By Hazel Durand – After suffering for some time with heart problems, well known businessman Ronald Leon ‘Ronnie’ Johnson succumbed to a heart attack Sunday evening. He was 76 years old, just shy of his 77th birthday, which would have been celebrated this May 27.
The news of his passing has sent shock waves throughout the community. He had much administration from the local community and many throughout the Dutch Caribbean. Mr. Johnson was the pioneer of Big Rock Engineering (distributor of gasoline, sand, gravel and cement); Big Rock Market and The Cottage Club Hotel.
Big Rock Market was one of the first supermarkets to be established on Saba. Mr. Johnson remained active in his supermarket until his death. He could be seen daily casually interacting with customers and even assisting them with packing their groceries in grocery bags.
Apart from his admired business suave he was known for playing the cuatro in the popular local string band called “The Occasionals,” which has entertained Dutch royals on their visits to the island over the years. Mr. Johnson through his businesses was one of the major contributors to the island’s annual Summer Festival.
He leaves to mourn his wife Lucille Theresa Johnson and three children: Gary Ronald, Dane Michael and Mark Lester.