October 17, 1926 ~ November 22, 2004
Littlefair, Ronald Thomas Loomis
Born: Brooklyn, New York, October 17, 1926
Died: Torrance, California, November 22, 2004
Ronald Thomas Loomis Littlefair was born to Grace and James Littlefair on October 17, 1926. James was President of Dunhill USA and the family resided on Long Island until their fortunes turned with the onset of The Great Depression. Ron and his younger sister, Joan, spent several years under the care of his second cousin, Miriam Todd, on the family farm in Parsippany, New Jersey.
Ron graduated from Procter High School in New York, New York in 1943 at the age of 16 and entered Syracuse University. Seeking the permission of his mother, Ron longed for the chance to enter WWII for the opportunity to become a naval fighter pilot in the V-4 program. However, once on active duty, the Navy V-4 Program was full, and Ron served on the heavy cruiser New Orleans for the remainder of the war.
Ron re-enrolled at Syracuse University in 1945 as a junior, graduating in 1947 with a B.A. in Political Science. Ron returned to New York City and joined F and J Meyer, Exporters.
On the day it was announced that the United States was to enter the Korean War, Ron immediately enlisted in the Air Force to become a fighter pilot. Ron entered flight training in the Class of 52-Baker at Luke AFB and was stationed in Seoul, Korea. He was assigned to the 49th tactical reconnaissance squadron and flew over 100 missions in P-51 Mustangs over North Korea. During his Korean tour, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal(s) for his excellence and courage.
Ron returned home while in the Air Force, began flying helicopters, eventually being assigned to Selfridge, Air Force Base in Michigan, where he met Marion Gressitt in 1954. The couple was married in Detroit, Michigan on March 19, 1955.
In 1957, Ron left active service with the rank of Captain and founded Helicopter Airways Service with support from Warren Avis and Benson Ford. Ron and Marion ran the upstart helicopter service until the realities of commercial helicopter service became apparent.
In 1958, Ron joined New England Life Insurance Company and began his career in the insurance business, subsequently working for Colonial Life, and Chubb and Sons. 1958 also brought Ron and Marion their first son, Thomas, who was born on April 2, 1958. The young family lived in suburban Detroit as Marion was a school teacher. In December 1960, Andrew, their second son was born.
In 1964, Ron and family moved to California as he was given the chance to be Superintendent of Colonial Life's Los Angeles Office. The family settled in Torrance, California.
In 1964, Ron's interest in youth sports began with managing his son's baseball teams at Riviera Little League. In 1964, Ron was approached to join a ''new'' soccer organization (AYSO) and help organize in the South Bay Area. Ron became the first Commissioner when AYSO had only seven teams. In 1966-67 Ron also assumed the role of Vice President of Growth and Development, traveling throughout California and the Southwestern states, promoting AYSO and their motto, ''Everyone Plays''. Ron ''retired'' from AYSO in 1975 after it had grown to over 24,000 teams.
Ron's professional career continued as his insurance business focused on employee benefits. Ron joined Cal-Surance in 1969. Ron and John Keenan met while at Cal-Surance and formed Keenan and Associates in 1972. Ron was one of the original shareholders and Vice President until he retired in 1981. Today, Keenan and Associates is one of the largest privately held insurance agencies in the United States.
Ron had long-standing involvement in many Torrance civic functions: People for Parks, Madronna Marsh; President of Older American Resources, Campaign Chairman for former Mayor Katy Geissert, Mayor Jim Armstrong, Don Lee, Heidi Ashcroft, Gary Kurahara and others. Ron served as Chairman of the City of Torrance's Blue Ribbon Commission for the City Charter. An avid cook and horticulturist, Ron was the Founder of Torrance's Farmers Market, which has grown to be among the largest of its kind in California.
Ron died of natural causes after a year of declining health. He is survived by Marion, his wife of 49 years; his two sons, Thomas and Andrew; four grandchildren; and his sister, Joan.
In Lieu of Flowers donations may be made the Ronald Littlefair Scholarship Fund C/O South High School, 4801 PCH, Torrance, CA 90505.
Funeral Services will be held Friday, November 26 at 11:00 AM at Riviera United Methodist Church, 375 Palos Verdes Blvd. in Redondo Beach. Burial will follow with procession to Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes.
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