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Tallahassee Artist And Art Educator Ron Yrabedra Dead At 78

Ron Yrabedra
Ron Yrabedra

Well-known Tallahassee artist Ron Yrabedra has died at the age of 78. Among his many friends was former Tallahassee Democrat writer Mark Hinson. He remembered the hilarity that ensured at Yrabedra's last birthday bash before COVID struck.

"When he turned 76, he wanted to have 76 trombones from 'The Music Man' played on his birthday. He got permission from the City, closed the street down and had his own marching band. Had FSU and FAMU students, citizens, everybody playing everything from kazoos to trombones and marched downt the street. It was like Mardi Gras, a party, just festive as all get out and Ron was right in the middle of it."

Yrabedra studied art at both the University of Alabama and Florida State University and went on to teach at Florida A&M where he retired as a professor emeritus. Hinson said his colorful post-modern paintings, as well as his effervescent personality, attracted an enthusiastic following.

"He was one of the first artists to have a studio down in the Railroad Square Art Park. And every Friday night he would hold court and everybody and anybody would stop by."

Hinson recaled Yrabedra as a true bastion of the area's arts culture and a truly delightful character.

"Just a good bloke! He was funny, he was talented, he was smart and knew art history like the back of his hand. I was so glad to be one of his friends."

Hinson said Yrabedra's health had deteriorated in the course of the past several months. Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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