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Funeral for Norcross Man Found in Technology Park Held Saturday

The 39-year-old Pennsylvania man whose body was found Aug. 13 in Peachtree Corners is remembered by his friends and family.

The discovery of the last month sent shock waves through the residents of Peachtree Corners and Norcross.

Police provided little information about the man they would later identify as Ronald Joseph Corona Jr. of Pennsylvania. But an Aug. 30 obituary printed in the Scranton Times offers a glimpse of the man whose life ended abruptly at the still-young age of 39.

On Aug. 13 when his body was discovered behind an office building in Technology Park, Gwinnett Police first suspected foul play and called in its Homicide unit to investigate. However, after an autopsy, the medical examiner reported that there was no trauma to the body that would indicate he had been killed.

Cpl. Edwin Ritter, spokesman for Gwinnett County Police, said after the investigation had been closed: "There was nothing suspicious at all, there was no trauma to the man's body. The case has been closed."

The cause of death will have to wait until a toxicology report comes back from a lab in Atlanta, Ritter said it may be 10 weeks before the report is complete.

But friends and family are left without answers to their questions.

"We'll probably never know what really happend to him," said his mother Joanna Ursi.

Corona had been living in Norcross. His life had taken a few twists and turns since graduating magna cum laude from Northeastern University in Boston, Mass., with a degree in pharmacology in 1997.

He moved to Philadelphia after graduating from the Boston school and began working as a pharmacist. Most recently he had been living in the Guest Inn near downtown Norcross working as a counselor at Narcanon of Georgia, a Norcross-based drug rehab center.

The details are a bit incomplete, but his mother said he had entered Narcanon for an alcohol addiction, and after finishing the program, he completed a training program in April to become a Narcanon counselor so he could help others.

But then suddenly he ended contact with friends and his family and his mother filed a missing person report.

"He was doing very well, and I don't know what happened to him," said Ms. Ursi.

Ronnie, as he was known by his family, was born in Berwick, Penn., on Nov. 19, 1972. He graduated from Berwick High in 1991. During his high school years he was the president of his senior class and voted homecoming king, and most likable by his senior high classmates.

He was known by friends and family as warm and compassionate with a great sense of humor. He loved hunting and fishing and was a passionate Los Angeles Dodgers fan. He was also a son, a brother, an uncle and a grandson.

On Friday her son's ashes had been returned to his hometown and Ms. Ursi tried to prepare herself for the memoral service that was scheduled for the following day. "You should never have to bury your child," she said softly.

Ronald Joseph Corona Jr. was buried on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012, in the same town in which he was born nearly four decades ago.

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Debbie Walls September 04, 2012 at 06:25 PM
My prayers go out to this family. I am glad that he was identified and given a proper burial. May he rest in peace
Ben September 06, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Ron was a terrific guy, he will be missed by those fortunate enough to know him.

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