Published on August 20th, 2019 | by TLV News


Obituary: Ronald Alan “Ron” Shapiro, aka “Ronzo”: August 27, 1943-August 19, 2019

Ronald Alan “Ron” Shapiro, passed away August 19, 2019 in Oxford, Mississippi; beloved son of the late Sylvia Cohen and the late Melvin Shapiro and stepson of the late Sam R. Cohen; dear brother and brother-in-law of Maureen Rudman and Shelly Shapiro Amster (Glenn); dear uncle of Douglas Rudman (Caryn), David Rudman (Julia), Derek Rudman (Cindy), Benjamin Amster (Anna Robinson) and Sophie Amster; our dear great-uncle, cousin and friend to many.

Following his student days at Washington University and Army service during the Vietnam War, Shapiro found his calling operating a series of art house movie theatres in Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana.

He moved to Oxford, Mississippi in 1975 and established the Hoka Theatre and Moonlight Café. The venue became a celebrated cultural location for 20 years. Home to Oxford’s burgeoning literary and art scene, the Hoka also welcomed national names of the day including Forrest Gump author Winston Groom, Chicago 8 activist Abbie Hoffman and Roots author, Alex Haley. Local authors the late Willie Morris, Barry Hannah, and Dean Faulkner Wells (niece of William Faulkner) were regulars.

In later years Shapiro operated the Main Squeeze juice bar and The Shelter Café in Oxford. His celebration of the arts remained constant throughout his life.

Visitation is Friday, August 23, 2019 12:30 pm at Berger Memorial Chapel, 9430 Olive Blvd, St. Louis, Missouri, followed by funeral service at 1:00 pm. Interment is at Chevra Kadisha Cemetery. Please visit for more information.

The family welcomes all but understands the distance and short notice for his Mississippi friends. A celebration of Ronzo’s life will be held Friday, November 1 in Oxford, Mississippi venue and time to be announced.

(featured photograph by Gaetano Catelli)

Ron "Ronzo" Shapiro. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.
Ron “Ronzo” Shapiro. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.
Ron Sharpio. Photograph by Paul Gandy.
Ron Sharpio. Photograph by Paul Gandy.
Ron Shapiro Painting by Jim Bulian.
Ron Shapiro in The Hoka Theatre in the 1970s.
Ron Shapiro in The Hoka Theatre in the 1970s.
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About the Author

The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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