• Ronald Jamison
  • 77 years old
  • Lived in East Oak Lane
  • Christmas parties and his large family were favorite things

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You know the kind of man who loves to host neighborhood Christmas parties but is never the center of attention, the one who likes to step back and watch others enjoy?

You know the man who serves his country in the military, then lands a good job with a big company for a long career?

You know the man who wants to debate sports and art and politics, but always leaves you smiling and ready for more?

Such a man was Ronald Jamison. The South Philadelphia High School graduate was also a paramedic in the Air Force, an avid reader of science and military books, and a fan of — the Dallas Cowboys.

“I don’t know how that happened,” Derek Jamison, the younger of Mr. Jamison’s sons, said with a laugh. “He said he had a favorite player on the team way back, but I don’t know who it was.”

Mr. Jamison always said he had wanted to be a doctor.

Doesn’t matter. Mr. Jamison was Philly through and through. He was born in South Philly after his parents moved from Delaware County, and he later lived in Mount Airy and West Oak Lane. He worked at Sun Oil Co. as a systems analyst for 35 years and tuned in whenever jazz was played, especially Miles Davis.

When Derek’s brother, Ronald Jr., wanted to talk sports, Mr. Jamison was quick to engage in a spirited and friendly exchange.

Mr. Jamison, 77, died Saturday, April 18, at Chestnut Hill Hospital. Having lived with diabetes for a number of years, Mr. Jamison had stayed in a nursing home previously. When he developed pneumonia in March and then contracted the coronavirus, he went to the hospital.

As Mr. Jamison was one of seven children, it’s no wonder, Derek said, that he loved to throw big parties.

“He really enjoyed opening up his home to people," Derek said. “He would set the stage and then watch things swirling around him.”

In addition to his sons, Mr. Jamison is survived by his wife, Jacqueline; former wife, Bonnie; five brothers; a sister; a granddaughter; and many nieces and nephews.

Services are to be later.

— Gary Miles