Ronald (Ronnie) Lubner passed away December 27th in South Africa after a brief illness at age 84. He was the second generation behind the PG Group (formerly Plate Glass) which he joined as a teenager and was the driving force behind the company which later became Belron International, the owner of Safelite.
“He was not only the Ron in Belron, but he encapsulated the very essence of the Belron organization, with his kindness, generosity and care, accompanied by a brilliant sense of humor, and an incredibly sharp business mind,” said his son, Belron CEO Gary Lubner.
The name Belron has a special significance to the Lubner family, as its name is the combination of Ronnie’s and his mother Bella’s name.
The Lubner family is from Lublin in Poland, they arrived in South Africa from London in 1903. Ronnie’s father, Morrie, would eventually help found one of the largest glass companies in the world, Plate Glass (PG). Ronnie and his brother Bertie helped expand the South African PG Group into one of the country’s largest and most successful companies. Ronnie was responsible for expanding outside of South Africa in the 1970’s, which saw the PG Group enter Australia, the UK and the US, with West Coast glass distributors that eventually became Windshields America.
In 1999, a majority interest in the PG Group was sold to D’Ieteren, and shortly thereafter the Lubner family re-purchased the South African business, which is still majority owned by the family.
Ronnie remained as Life Chairman of Belron and watched it grow in size, more than four times, since 1999, under the leadership of his son, Gary.
Ronnie was particularly proud when, in 2017, his grandson, Sam, became the fourth generation of Lubners to join the business.
Ronnie’s reputation as an icon of the glass industry was recognized worldwide. He and his wife, Rhona, who died this past September, were involved in many charitable and philanthropic organizations, particularly in South Africa.
He is survived by his three children, Gary, Joanne and Derek, and seven grandchildren.
Information for this obituary was provided by the Belron organization.