Ron Ruehl, 58, died of cancer in Asheville, North Carolina, on May 17. Completely lucid and calm, Ron had been seeing old friends and saying goodbye since late April. He said, “I have no complaints, I did all the things I wanted to do. I have had wonderful friends and a great life. I’ll see you all on the other side.”
Ron Ruehl was the producer along with Lawson Warren, of the Nashville Network’s bluegrass and mountain music show, Fire on the Mountain, which aired from 1983-1987. Ruehl was also the producer of the live radio show Liberty Flyer, part of an effort to get mountain music on commercial county radio. Later he went on to document Cherokee culture and history and directed for PBS The Principal People: History of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee.
Near the end Ron, ever calm and serene, said, “Life is about service. It is important to remember who we are through our traditional music and culture.”