Donald Rothman

Donald Rothman
September 14, 1945 - November 29, 2012
Resident of Santa Cruz
Don Rothman died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 67. He was a man who inhabited his own life intensely and enriched the lives of everyone who knew him: members of his family, his students, his colleagues and his friends. Don grew up in Brooklyn, was an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, a graduate student at UC Berkeley and a teacher, writer and administrator at UC Santa Cruz. His first job was at Laney College, where his passionate commitment to the teaching of writing began. He joined the Oakes College faculty in 1973 and, in 1977, he established The Central California Writing Project (CCWP), a nationally affiliated literacy education think-tank for kindergarten-university teachers, which he directed for twenty-seven years. At Oakes College and at CCWP, Don demonstrated that the teaching of writing is a personal, social and political activity, which is as central to the practice of democracy as it is to the construction of identity. In his thirty-four years at the university, Don served on many Academic Senate and Oakes College committees and was twice the Acting Provost of Oakes College. He used his retirement in 2007 as an opportunity to extend the scope of his activities and to find new ways of expressing his pleasure in being, seeing, and connecting. He served as a member and Vice-President of the Shakespeare Santa Cruz Advisory Board and was a constant presence on campus, where he advised students and helped them with their writing. He was much sought after as a lecturer and has given memorable speeches in core courses and at graduation ceremonies. Most recently, he has worked passionately with Dreamweavers, an organization that supports undocumented students at UCSC. In these years, he developed his skill as a photographer and brought his passions for writing and photography together in his book, One Way of Seeing: Photographs and Essays During a Time of Reflection 2010. Every day, Don walked from his house on Walnut Street to Lulu Carpenter's and back, turning strangers he met into friends. Don's wife, Diana, was his beloved companion in all the adventures and complexities of his life. His children, Dov and Naomi, his grandchildren Claudia and Paloma, and his daughter-in-law, Anne, were a continual source of interest and delight. The space that he leaves empty is huge but it is tiny compared to all of the spaces that he filled. A memorial will be held at UCSC at a later date. In lieu of flowers, remembrances of Don may be sent to the Dreamer's Fund or Shakespeare Santa Cruz at UCSC University Relations, Attn: Kathy Rouhier, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz Ca. 95064. Make checks payable to UCSC Foundation and note to which fund you are contributing. If you would like to light a candle and share your condolences with Don's family please visit www.pacificgardenschapel.com

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Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Dec. 2, 2012