Hundreds of customers and friends of Jamaica-born barber Ronald Ashford Wisdom who died on November 25 last, showed up at his funeral service on Saturday at the Salvation Army Yorkminister Citadel in Toronto.
Many at the service described Wisdom, popularly known as Jimmy, as ” a community stalwart.”
He was also described as being “fiercely loyal to family” by his son, Ronald Jr. in an eulogy.
“My father would support any positive endeavours that my brothers and sisters decided to pursue.”
He recalled that his father who sang and played the keyboards, had “a passion for music'” and played on shows with ” legends such as Bob Marley.’
Ronald Jr. said his father went on to incorporate ” his discipline and attention to detail from his music career to his barbering career. ”
At the service, a touching rendition of His Eye is on the Sparrow was sung by the late barber’s granddaughter, Renee.
Wisdom who came to Canada in 1968, opened his first barbershop on Eglinton Avenue West in 1974 and moved to another building on the same street in 1980 where he later established a hair dressing salon.
Valarie Steeles, a former president of the Jamaican Canadian Association, who attended the funeral, noted that the 72-year old barber served “fathers and sons” for several generations .
“Fathers would bring their sons to Wisdom’s Barbershop and their sons wouild bring their sons and so on . So the barbershop was a place where they would feel as if they were at home.,” she told the Caribbean Camera.
Wisdom leaves his wife, Merva, five children, Ninfa, Ronald Jr.,Ian, James and Nadine, nine grandchildren and one great-grandson.
Interment was at Highland Memory Gardens in Toronto.