Native American Indian Commission

Ronald Philip Andrade

December 13, 2016

Ronald Philip Andrade
May 14, 1947 – December 9, 2016

Ronald Philip Andrade was born on May 14, 1947 and began his Great Journey on December 9, 2016. Ronald, more affectionately known as “Ron” was first and foremost a dedicated father to his children, a politician, a philanthropist, and an American Indian activist. He was a member of the La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians, where he also served as a member of the tribal council.

After graduating from Hueneme High School in 1965, Ron joined and served in the United States Marine Corps from 1965 to 1970 and further continued to serve as active duty for the reserves. After his service, Ron dedicated his entire working career to the advancement of American Indians across the country. In 1972, he, along with his older brother Daniel Andrade, started the San Diego Indian Center and began their own consulting firm in 1975. Between 1977 and 1978, Ron served as the Executive Director of the San Francisco Indian Center. Between 1980 and 1983, Ron served as the Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians. There, he worked with a variety of tribes including but not limited to the Lumbee Indians of North Carolina where he acted as a consultant to the tribal government as well as serving as a guest judge for their annual pageant. For a year, in 1984, Ron served as Staff Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs of the California Indian Task Force at the Department of the Interior. From 1986 to 1987, he was an American Indian Affairs Specialist of the Equal Opportunity Office in the Department of Agriculture. In May 1988, Ron was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as a member of the National Advisory Council on Indian Education.

After these prestigious positions and appointments, Ron returned to California to begin and finish his career as the Executive Assistant of the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission, where he served for twenty years. There, he helped bring millions of dollars of needed resources into the Los Angeles American Indian community, served as a policy watchdog on issues ranging from Indian child welfare to sacred sites protection issues, and was a passionate and unwavering advocate for the community throughout the state and country.

Ron’s work has spanned decades and has had profound effect on the people he served.

Ron is preceded in death by his daughter Nancy Andrea Cherie Andrade, his father Louis Andrade, his mother Annie Andrade, and his brothers Ernest Andrade and Daniel Andrade. He is survived by his children: Ronda Thomas, Adrian Lowry, Gavin Lowry, Elizabeth Lowry, Stephanie Andrade, Emma Andrade, and Ronald Phillip Andrade, Jr “Paach,” as well as his brother Arthur Andrade, his sisters Rachel Yakel and Louise Andrade, and his grandchildren: Ryan Thomas, Tyler Thomas, Tory Thomas, Riley Thomas, Jolen Lowry, Jocelen Lowry, Julia Lowry, and Haylee Lowry, as well as a host of family, friends and relatives.

Visitation for Ron will be held at Garcia Mortuary, 629 South A St., Oxnard, CA 93030, on Friday, December 16, 2016 from 4 pm to 10 pm. Visitation will be followed by a traditional Native American burial ceremony will begin at sundown and continue until sunrise on Saturday morning.


Last modified: December 13, 2016

7 Responses to " Ronald Philip Andrade "

  1. Ramon Enriquez says:

    Blessing for your journey Ron. You were a warrior for our community and a good friend.

  2. Dennis A. Tafoya says:

    I had the honor for many years to work with Ron helping American Indian families in Los Angeles. I was Chair of the County/city Native American Indian Commision preceding Ron’s assumption to the position of Executive Director. In this capacity I had the honor to work with Ron in transitioning the Commission to new leadership with Ron. I will always remember Ron as being passionate and steady in championing the rights and needs of Indian people in Los Angeles County and the nation. More importantly, his parents and mine were life long friends promoting Indian culture and the betterment of Indian people in Southern California. Ron is is with all our family members who have passed and has join our Creator in watching over all of us. Ron I am honored to have called you my friend and thank you for your years of contributions to our Indian community. Rest in peace my brother. Ahoy!

    Dennis A. Tafoya

  3. Delight Satter says:

    My thoughts and prayers to Ron’s family.

    I too had the good fortune of knowing Ron. He reached out to me when I moved to LA and started my research career at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. He supported my work with urban and California Indians as well as national issues. He was always there to help navigate historical relationships between states, federal agencies, tribes, and native movements to help put my work in context. He supported an entire generation of native professionals in the 90s in Los Angeles, connecting us to each other and encouraging us in our work and public service. We are all still colleagues, dispersed across the U.S., and supporting each other. He encouraged my transition to federal government where I could support natives and change systems. It was always comforting to know he was there for advice and support. His constant presence at community meetings and local government meetings, and university and social events was how he kept up with us and he always had a funny story or two. He used that tradition of stories to prepare me for the sometimes wild life in policy. He combined a professional career and traditional elder role to help us prepare for the future. I have always appreciated that about Ron, and try to do the same for the next generations.

  4. Pamela DeRensis says:

    I will truly miss my friend Ron. I had the pleasure of meeting him in Washington D.C., and remaining friends for over thirty years.

    Rest now friend, you’re on a new wonderful journey.

  5. Billy Mills says:

    Rest in peace , Ron. You are fondly remembered by Indian Country . Thank you for your service . Pat and Billy Mills

  6. Frances Snyder says:

    Ron was my first boss in Indian Country when I worked for the American Indian Center in San Francisco. He was such a kind and generous person. I’m sorry to hear of his passing. My condolences to his family.