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Celebration of Life: Ronald Charles Smith Sr.
By Sentinel News Service
Published September 10, 2020

Ronald Charles Smith Sr. made his transition on July 1, 2020. He succumbed from Covid-19. He was born May 21, 1935, in Galveston Island, Texas, where he was raised with 6 siblings. After graduating from Central High School, he married and had a son. Shortly after, he moved his family to California, living with relatives and friends. At age 29 Ronald was supporting a wife and three children on a $300 monthly salary, as an employee of Los Angeles Board of Education.

Before the Watts Riot in 1965 Ronald had a strong desire to be his own boss and head of his own business.  This entrepreneurial spirit led to the opening of the first Ronald’s Clothing Store with $1500, money he managed to save, and money he borrowed from his mother-in-law. Despite all the challenges, Ronald Smith was the proud and successful owner of a thriving men’s clothing store, in the heart of a black Los Angeles neighborhood. Known for selling affordable suits, trendy $2.99 bell bottom pants and $39.99 leather coat. Ronald’s business became well known in the city. Ronald was committed to providing great customer service and affordable prices to the average working black man, single moms and families. Ronald Smith Sr. was very proud of his African-American heritage. Ronald’s Clothing would have a “Black Sale” after Christmas when white stores were running their annual “White Sale”, complete with black price tags and black paint. Ronald’s Clothing was a staple in the community and was regularly advertised in the neighborhood Scope Newspaper, Can You Dig It Tri Weekly Newspaper, KDAY, and KJLH. Also, he participated in the show “I AM SOMEBODY”, Channel 7 KABC-TV.

Ronald remarried in 1972 to Marjorie Smith. He was a kindhearted, friendly, outgoing person, and always willing to help others.  He loved history. He had respect and curiosity for other cultures. He loved to travel and had visited many places in the US and abroad. He is survived by his son Ronald Jr, daughters Cecilia and Victoria Smith, 3 step-children Sherman, Herman, and Sharlotte Bass. Ronald instilled in his children a strong sense of Black pride, love of humanity and leadership.  Ronald is also survived by two sisters, one brother, three grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.  Ronald’s joyous nature will be missed.

Categories: Celebration of Life | COVID-19
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