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Ron Glass

Wooten Board Chair Emeritus

Ron Glass laughed hard and made us smile

Ron Glass first came to the Wooten Center in 1992 and never left. He's been a member of our board of directors since that year, serving as chairperson for 12 years from 1993 to 2005. Ron, an actor best known for his role as the dapper detective in Barney Miller and the mysterious spiritual guide in Firefly, passed away on Fri, Nov 25, 2016 from respiratory failure. He was 71. 

Ron's friend Ira Pelofsky introduced Ron to the center when both were seeking ways to make a difference after the civil unrest in 1992. At his first visit, Ron was impressed by the talents of a student performing modern dance. Our founder Myrtle Faye Rumph with her soft and determined demeanor also had an impact on Ron.

The result was 24 years of service helping the center purchase our current buildings, helping found our annual dinner and golf tournament fundraisers, commissioning his good friend Synthia Saint James to create an "Envision" painting now featured in our logo and Vision Awards trophy, serving as the catalyst for more college-prep program continued today via our SAT-prep classes.


Ron served as emcee at numerous Wooten events. His last time volunteering with the kids was in an activity called Storybook Theater. Ron read a story from Aesop's Fables while the kids acted it out (see pic). He had a hearty laugh that could leave you in stitches! If you've ever called his home and gotten his voicemail you've been fooled once or twice thinking it was him answering the phone with his contagious laughter. 


With all the good times this is a very sad time for us as Ron has been a big part of our development for so long. Many of our friends, including David and Elizabeth McFadzean of Wind Dancer Films, producer of The Cosby Show, are long-time donors referred by Ron. He and other dedicated board members like him are large reasons why the Wooten Center continues till today.


We're told that Ron was very proud of his work at the center and that he wanted it known that it was an important part of his mission in life. We are saddened and glad to share this with you. Ron was a very caring and happy soul. He brought a lot of passion, energy, excellence and fun to the table. We miss him greatly and thank God for our time together.



Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us to honor Ron. We are very touched by all the love for our friend. No surprises since he was a great guy. Thank you for the tweets and retweets and Facebook postings and shares. Thanks to people from Australia to Ireland, London and Paris.


Thank you to Ron's family members on the East Coast and in Los Angeles for reaching out and sharing Ron's love and positive words about our founder and center through the years.


Thank you to Ron's long-time friend Darrel Wright who was with him when he passed. Darrel relayed the message of Ron's last wish for support for the Wooten Center and has been working to make it happen.


Thank you Joss Whedon for your $10,000 gift and for encouraging your friends to share with us as well. Thank you Browncoats California, Fandom Charities and the University of Evansville and all others for your pledges for 2017.


We appreciate everyone and everything.


Remembering our friend....


Ron's IMBd bio


Wooten memorial program book


Hollywood Reporter article on Ron's work at the Wooten Center

How to Contribute


We are very grateful that those closest to Ron are directing people to our youth center to donate in his honor.


Fundraising is indeed ongoing and demanding. Very grateful for everyone helping make it happen.

Click here to donate online via PayPal or by mail.


Click on Programs above for more information about our afterschool and summer programs in Los Angeles.


Visit the following pages for photos and other updates:


Thank you to everyone.

Our best to you always.


Naomi McSwain

Executive Director

(323) 756-7203

Click here to email me and

join our mailing list, if you'd like.

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