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23 Jun 2013

Obituary: Ramona M. Wilcox, businesswoman, community activist and hair stylist dies at 52

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June 23, 2013 Category: Local Posted by:

Ramona Melody Wilcox, West Philadelphia native, famed celebrity hair stylist and modeling manager died last Tuesday at her home in Philadelphia. She was 52. 


Funeral services are to be held on Friday, June 21st at Deliverance Evangelistic Church located at 2100 Lehigh Avenue in Philadelphia. The viewing is to take place from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM  EST and the home going service will take place from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM EST. 


Ramona Melody Wilcox was a graduate of Overbrook High School. She went on to further her education and receive her license in Cosmetology from the Wilfred Academy. Upon receiving her license at the age of 22, she opened her own salon, “Ramona’s Touch of Essence,” in which she operated until her passing. Her work with Ramona’s Touch of Essence otherwise known as “RTE” was viewed by countless magazines like Hype Hair, Black Beauty, Solid Gold, and more…


She was featured in many newspaper publications and participated in fashion shows like Glynn Jackson, New Day Associates, Philadelphia Fashion Week, Charlie Mack Celebrity Weekend Fashion Show, Runway Remix as well as many others. Ramona’s work also appeared on a local Reality TV show that aired in the fall of 2010 on WMCN/Bounce TV.  


Ramona’s Touch of Essence was her passion and she loved to make people look and feel beautiful inside and out. Ramona often said that “in everything God has taught her a lesson. Being in the industry it teaches you patience. It teaches you how to relate to people. You have to love people as it is more to it than collecting money.” 


She had a heart of gold and smile to match, but most of all she was most notable for being real. She often gave of herself making many sacrifices for so many people and had a very caring heart which is why she was often referred to as “Momma Mona.” She felt that by making people look and feel beautiful that she was touched with a special anointing for hair care to provide quality cosmetology services to the community at large.  She passed this legacy of love for business and spirit of entrepreneurship along to her children and was once featured by the Philadelphia Tribune for becoming one of the first families in the tri-state area to operate a sustainable business.


She operated Ramona’s Touch of Essence in the West Philadelphia area for over 30 years. In February 2010, she along with her children expanded the Ramona’s Touch of Essence brand to incorporate RTE Model Management. This was an outlet for youth that have an interest in fashion, acting and modeling industry. She provided modeling boot camp, runway classes, acting, social graces and life coaching skills to the community at large. 


RTE Model Management was started as a way of giving back to youth that were looking for a chance to gain exposure to the entertainment industry as Ramona felt there were so many companies that were not built on upon Christian principles and she wanted to be a moral and spiritual support to the youth by proving a place where youth can grow and learn the process as a family.


Her work with the RTE Model Management company was seen in many fashion shows, music videos with rapper Young Chris of State Property, movies with Will Smith, Sigourney Weaver and more… The youth of the RTE Model Management family affectionately referred to her as “Mom Mona” or “Mom Manager” because like the salon, she instituted the traditional value of family and its importance because she knew that she was called to help so many people develop successful careers. 


In addition to becoming full time mother, hair stylist and modeling manager, Ramona Wilcox was a licensed evangelist from the Jameson Seminary School. She exercised her faith at Deliverance Evangelistic Church in Philadelphia. She utilized her knowledge of her faith to form a ministerial outreach forum for the community at large as her goal was “to reach the masses of people that do not know the love of Christ.”


Each year, Ramona would open the doors of the Ramona’s Touch of Essence salon to an annual event called “Hope Cuts.” With Ramona’s philanthropic participation in “Hope Cuts,” she along with over 100 salons in the Philadelphia Tri-State area raised awareness to the growing statistics of cancer and other incurable diseases through this fundraising activity. Proceeds from “Hope Cuts” was donated to help families with clinical research and ongoing support for cancer and other diseases.


Ramona enjoyed giving back and she felt that the world would be a better place if everyone operated with a “touch of essence.” Ramona Wilcox departed this life on Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Ramona Wilcox is survived by her mother, three children, three grandchildren, one brother and a community of those she has adopted as family. 


Donations and acknowledgements can be sent to the Deliverance Evangelistic Church located at 2100 Lehigh Avenue in Philadelphia, PA, 19132 , Attention: Wilcox Family.


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