Philanthropist, mentor, former racer Ronnie Lunsford died Monday, January 17 as the result of injuries he suffered in a traffic accident while riding his motorcycle near his home in the Houston, Texas area.
According to Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Sergeant Erik Burse, Lunsford was riding a Honda CBR1000RR and traveling northbound on FM149, a road with a 60 mph speed limit that was dry at the time, when he struck a Honda CRV SUV that had stopped behind a Saab 93T sedan that was stopped and attempting to make a left-hand turn onto Stone Creek Lane.
Lunsford was transported to Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center, where he succumb to his injuries. No one else was injured in the crash and no citations were issued, but the crash investigation is still open, according to Sgt. Burse.
Lunsford was 63, according to the DPS report. He is survived by wife Janet, twin daughters Leigh and Lauren, and two grandchildren.
Lunsford was a well-known and well-regarded lifelong member of the motorcycle riding and racing community in Texas.
He spent many years road racing with CRRC, CMRA and WERA as well as racing motocross and flat track. He won 28 CMRA sprint Championships and 18 CMRA Endurance Championships, including six overall Championships. He was inducted into the CMRA Hall of Fame in 2004.
During his years racing in Texas, Lunsford mentored future two-time Superbike World Champion Colin Edwards II at the start of his road racing career. They remained friends ever since.
Lunsford owned and operated the Northwest Honda Ducati dealership after buying it from his father Bob in 1986. Lunsford recently sold the dealership so he could retire.
While at the helm of Northwest Honda Ducati, Lunsford organized the Honda-sponsored Houston Ride For Kids – a fundraiser for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF).
Lunsford organized PBTF’s first Houston Ride for Kids in 1993 and over the years has led the event in raising more than $5 million for research and family support that impacts thousands of children’s lives.
“We judge our score sheet by how much money we’ve raised, but when all of the kids come out and have a good time you can’t put a price on that,” Lunsford said in an interview for Shops: Northwest Honda Ducati, Roadracing World, October 2016. “Sometimes it’s a day these kids are going through chemo and radiation. They’re sick and they don’t feel good, but they come out anyway because they want to come out and have fun. They just want to be kids and have fun, and our motorcycle event lets them to do that. It lets them take a break from reality for a day. They’ve given me more than I’ve ever given them.”
Lunsford’s family has requested that donations be made to PBTF in his honor through this link: https://team.curethekids.org/Lunsford2022.
Due to an overwhelming response, the Celebration of Life honoring philanthropist, mentor, and former racer Ronnie Lunsford, scheduled 11:00 a.m. local time January 30, has been moved.
It will now be held at the Sealy Knights of Columbus, 1310 Highway 90 West, Sealy, TX 77474.
Lunch and beverages will be provided.
In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Lunsford can be made to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and the Ride for Kids here.