Lifer Laid To Rest After Long Journey

Ron Taylor, 63, dies of cancer 

Editor’s Note: Ronald Evans Taylor, a well-known former San Quentin prisoner, died in Vacaville of liver cancer in February. Before his death, as part of a journalism class last summer, Taylor wrote his own obituary, which is excerpted here.

Noted three-card Monte artist Ronald Evans Taylor landed in his final resting place.

Ronald Taylor, also known as “Raw Ron” in his hustling days, is also well known as the founder of the New Leaf on Life Group of San Quentin. New Leaf on Life is the self-help group in San Quentin, exclusively for life-term prisoners.

Ronald Taylor’s outside sponsor, Dr. Elaine Leeder, dean of Social Sciences at Sonoma State University, said, “Ron was a truly gifted man, in so many ways. He will be missed immensely.” Dr. Leeder added, “He was a character – he kept our group New Leaf on Life going for many years and I will miss him indeed.”

Taylor was born on June 30, 1952, in Minden, Louisiana. At age five, he moved to Los Angeles with his mother and father, Atkins Taylor.

Soon after their arrival, his mother moved to Richmond, and Ronald grew up in Northern and Southern California alternatively, between his mother’s and father’s houses.

Ronald was a 50- and 100-dash track star at the age of 12 at Edison Junior High School in Los Angeles. He went on to play football at Jefferson and Los Angeles High Schools.

Ronald’s demise was in answer to his nightly prayers that God would painlessly let him just go in his sleep.

Taylor was well known for saying that he would prefer not to wake up at all, than to wake up the rest of his life in prison.

His survivors include his mother, four daughters, and a son.

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