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Jerry Ronan, a former Torrance High teacher and active community member, has died at the age of 95

Jerry Ronan, who taught at Torrance High School for 37 years and was a lifelong civil servant in the largest city in South Bay, has died. He was 95 years old.

Ronan died of natural causes at Kaiser Permanente South Bay Medical Center on Thursday, Dec. 9, his family said.

Ronan’s granddaughter, Ronan Eggleston, writes, “Uncle Jerry loved him as much as he spoke kindly to him, and we are deeply saddened by the news of his departure.” “But we are comforted to realize that he had a wonderful life and was very calm in the next chapter.”

Gerald T. Ronan was born on March 2, 1926, in the family of Railroader Thomas and housewife Maggie Ronan. Pierre, South Dakota; Ronan was one of nine children and had a happy childhood despite being born a few years before the Great Depression.

“It was a really sustainable childhood,” Ronan Torrance told CitiCABLE. “I always thought I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth because life was good. It was a frustrating year, but my parents were both good managers, so I remember growing up in South Dakota very happy.

Ronan graduated from high school in 1944 and joined the U.S. Navy that year. During World War II he served 2 1/2 years. He had never seen a battle, but Ronan described his time in the Navy as priceless and eventually led him on the path to becoming a teacher.

Ronan grew up in Ft. Per, SD He was the sixth of nine children. (Photo taken from the Ronan family).

He thought about many careers after leaving the Navy in 1946. Ronan had loved art all his life and wanted to continue this life for himself – but after reading the news about the starving artist’s lifestyle, Ronan decided to take a different path.

Instead, Ronan went to Creighton University, a private Jesuit university in Omaha, Nebraska, where he graduated in 1947 with a degree in political science. After graduating, Ronan bought a one-way ticket to Europe, where he explored different countries for two years. .

Shortly after returning to the United States, Ronan took his first teaching job in South Dakota and stayed there for a year before moving to Torrance – where he spent the rest of his life.

Ronan was interviewed on Friday, 1955, at Torrance High School. The following Monday, she began working as a history and English teacher – where she worked for the next 37 years. Ronan also worked as a consultant during his teaching career.

“You try to encourage them to have a bigger attitude towards things,” Ronan said of his time as a consultant. “The first thing you need to do is listen. It’s very important.”

Ronan, who was never married, was a greedy reader, a perpetual student, and if he was interested in Southern California, he never got a driver’s license or drove a car.

According to those who knew him, he had a strong sense of responsibility for the environment. Ronan refused to drink from plastic bottles and did not use tape to wrap gifts.

In 1966, Ronan received a master’s degree in counseling and guidance from the University of Southern California.

Ronan retired from Torrance High in 1992. But he was unhappy: As Torrance Mayor Pat Fury explained, Ronan itched to serve when he retired and couldn’t satisfy him.

So, in the early 2000s, Ronan joined the Torrance Historical Society, where he led a veterans ’memorial project called“ Names on the Wall ”. Ronan’s idea was to document the names and lives of local veterans who died during military service.

The result of his efforts, a black-and-white monument covered with 146 names can be seen outside the city hall, on Maple Avenue and Torrance Boulevard.

Jerry Ronan, A Former Torrance High Teacher And Active Community Member, Has Died At The Age Of 95
Ronan taught at Torrance High for 37 years. He has also worked as a consultant throughout his teaching career. (Photo taken from the Ronan family).

Ronan also served two years as president of the Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation, more than 15 years at the Torrance Theater Company, and two years as treasurer of the downtown Torrance Association.

For many years, Ronan Torrance served on the selection committee for students and government day – a program that allows local eighth graders with an interest in local government to cast a shadow over an elected official for a day.

Every year, Ronan reads thousands of application essays from children around Torrance who want to participate.

“Mr. Ronan was the epitome of Torrance,” Fury said. Jerry was a Renaissance man, he misses her, but he will never forget. “

On Tuesday, Dec. 7, two days before his death, Ronan was awarded the prestigious Jared Sidney Torrance Award by Fury and the Torrance City Council for his sustainable and lifelong commitment to the community.

“His friends, neighbors, and the city of Torrens were part of his family,” Eggleston wrote. “You were precious in his heart and he valued every day he shared with you. On behalf of the Ronan family, we thank you for all the work you have done for her and the love and support you have shown. Uncle Jerry is a truly irreplaceable person and everyone who knows him will miss him. ”

Ronan’s sister, Helen Pike of Janesville, Wisconsin, remained; nephews Timothy Pike, Tyrone Pike and Thomas Ronan and nephew Kaye Ronan Williams; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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