MANCHESTER, NH – In the four weeks since RhondaLee Machos lost her husband, Ron, to a massive heart attack, the family has been struggling to pick up the pieces and figure out how to move forward. Ron Machos was just 56 years old, and was the breadwinner for the family – RhondaLee was a full-time mother of three, and homemaker. A former Goffstown Police officer and Hillsborough County Deputy Sheriff, Ron Machos worked for the past 28 years for the family business, New England Traffic Control, founded by his parents, where he served as vice president.
His son Ronnie Machos Jr. says his father had no health insurance, after his monthly premiums jumped this year from $1,200 to $3,000. His youngest brother, Alec, just turned 18, which means RhondaLee will not be able to collect any Social Security benefits for another 11 years, until she turns 62.
In addition to medical bills, the rented home where they were living on Clay Street is being foreclosed on, and they have been notified that they have until Dec. 30 to move out.
“It was so unexpected,” says Ronnie Machos Jr. “The landlord is being foreclosed on and we have till December 30 to find something else. It’s a very crappy situation, and I just want my little brother to have a good Christmas.”
Ron Machos was a 1979 West High School grad, who studied Criminal Justice at Saint Anselm College. He went on to serve as a Goffstown Police officer and a Hillsborough County Deputy Sheriff before taking the job with New England Traffic Control Services.
The family celebrated Ron’s life on Nov. 18 with a memorial service. They compiled a tribute video marking the many milestones of a life well lived.
On Nov. 25 Ron Machos’ best friend Dean Donati launched a GoFundMe with a goal of $10,000 to help with immediate expenses and a little something to tide them over until the pieces of a life without Ron begin to fall into place.
Donati met Ron in the 1980s and together they formed D&M Productions, a small theater troupe that produced the musical “Godspell,” all around Southern New Hampshire.
“Ron had been doing that since he was much younger with some of his classmates from West, and then through his church. He always played the lead. When I got involved, I had no talent – he was the director and the star, I just handled the business side. We did benefit shows for various church groups, and also for Special Olympics,” says Donati.
The two remained friends over the years, but didn’t stay in close touch until rekindling their friendship about 18 months ago.
“It’s a terrible thing. His youngest, Alec, just turned 18. If he was still 17, Rhonda could have collected a little Social Security for the both of them,” says Donati. “Then, she found out just after Ron died that she has to be out of their home.”
Donati is hoping others who may remember Ron Machos from across the years will be able to pay forward a little bit of the joy that he gave to others, through his hard work, love of theater and music, family and friendship.
“I started the GoFundMe to try and help in some way,” says Donati. “I shared it on my Facebook page, but unfortunately, most of the people I’m connected to didn’t know Ron. I hope it helps. In this case, things just turned out in the worst possible way for Ron’s family.”
How to help
⇒ “Gone Too Soon” GoFundMe Fundraiser by Dean Donati