Ronald Allen Norelli

April 19, 2022

Ronald Allen Norelli, 76, died April 19th, 2022, in Charlotte, after a long battle with Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy (CAA).  He was a polymath, excelling in engineering, business, music, and sport, all with a fierce devotion to God, family, and community.  His family estimates that he read 3,000 books during his lifetime, which often included dauntingly dense war histories and biographies. Ron held a deep reverence for the sacrifices of our country’s veterans, which include many members of his extended family of Norellis, Allens, and Blacks. 

Ron was born in Baltimore, MD on September 19th,1945 to Elizabeth Allen Norelli and Alfred Arnold Norelli.  He spent his youth in Livingston and Basking Ridge, NJ and played varsity baseball and basketball at Gill St. Bernard's School.  Baseball was his true passion, which he further pursued as a 4-year varsity player and junior varsity coach at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was also a proud member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.  He graduated from MIT with two degrees: a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science, both in Chemical Engineering.  That training led him to the Chevron oil refineries in California, and a stint at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. 

Ron returned to the Boston area after meeting the love of his life, and sister of fellow MIT Sigma Chi Jim Black, Wellesley undergrad Nancy Lee Black.  Their marriage would endure for 50 years. Ron earned an MBA from Northeastern University, and soon embarked on a lengthy career as a management consultant.  His Charlotte-based firm, Norelli & Company, grew to become one of the most sought-after consultants in the region for small- and medium-sized corporate turnarounds.  Ron's particular specialty focused on improving the financial and management health of family businesses in transition.  He was selected by his peers to serve as the president of the Family Firm Institute, an international industry trade group, from 2006-2007.  He served as Chairman of CEM Corporation in Matthews, NC, after that firm launched a successful initial public offering on the NASDAQ in 1986 and remained on their board for 15 years. In total, Ron led Norelli & Company for over 40 years, training the next generation of business leaders, and helping countless clients navigate difficult business challenges.  During his career, Ron developed a unique business process that applied elements of thermodynamics to the management of a company, and he held US and international patents related to that work.

In 2017, the national Sigma Chi fraternity awarded him its "Significant Sig" designation to honor his lifetime of achievement in business and contribution to the community.

Ron was a devoted Christian and spent the last 35 years of his life as a member of First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte.  He held numerous leadership positions both at First Presbyterian and earlier at Myers Park Presbyterian. He sang as a baritone in the choir every Sunday for the entirety of his membership at First Presbyterian, until he was physically unable to do so near the end of his life. 

Ron combined his love for baseball and devotion to family by coaching little league for his children, including helping daughter Margaret and the 1993 Myers Park Trinity Softball All-Stars to the North Carolina State Championship. In addition to baseball, and being a bit too good at bowling, he fell in love with skiing later in life.  His last trip to Vail occurred in 2016, after CAA had already begun to take its toll.  

Ron is survived by Nancy, his three children and their spouses: Andrew Norelli (Lauren Hawley) of Columbus, OH, Margaret Norelli Sanchez (Andrés) of Houston, TX, and Lee Norelli Pedersen (Eric) of Charlotte; seven grandchildren: Neil and Alexandra Norelli, Jack, Henry, and Max Sanchez, George and Charlie Pedersen; and his sister Beth Norelli Czajkowski of Perry, MI. 

A funeral is planned for 2:00 PM Friday April 22nd at First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, with a receiving to follow the service at the church. .  For those unable to attend, please join the family via livestream at   For those wishing to make a memorial gift, please consider the Coach Norelli Fund of the Myers Park Trinity Little League, PO Box 11556, Charlotte, NC 28220, or the Music Ministry at First Presbyterian Church, 200 West Trade St., Charlotte, NC 28202. 

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC; 28204 (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at

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  • Ann Beha

    Nancy and Andrew, I know Ron was a super special person and some time ago (Yesterday, no?) a wonderful addition to many Wellesley dorm dinners! I recall him as such a gentleman and so devoted to you, Nancy, and your many graces and talents. My condolences and a big hug, always.


  • Alice G.Craig

    Dear Nancy & family,
    I was very saddened to learn of Ron’s death . I thoroughly enjoyed singing i. the choir w/you under Bob Ivey. I sang in the Alto Section
    I, too, am a Widow of 4 years. I know how hard it is, & wish I could say or do more to help ease the pain & loneliness everyone feels. God be w/all of you.
    Ron, RIP. You will be missed.

  • Richard Boner

    I am sorry to hear of Ron Norelli’s death. I send my sympathy to Nancy and the other members of the Norelli family.

  • Susan H. Brawley

    Dear Nancy and family,

    I am so sorry to hear of Ron's passing. I remember Ron as such a vital, lively, and optimistic person who built a lovely family with you.

    Best wishes,
    Susan Brawley

  • James Hance

    In hoc brother Ron. We will miss you. Rest in peace.

  • Tom Moore

    My deepest sympathy to Nancy and the family. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Tonya L. Vance

    Our Sincere sympathy and condolences to Andrew Norelli and entire family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this most difficult time. We are thinking of you at JPMorgan.