Obituary of Ronald Burton Cytron
After leading a life filled with love and laughter, Ron Cytron died peacefully in his sleep at home in San Diego, at the age of 89. Phyllis, his wife of 64 years, was at his side. Ron’s friends and family feel so fortunate to have had him in their lives.
Ron’s sense of humor, playfulness, and kind attention toward others permeated his approach to people. Going to the grocery store or the bank with him was a rich journey, as he stopped to converse and share meaningful conversation with the many people with whom he had developed connections over many years. He filled his home with love, laughter and playfulness, and he always made time to share these with his wife and each of his daughters. Ron’s overflowing warmth was a living example for his children of how people should treat one another, and set a high bar for their partners.
Born in Long Beach, Ron was the only child of Irvin and Jeanne. In his youth, he spent many hours at the ocean, swimming and body surfing, and going to Saturday matinees with friends.
After high school, he enrolled at Cal, where he joined the Pi Lambda Phi fraternity and had a grand time exploring Berkeley and San Francisco with his friends. He then went on to study at UCLA and earned a Bachelor’s degree in business at Woodbury University. He began his professional career at Catalina Swimwear creating fashion products. And, after 10 years, he proudly struck out on his own to set up an independent business in fabric sales in the LA area.
A life-long learner, Ron relished studying a wide variety of topics ranging from music to current events and financial markets, from art to architecture and the major world religions. After he retired, he took courses on the great composers in which his appreciation for Beethoven, the Beatles, and musical theater blossomed. He was especially taken by the musical “Cabaret” because of its many historical, political and life themes. In spite of being in multiple classes every week, Ron read the LA Times daily from cover to cover, and regularly attended movies, plays and concerts (including at the Hollywood Bowl, where he volunteered as an usher). He also volunteered as a docent at the Griffith Park Zoo, entertaining others with interesting facts he had learned, especially about giraffes. Ron was an avid reader, but his learning was experiential as well. Later in his life, Ron explored other cultures and locales, often with family, traveling from Orcas Island to New York City, from Boston to Portland to Hawaii, as well as to Canada, Mexico, Europe, Costa Rica, Singapore and Bali.
Ron relished the opportunity to share a meal with friends and family, savoring the food and the conversation. The company was more important than the settings, which often included local Chinese restaurants, fine dining establishments and even Costco “tasties,” as he called the food samples. Ron loved following basketball and football, both professional and college teams, and sports were an enthusiastic topic of conversation with family and friends. For Ron, as a native Angeleno, it was a major shift to recently admit that Steph Curry and Kevin Durant had finally reached the level of Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
This flexibility reflected Ron’s philosophy that an open mind lays the groundwork for a positive outlook and life experience. Even at the end of his life he was open to changing his perspective. His openness to hospice was not a giving up, but rather a willingness to look life in the eye and embrace what was helpful. He did this with characteristic grace, humor, gratitude and kindness.
Ron is survived by his beloved wife, Phyllis, his deeply treasured daughters, Kathy Cytron (Shmuel Thaler) of Santa Cruz, Lisa Cytron (Judy Hogan) of San Francisco, and Pamela Hendricks (Nelson Hendricks) of San Diego and his cherished granddaughters, Kayla, Hannah, Sophie, and Lucy.
A private burial and shiva will be held in Santa Cruz.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Temple Beth El’s Senior Connections Program.