to the countless times you would invite me to partake in any gathering... usually involving lots of food!
My eternal twin... I will celebrate your bday with mine, it won't be the same, but you will always be there in spirit. Who knew we had the same favorite movie.. Top Gun ... that's special.
Your love of skiing was shared with many, and I am thankful for the last few years we could spend time on the slopes together. I'll think of you on future runs down the mountain, I know you'll be there watching over us.
With many cousins and family, Karen, Kirstie, Stephi & Drew will always be surrounded by love. We will take care of them, like you took care of all of us. I love and will miss you, dear cousin.

Brian Pelepchan

November 25, 2020

Ron, was a kind soul and would always be there to help out. I worked with Ron at Xcel Energy for just a short time but his love of life always shined through. You are gone too soon Ron. Comfort and blessings to your family.

Bret and Brenda Schmidt

November 24, 2020

Ronnie and your family are a part of some of our best memories. When Ronnie was around we knew things would be good. He included and took care of everyone. Bret has long counted Ronnie as one of his closest friends. Skiing together back in high school, coaching the boys and co-piloting trips across the country, scouting, talking sports and farming, laughing, meeting your LA family, the week in Daytona at the races, trips to Vegas, shared meals, Disneyland, golfing, and all the Bronco games. We will always cherish these memories and promise to remind you of them. Karen, Kirstie, Stephi, and Drew...we will be there for you. You have our sincerest sympathy and love. Bret and Brenda Tanner and AJ

Willy Taylor

November 24, 2020

I am so shocked to hear of Ronnies passing, my family and I are deeply saddened, he was always smiling and I always enjoyed visiting with him. He gave me my CDL driving test back in the day, I will miss seeing him around town and visiting- he will be greatly missed by many

Brianna Huerta (Chavez)

November 24, 2020

I have so many memories of Ron through growing up with Kirstie, Stephi, and Drew. One of my first memories is when Kirstie had a birthday party at the Limited Too retail store in the mall. We had a fashion show and I remember Ron filmed it with his camera and made us feel like superstars! Ronnie seemed to be at every softball, baseball, basketball, and volleyball game. He radiated positivity and always had a smile on his face. Ron was the dad everyone wished they had and I'm truly heartbroken that he was taken early. Much love to Karen, Kirstie, Stephi, and Drew. You each have that same beautiful brightness inside of you and I miss you all.

Johnny Fernandez

November 24, 2020

I remember all of us attending car shows and Corvettes on the Rockies with Ronnie. I also was fortunate to attend Ronnie and Karen's wedding. He was always a great person and will be greatly missed.

Dominga Mendoza

November 24, 2020

I will always remember that beautiful smile. I dont think I ever seen you without one. You will be missed and I'm am thankful I got to have your presence in my life. I send my deepest condolences to your family. Praying that they find peace in this difficult time.

Marty Cooper

November 24, 2020

I did not know Ron well. What I know is that he raised some outstanding children that he was rightfully very proud of. During my short time as a teacher and coach at Valley, Ron was always very friendly and so willing to help in any way he could. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.


Learn more about the Matsushima name