School 13

Ronald William López Sr

August 19, 1938 ~ March 10, 2022 (age 83)

Obituary


Ronald William López, Sr. was born in Santa Paula on August 19, 1938
and passed away peacefully on March 10th, 2022 in Sacramento,
California, in the hands of his loving granddaughters and immediate family 
members.

The son of Helen Macias, a packing house worker, he graduated from
Villanova Preparatory in Ojai. As a young man, he served in the National
Guard, worked as a junior engineer, a mathematician for Lake Casitas
Dam, and on the Blackbird spy plane project. He was an Accion volunteer,
serving in Venezuela. While a student at Ventura College, he
spearheaded the Viva Kennedy Campaign. There, he met and married
Lola Taylor, and they had two sons: Ronald and Antonio. Together, they
attended San Fernando Valley State College (now CSU Northridge), and
then UCLA where he was active in the emerging Chicano movement. He
was an early member of United Mexican American Students (UMAS) at
UCLA and participated in El Plan de Santa Barbara. He was a member of
the Chicano Coordinating Committee on Higher Education, the Chicano
Youth Leadership Conference at Camp Hess Kramer, and was the
founder and executive director of the Mexican American Studies Center,
the precursor of the Intercollegiate Department of Chicana/o Latina/o
Studies at the Claremont Colleges.

After leaving academia, Ron was the director of the Venice Drug Coalition,
a restauranteur, and a consultant. By the early 80s, Ron returned to
teaching history at several Los Angeles area community colleges,
influencing generations of future professionals and academics.

Retiring in 2007, he moved to Sacramento to be closer to his family living
in Northern California. Weekends were often spent with his son Antonio
enjoying local restaurants and trips to Santa Rosa to visit his son Ron and
participate in his granddaughters’ lives. His brother Tony, also living
nearby, often treated him to Sacramento’s restaurants for celebrations or
just because.

Ron is remembered by many for his quick wit, keen intellect, and as a
mentor to many. Ron would prepare huge cauldrons of “ranch style”
menudo, and westside suburbanites and eastside activists would eat and
celebrate side-by-side at parties sometimes lasting several days.

Ron is preceded in death by his mother, Helen Macias, stepfather Tony
Macias, and older brother Leo López. He is survived by his sons: Antonio
López, Ron López, and Maurice Agrillo; brother Anthony Macias,

granddaughters Paola, Itzel, and Melissa, daughters-in-law Maria López
and Christina Zapata, former wife Lola Taylor, and many nieces and
nephews.
 

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