Ronald lived a life influenced by four distinct lands, having been born in Balham, England on May 25 th , 1965 to Marjorie Hinds (Blackman) of Trinidad and Tobago, and Ricardo Blackman of Barbados. At two years old, Ronald migrated to the beautiful twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago to live with his grandparents, Philip and Thelma Hinds, and there developed a close relationship with his aunt, Esmee, along his cousin, Edwin, who was also residing there at the time.
Once he became of school age, he attended the Barataria Boys’ Roman Catholic School,
which was literally a stone’s throw away from his grandparents’ Barataria home; and after successfully passing the national Common Entrance exam, Ronald went on to attend the San Juan Government Secondary School, where he excelled academically.
After completing his secondary school education, in August 1983, Ronald began new and exciting chapter in his life, migrating to the United States at the age of 18 to be reunited with his mother, Marjorie who had moved from England to pursue her nursing career in New York City. Always well spoken, it was no surprise that he would eventually be enrolled into the New York Institute of Technology where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in English; and while attending college, he was proudly initiated into Iota Phi Theta Fraternity. On April 21 st , 1985, six brothers, including Ronald, crossed the “burning sands” to become members of this great fraternal brotherhood – one in which he held multiple leadership positions, both while as a student and as a professional.
Upon completion of his Bachelor’s degree, Ronald’s career included the co-ownership of a DJ company known as Jam Mix Productions. He also worked for several years as
telecommunication giant, Verizon, as a Customer Service Representative and enjoyed what he did. While residing in New York, Ronald reconnected with his childhood friend Natasha Simon, who originally lived around the corner from the Hinds home in Barataria. The two eventually began dating and their liking for each other blossomed into love, and on September 27 th , 1997, they were married. Four years later, in July of 2001, the Natasha and Ronald relocated to Maryland where their son, Nakeem, was born as a Valentine’s Day gift on February 14 th 2006.
Two years onward, the family headed southward towards the warmer climate of Florida,
settling down in Orland in 2008. As the years passed, both Ronald and Nakeem grew closer, enjoying each other’s company and shared a common love for history and karate, which they talked about frequently.
Extremely intelligent and articulate, Ronald was a man of diverse tastes and passions. He was a lover of music, especially classical, calypso and soca – and was particularly fond of “Woman On The Bass” by Scrunter. Having grown up in Trinidad and Tobago, and especially growing up in the Hinds household, it’s not surprising that he too followed in the tradition of playing steelpan with Starlift Steel Orchestra, having competed with the steelband for Panorama in the late 1970s. As a youth, Ronald enjoyed playing cricket and football. Was he any good at them? Well,
the debate is still out…but one thing is for sure – he definitely enjoyed playing them; and as he got older, he continued to watch games whenever he could. He also enjoyed dominoes with friends; and one day, was introduced to the game of paintball, immediately falling in love with the excitement of action-packed shootouts with friends and strangers at the range. If you’ve ever gotten shot with a paintball, you’d immediately realise how much Ronald HAD TO love the pastime to keep playing. Trust me, it’s NOT for everyone. Ronald was also a big fan of sci-fi shows and movies, and in fact, was an avid Trekkie…a follower of the Star Trek series, and was actually a member of a Star Trek Fan Club, attending numerous conventions and meetings on the series, and had a significant influence on his younger cousin, Stefan’s love for the series and genre.
One of Stefan’s most cherished memories of Ronald was being picked up and carried back home by him through the pouring rain of a New York thunderstorm in 1983 after they both went to the movies to watch Star Wars Return of the Jedi.
Yes, Ronald was a lover of many things…and one of them was his belly – although you’d never have guessed it looking at his wiry frame in his childhood photos. He could often be seen “destroying” some doubles, aloo pies and many other Trinbagonian delicacies. He always enjoyed a good Sunday meal, and regularly wolfed down Natasha’s happily prepared combination of macaroni pie, callaloo, white or saffron rice, stewed chicken, red beans, potato salad and sweet plantains. His favourite drink was Pepsi, but he didn’t mind a good, cold Carib Beer or a Sorrel or Ginger Shandy. After a meal, you’d often hear Ronald express his pleasure in his best Trini voice:“Oh darlin’, yuh eh bet yuh outdid yuhself again!” along with another of his
popular phrases: “Food supposed to soothe the palette, not grab the throat.”
Although ill, Ronald continued to express his love and appreciation for the support shown by Natasha and Nakeem, his mother Marjorie and his aunt, Esmee.
While his life was shaped by four countries: England, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and the United States, Ronald loved the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago, and hoped to have returned to the place he truly called home one day. He precedes his mother, Marjorie and father, Ricardo, and leaves behind his lifelong supporter, friend and confidante, Natasha; his sons, William Lysaght (in Colorado) and Nakeem Blackman, along with many aunts, uncles, cousins, relatives, fraternity brothers and friends.
While he is gone in body, rest assured that Ronald Blackman is still with each and every one us, living on in our hearts and minds. Those we truly love never leave us. His legacy lives on in his sons and although he called Trinidad and Tobago his home, I believe that today he is resting in the eternal paradise that is indeed his true home above all homes…heaven.
I also believe that if Ronald could speak to us right now, he’d say it’s okay to cry…it’s okay to be sad. But also, remember this: Grief never ends. But it changes. It is a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith. It is the price of love.
Visitation will be today July 9. 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM (ET) at DeGusipe Funeral Home & Crematory. 9001 N. Orlando Avenue. Maitland, FL 32751
Service will be today July 9. 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM (ET) at DeGusipe Funeral Home & Crematory. 9001 N. Orlando Avenue. Maitland, FL 32751