Former Brooklyn Cricket League prez dies at 80

Ronald ‘Charles’ Ottley.  Ottley Family/Roland Ottley, Esq.
Ronald ‘Charles’ Ottley.
Ottley Family/Roland Ottley, Esq.

Vincentian Ronald “Charles” S. Ottley, a former president of the Brooklyn Cricket League and one of the founders of the Brooklyn-based, Vincentian cricket club, Imperial, died on Monday, March 28, according to his nephew, Roland Ottley, a Brooklyn lawyer. Ronald Ottley was 80.

Roland Ottley said his uncle, who worked for many years as an executive at Hoffman La Roche Laboratories in Brooklyn, was the patriarch of the Ottley Family in Brooklyn.

Ronald Ottley, who was born on April 3, 1941, in Calder in South Windward in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, was the first of seven children for Lanzil and Almeda Ottley.

Roland Ottley said his uncle lived in Chateaubelair, a town in North Leeward, also in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, before first migrating to Trinidad and Tobago, when he was 14, where he completed his elementary education and met “the love of his life”, Germaine Browne.

“On De. 5, 1970, the two were married and began their union,” Roland Ottley told Caribbean Life. “They bought a house in Cambria Heights, Queens in New York in the early ‘70s and settled into the loving home.”

Roland Ottley said his uncle had “a passion for sports,” stating that, as a youth, he played cricket in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and in Trinidad and Tobago.

When he migrated to New York, Roland Ottley said his uncle also played cricket in Brooklyn, leading “the way in Brooklyn cricket in the early ‘70s.”

“With his four brothers, the McKenzie brothers and few Vincentian cricketers, they founded the Vincentian cricket team, Imperial Cricket Club,” he said. “There were only two Vincentian cricket teams in the Brooklyn Cricket League at the time.”

Roland Ottley said Ronald Ottley was elected as the founding president of Imperial Cricket Club and remained in that role for about 20 years.

He also served as president of the Brooklyn Cricket League in 1971, Roland Ottley said, adding that his uncle was “very well respected for his administrative contribution to the evolution of cricket in Brooklyn.”

“Uncle Charles loved pastel colors; those were his favorites,” Roland Ottley said. “He also enjoyed steel pan (music), soca, jazz and oldies music.

“His favorite song was ‘Love is a many splendored thing’ by Tommy Fain,” he added. “What many people around him didn’t know, Uncle Charles was a wine connoisseur.

“He was also very charming and charismatic,” Roland Ottley continued. “He was easy to talk to and had a very well-rounded fund of knowledge.”

He said his uncle landed his first job at Roche Laboratories, remaining there until his retirement in 2001 after 30 years of service.

“Uncle Charles continued to climb the corporate ladder at Roche Labs,” Roland Ottley said. “He was able to attain an executive position at Roche.

“He gave countless family and friends jobs, some of whom have been able to hold onto those jobs to this very day,” he added.

Roland Ottley said Ronald and Germaine Ottley lost their first daughter, Allison Ottley, on Jan. 8, 2021.

Ronald Ottley is survived by his wife; two children; one son-in-law; three grandchildren; two sisters; three brothers; and several nieces, nephews and Godchildren.

The funeral takes place on Friday evening, April 8, at J. Foster Phillips Funeral Home, Inc., 179-24 Linden Blvd., Jamaica, Queens, NY 11434. Please visit this link for more information on the funeral: https://www.jfosterphillips.com/obituary/ronald-ottley

Interment will be conducted the next day at the Cypress Hills Cemetery at the Brooklyn-Queens corridor.

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