Richard Jonas

  • Born: October 17, 1954
  • Died: January 24, 2021
  • Location: New York, New York

Crestwood Funeral Home & Cremation Services - Midtown

445 W. 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036

Tel. (212)245-7575

Tribute & Message From The Family

Richard R. Jonas, 67, passed away peacefully in New York City on January 24, 2021 following complications from bladder cancer.

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Richard was a 1972 graduate of Whitehall Yearling High School. He graduated from The Ohio State University where he majored in journalism and obtained the coveted role of editor of the university's Ohio State Lantern.

He was a gifted writer and had a long career in journalism and advertising. In Ohio, he worked in advertising for Gold Circle Stores and was a reporter for several local magazines and newspapers. He finished his career in Columbus as entertainment critic for The Columbus Citizen Journal.

Having moved to New York City, Richard was a copy writer for R.H. Macy and an advertising executive at the Tarlow Agency where he promoted a number of high profile cosmetic accounts. Leaving advertising, he pursued his life-long avocation of Iyengar yoga, becoming a talented student and teacher.

Richard became a "true" New Yorker, walking miles and miles each day. He knew the quickest routes down streets with the best architecture.

He had a fierce intelligence, keen critical eye and encyclopedic memory balanced with a wonderful wit and generous heart.

In his tastes, Richard was a paradox, equally loving "The Letters of Madame de Sevigny" as well as John Water's "Female Trouble", Eleanor Roosevelt and Cher.

Richard loved discourse and healthy debate EXCEPT when it came to three things that were perfect and not open to criticism: Aretha Franklin, Joni Mitchell and Greta Garbo.

As a gay man living in New York during the 80's and 90's, he witnessed first-hand the devastation and loss brought on by AIDS. He marched with Act Up and volunteered at the Gay Men's Health Crisis. He was also instrumental in raising over $250K for pediatric AIDS cases in Europe and a founder of the non-profit support "Aiding Romania's Children".

Richard had no patience for stupidity or elitism and could spot a phony a mile away. He was a staunch Democrat and a strong defender of civil rights and equality. He had a wide circle of friends, each of whom will miss him dearly and count themselves fortunate for having known him.

Richard is survived by his sister, Barbara Martin and two brothers, Ted Jonas and Biff Blackmore as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Donations may be made to Richard's memory at:

c/o Richard Jonas HIV Scholarship Program
PO Box 1959
New York, NY 10156