Cover photo for Ronald Larrieu, Sr.'s Obituary
Ronald Larrieu, Sr. Profile Photo

Ronald Larrieu, Sr.

November 9, 1937 — August 16, 2023

Jefferson City, TN

Ronald Larrieu, Sr.

Ronald Larrieu

“The Self Made Man”

Ronald Larrieu Sr. entered our world November 9, 1937, in Chicago IL, to the union of Fernand Anselmo and Esther Boutté Larrieu, who both preceded him in death. He departed this life on August 16, 2023.  Affectionately, known as Ronnie, he was the fifth child born of this union. Ronnie and his siblings, Warren, Antonia, Donald and Stanley lovingly experienced brotherhood with their parents’ and extended parents’ children, Balifimu (Paul), John, Fernand Jr., Baba Tyehimba (Russell) and Nathaniel. John and Tyehimba are Ronnie’s only two surviving siblings.

Ronnie wed his God sent wife, Joycelin Walker, on July 12, 1958, who preceded him in death. He leaves behind his devoted four children, Teronia, Donna, Eva, and Ronald Jr.; his exceptional eleven grandchildren, Amber, Benjamin, Brittny, Marsella, Briana, Olivia, Lauren, Daniel, Tatiana, Jhazaria and Roy; and his outstanding six great-grandchildren, Jamya, Jesiah, Cloé, Bella, Khaliah, and Radiance to cherish his memory.

Ronnie and his siblings’ life fortune was being raised in a large extended family that possessed a guiding nucleus of elders strengthened by independence and woven together by interdependence. Family holidays and outdoor family events filled with food, fun, and music were the greatest joys and simple childhood treasures Ronnie held so dear. Ron’s philosophy on life was rooted in the meager beginnings of a dresser drawer for a bassinet. His parents migrated to Chicago from New Orleans to make a better life for their young family. As young boys, Ron and his brothers wonderfully played army men and nibbled on bread balls of ammunition from their pockets. As a young, devoted husband, Ronnie strived to provide his family with the absolute best hard work could afford and was committed to maintaining his wife and children. Like Lake Pontchartrain, Ronnie extended himself, and kept working hard for his wife and children pushing onward to new heights and new beginnings. Like the New Orleans Causeway Bridge over that vast waterway, Ron Larrieu pushed himself, his children, and anyone found under his wing, to excel in school, sports, arts, education, business, wealth, and health.  Ron Larrieu “The Self Made-Man” gave himself to countless family and friends, planting the seeds of opportunity and the notion of “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.”

Ron contributes his success to a stern mother, who schooled him to “Take Can’t, Out of Your Vocabulary” and high school coaches who believed in him and taught him how to win. Raised a Catholic, Ron grew into a man of strong convictions. Possessing the spirit of a Gulf Stream Hurricane, Ronald forged the philosophy of excellence, self-reliance and fortitude of heart that exceeded beyond measure. He rose to his heights on the footprint of the standard buck, carrying the persona of a businessman, making him the right fit into Chicago’s City Hall’s Black businessmen scene, and a pioneer exemplar for America’s rising Black entrepreneurs. Ron, “The Self Made Man” valued family traditions and a prideful life. As one of Chicago’s leading minority businessmen, he took pride in setting a high work ethic and conquering spirit hurdling life’s obstacle course. He believed in upward mobility and lived within the clouds of possibilities found in the impossible.  Often Ron would gather his children and grandchildren in the kitchen and drill them on the old teachings from his childhood. His sermon rang with sayings like, “the early bird catches the worm, you got to always be a step ahead, you must follow through and keep your eye on the ball, you can’t just finish the race, you got to push harder than the guy next to you, it is mind over matter.” His most profound words were, “see, there is only one first place winner, and you must ask yourself, ‘what must I do to be the NUMBER ONE WINNER’ ”. Then he would finish his story of how African American’s always had to do more and be better than the next and that meant arriving early to the job and finishing late, going the extra mile. That is the standard he lived, breathed, and preached. His advice to you would be not to worry about where you started and when you end. He would tell you to focus on the DASH and not to look back.

Ron Larrieu “The Self Made Man”

D -- A – S -- H

1952 --- IL. State 1st Place Tennis

1952 --- WINNER Tri City Tennis Meet Chicago – Cleveland – Detroit

1953 --- Sprint Melody Relay South Central 10th Annual Section Relay 1st Place

U of C March 5, 1955 --- 880 yr. Relay 1st Place Chicago Public Schools Indoor Track & Field Championship

---- Low hurdle, High Jump, Pole Vault, 60 yard, 180 yard, 100 yard Dash, Tennis, Track & Field


---An All American Athlete---

Countless trophies and ribbons filled our childhood memories, in a little wooden box full of victory ribbons of every color painting our childhood days with a rainbow of I CAN --- I THINK THEREFORE I AM


1965 --- Co Founded Larrieu Bros. Decorating Service INC. at 28 years old “with a drop cloth, a ladder, a paint brush and several gallons of ambition” stated Black Enterprise (1975)

1973 --- The Breadbasket Commercial Association presents Ronald Larrieu Affirmative Action

Merit Award in the Construction Industry

1975 --- Issue of Black Enterprise Magazine states the following:

“The company’s annual volume ….approaches $1 Million”

“We worry about day to day details but ….we look a year or two ahead, said Ron”

“It took plenty 15 hour days to get to where we are today, added Don”

“Noah Robinson said “Larrieu Brothers Know … long term planning … analyze

markets … how to perform all functions that make a difference in business”

“a series of major contracts, Chicago’s Federal Office Building, the refurbishing of school rooms for Chicago Board of Education and the decoration of CHA new high rise public housing units, a giant coal-handling crane for Commonwealth Edison Company,

Chicago Transit Authority elevated train structure…”

“Painting the “el” called for painters to balance on planks supported by cables stretched above the street traffic and below the roaring elevated trains”

---- Southern Christian Leadership Conference Certificate of Merit “It is Hereby Certified with deep appreciation that Larrieu Bros. Decorating Service is an Honorary Member in Good Standing”

1976 --- Issue of Black Enterprise, states the following:

“Enterprising Trio…. Have been slapping pigment on walls for 13 years”

“The early going was rough, but the Larrieu’s sustained on a modicum of residential painting”

“A paint store was added in 1971… the store grossed 80 thousand last year”

“Virtuoso brush handlers the Larrieu’s are obviously adept at their trade”

---He retired as an incident commander for CTA & the owner of over 40 apartment units Ron was a trailblazing pioneer within the African American community of businessmen and real estate.

Larrieu Bros. not only impacted the trajectory of African American economic growth; Ron, “The Self Made Man, solidified a seat at the table of great businessmen on the south side of Chicago. Ron spent his final years cozy on top of JAY BIRD HILL nestled in the memories of his precious wife, a native to the old traditions of Mossy Creek.

Graveside service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 22, 2023 at Jefferson Memorial Gardens with Rev. Nathaniel Wilson and Elder Armando Palmore officiating. Music by the Martha Davis choir.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ronald Larrieu, Sr., please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Graveside Service

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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