Ronnie and Barbro
Ronnie meets the three years younger Barbro Edwardsson in the spring of 1969 at the discothèque Prisma in Örebro. She had a job as a secretary, but travels to USA later that season to work as an au pair in New York for a year.
When she got back, they became an inseparable couple. Ronnie was in the beginning lodger at the March teams secretary in Bicester, but when Barbro joins in 1971 they rent a typical English terraced house in Maidenhead by the Thames in Berks, a couple of miles upstream west of London, not far away from Heathrow airport. Barbro later became an employee as the official timekeeper in Team Lotus when Ronnie starts driving for them in 1973.
Maidenhead wasn´t a new area for Ronnie. He was a lodger at Howden Ganleys family in that area in 1970 before he got his own place.
The same year the couple bought a more expensive house in an exclusive residential district in Cookham Dean in Berkshire (No 5, The Farthingales) not far away from where they had stayed earlier. The name of the house is Grey Thatch and is still there today. The area was called Racing Hill and the name came from the many drivers living there on the same street (Tim Schenken and later on Keke Rosberg).
In Christmas 1973, Ronnie and Barbro were engaged, and when Barbro got pregnant they married in the end of April 1975. Nina Louise, named after Jochen Rindt's widow – a good friend to the family, was born later this autumn on the fourth of November.
Ronnie was a very proud father and made sure that he had some
more time with the family.
During 1975 Ronnie and Barbro got an apartment in Monaco and became neighbours to tennisplayer Björn Borg. Despite that Ronnie didn´t like ballgames, he tested a little bit of tennis and golf. It isn´t clear if he ever had a game with "The can".
Ronnie´s main interest was in motors and anything that had wheels. But Ronnie was also weak for aquarium fishes and did his best to take care of these little creatures at home in Maidenhead. In addition, gardening wasn´t without interest - Ronnie growed, among other plants, Aster.
Ronnie and Barbro had a very close relationship. As in many other relations there was, of course some friction. After Nina was born, Barbro didn´t follow Ronnie to the races as often as before. Ronnie's frustration over his situation at Lotus in 1978 did also create some frictions at home.
The Peterson family had a summerhouse close to Askersund where they often spent their holidays. Number 37 of Hemmets Veckotidning 1978 came out on the 11th of September – the same day Ronnie died! The article was a typical ”at-home-one” and it was just an unfortunate day to publish it. The story is about the happy family Petersons on vacation in their summerhouse near Vättern in Sweden – as it used to be a couple a weeks every year.
In the interview with Ronnie it´s hard not to take notice of some things he said:
”I think the next thing that ordinary drivers get from the racing industry is the new type of fuel tank that we have. It is a rubber bag that doesn´t break or leak as easily as the metal tank. A good detail of security in crashes and fires”.
Ronnie talks about Patrese and his zig-zag driving at Anderstorp and on the question if he´s going to be angry next time they meet. Ronnie answers:
"No, it´s no idea to bring up the past. You can´t do anything about it afterwards. You can´t have enemies in this sport. We have to trust each other, if we can´t do that – well, then we have a factor of accident coming on."
After Ronnie´s decease Barbro withdrew with daughter Nina. She became very lonely. Hänt i Veckan had, in their issue 49/78, made a visit to Barbro and Nina in their home in Monaco. They where on their way to Sweden to celebrate Christmas.
After a while Barbro began a relationship with the racing driver John Watson. It lasted for 4-5 years, but he couldn´t fill the empty space after Ronnie and Barbro withdrew even more in to loneliness. The 19th of December 1987 Barbro was found dead in her bathtub. An unfortunate mix of alcohol and tranquilizers. She couldn´t over the grief after Ronnie's death and died only 40 years old. She is buried in Örebro, next to Ronnie.
After her mother's death, Nina travelled home to Sweden together with John Watson. 12 years old she was orphaned and she was left with her grandparents in Örebro. When she was about to start seventh grade and moved to stay with her cousin, who was at the same age, in her uncle Tommy´s family. From ninth grade, Nina went on Lundsberg's boarding school outside Filipstad and there she continued at the high school for three years. Later on she moved to Barbro´s mother and father.
In the middle of the 90s, Nina was back in London for studies to become an interior decorator. In the same period she starts a relationship with a man who´s dream was to become a racing driver. Nina also gave a rare interview in a TV programme where she spoke about Ronnie:
"When I moved back to Sweden I understood how famous my father was. Friends at my age knew who he was."
In the end of the 90s, she took contact again with Carl-Johan Kennedy that she had known since she was seven. They were married and bought and old house they had fallen in love with in Rejmyre, outside Katrineholm in Östergötland, Sweden. Nina brought her decoration company with her from Chelsea, London and the plan is to start it again here in Sweden.
In autumn 2003, Nina and Calle-Johan had a baby - Max, who was named Ronnie as a middle name.
Ronnie´s brother Tommy, who was often in the shadow of hi´s famous brother, studied for optician – a profession he´s still practises. After both parents Bengt (1913-1999) and May-Britt (1919-2000) deceased, Tommy moved back to his parents house in Örebro.