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Remembering Krista Ronai

We here at the Baseball Factory are saddened to learn of the recent passing of Krista Ronai who courageously fought her battle with brain cancer for seven years before peacefully passing on the morning of April 21st, 2016. She was 35 years old. All of her family were by her side as well as the staff from Journey Care Hospice Center in Glenview, IL.

Krista was a wonderful person to everyone who came into her life. A loving and devoted wife to former Baseball Factory coach, Jason Ronai, who worked here at the Baseball Factory from 2003 to 2005 as the Director of the Exclusive Program as well as on-field sessions. Jason then became an Assistant Coach at the Naval Academy and now is the Director of Health, Fitness, and Athletics for the Noble Network of Charter Schools in Chicago. He’s also the Head Basketball Coach for the Chicago Bulls College Prep team.

In February of 2009, just a month after the birth of their daughter Anna, Krista was diagnosed with brain cancer. In June of that year, Krista had successful surgery to reduce the tumor. Doctors at the time had given Krista 6-to-18 months to live, but she fought the battle hard and lived her life to the fullest for seven years before the cancer aggressively returned.

According to the Krista Ronai Memorial Fund page on the YouCaring website, which has raised nearly $17,000 dollars in Krista’s honor since last week, Krista devoted her life to helping others, putting their needs first. From a young age, Krista volunteered her time to others and she wanted to make sure her acts of kindness didn’t gain any sort of recognition other than helping the people that were destined to be helped. Her story touched everyone as the Memorial Page states, “…her story of poise, grace, and faith under such dire circumstances positively impacted the lives of thousands, and gave us all a reason to seek the sunshine through the clouds.  She danced through every storm, with her smile providing a ray of beautiful sunshine to everyone around her.”

Krista is survived by her parents, Al and Cindy Kares, husband and daughter, Jason Ronai and Anna Ronai, now seven years old. Krista’s sister, Kerry and husband Brian Wendroff and their sons Rowan and Benny, in addition to numerous extended family.

She was an inspiration to many people. A lot of people reading this today know Jason as a friend and a family member in the baseball community. The love and generosity that has been sent out in Krista’s honor is amazing and shows you the true connection she had with so many people. There’s still time to show you care. You can help by making a donation to the Krista Ronai Memorial Fund, by visiting the page here.

One response to “Remembering Krista Ronai”

  1. Jason Budden says:

    I had the pleasure of meeting Krista in January 2004 at the American Baseball Coaches Association Convention in San Antonio, TX. Krista was working for Nike at the time and her booth was nearby our Baseball Factory booth. Jason Ronai was my roommate for the trip and he spotted Krista as soon as the convention got underway. Even though the Factory was sponsored by Puma at the time, Jason made sure to stop by the Nike booth to introduce himself. I remember them connecting for dinner that evening and will never forget the look on Jason’s face when he returned to our room that night. He told me, “I think I just met my future wife.”

    Even though they were living in different cities with very different lives, there was a clear connection that I am confident will last forever. Krista was a special person with a bright spirit and I am privileged to have known her. I feel honored to have had the opportunity to learn from her strength and inspiration. My heart goes out to Jason, Anna and all those who knew and loved Krista.

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