Ron Deaton Passes Away at 77

Influential City leader was GM at DWP, CLA.

Ron Deaton, as pictured in the December 2004 issue of Alive!

Ron Deaton, longtime General Manager and adviser to mayors and the City Council, passed away Aug. 4 at his home in Ensenada, Mexico, after a long illness, according to his son, David. LAPD’s Civic Auditorium, part of the department’s new headquarters, was named for him.

Ron served the City for more than 40 years, starting and ending at the DWP, and a long stint as the City’s Chief Legislative Analyst, when he advised and influenced mayors and members of the City Council. He played a major role in issues including the LAPD, Staples Center, the possible San Fernando Valley secession, the seismic retrofit of LA’s iconic City Hall, and many ballot measures involving Library, Rec and Parks, Animal Services, the Zoo, and others.

Ron was born and raised in Long Beach. He began his City career with the DWP in 1965 and retired as DWP General Manager in 2007.

Ron Deaton speaks at a dedication for a new park at the LA Zoo, from the April 2005 issue of Alive!issue of Alive!

“Ron Deaton began and ended his storied career in public service right here at #LADWP,” the DWP wrote in a Tweet. “We are proud and honored to have been able to call him our leader, mentor and our friend. Our gratitude and condolences go out to Ellery and his entire family.”

He is survived by his wife, Ellery; his brother, Gary Deaton, and his wife Joy; his children David Deaton, Daniel Deaton, Deidre Davis and Dara Loftis, as well as their spouses, and 12 grandchildren.