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Ronald Rebholz

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Ronald Rebholz Obituary
Ronald A. Rebholz

Ron Rebholz, Professor Emeritus of English at Stanford University, passed away on the morning of November 8 at the age 81, having lived a life of intellectual engagement, cultural enrichment, and profound authenticity.


Born in St. Louis, MO to Alex and Ethel Rebholz, Ron attended St. Louis University, enlisted in the Army, and as a Rhodes Scholar, received his masters and doctorate at Oxford University in England.


Ron joined the English department at Stanford in 1961 and remained dedicated to his craft of teaching until his retirement just a few years ago. During a remarkable tenure that spanned five decades, Ron touched the lives of countless students, colleagues and alumni. He was widely recognized as an engaging and accessible teacher, who not only gave generously of his time and wisdom with his students, but who also enjoyed cultivating the life of the mind via frequent dinners on campus residences and other informal opportunities to engage with students. He also participated actively with the Stanford Alumni Association, giving lectures at alumni events around the country.


An ardent sports fan, Ron had season tickets to the San Francisco Giants for many years with his dear friend, Lucio Ruotolo (and after Lucio's passing, with his wife, Marcia). Fortunately, he was able to see his beloved Giants finally win a World Series in 2010 and then again in 2012. He was equally passionate about Stanford football, and after living through many challenging seasons as a fan, he had the pleasure of watching Stanford in recent years become a national powerhouse. At the same time as he loved sports, Ron was equally at home at the San Francisco Opera, where he had season tickets, or the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which he attended annually. A scholar of the Renaissance, Ron was the true renaissance man.


Ron is survived by his partner, Patrick Smith, and many friends from the various walks of his life. Ron had a remarkable ability to balance passion and conviction with grace and generosity. He left an indelible mark on those whose lives he touched, and he will be missed.


Services were private, with a memorial to celebrate Ron's life to be held on the Stanford campus and to be announced at a later date.


Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Nov. 17, 2013
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