DR. RONALD C. PURCELL
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DR. RONALD C. PURCELL October 5, 1932 - September 7, 2011 Ron Purcell, loving husband and father, and internationally recognized performer, teacher, scholar, of all things related to the guitar, passed away peacefully at his home in Sherman Oaks, CA on September 7, 2011. Ron earned degrees in composition, musicology and pedagogy from the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music, California State University, Northridge, Lisbon Conservatorio de Musica, and the Orfeo Catala Lleidata, Barcelona. His major teachers included Andres Segovia, Emilio Pujo, Macario Santiago Kastner, Alirio Diaz and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, whose Hommage to Purcell, Op. 170. No. 38 was dedicated to Ron. Ron joined the full time faculty of the Department of Music at California State, Northridge in 1971 where he developed on of the first guitar majors in a University in the United States which continues to serve as a model for universities developing curricula in Guitar. He was named Professor Emeritus in 2001 and taught at the University through 2006. His guitar activities took him throughout the United States, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Mexico, Japan and Europe, as a performer, adjudicator, lecturer, and master class teacher. One of the original founding members of the Guitar Foundation of America, he served as the first president and later as GFA board member. He was the editor of the Guitar Division of the American String Teachers Association Journal and served as President of the American Guitar Society for over 25 years after which he continued to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Ron produced recordings for Klavier Records, El Maestro Records, Chanterelle Historical Records, and numerous sound tracks for the motion picture industry. He published two books and numerous performance editions with Chanterelle Verlag, Warner/Chappell (formerly Belwin-Mills), Columbia Pictures Publishing Co., and editions with Mel Bay Publishing Co. including the complete works of Miguel Llobet and works by Laurindo Almeida. He also authored many articles for various organizations and societies and also published many articles for GFA "Soundboard" and "Guitar Review" as well as foreign guitar magazines. In 2003, Ron was elected Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Augustine Foundation, a major New York City philanthropy. The Guitar Foundation of America selected Ron in 2008 to receive the Distinguished Service Award in honor of his outstanding, critical and long-term service to the Guitar Foundation of America. Ron founded was Director of the International Guitar Research Archive, which now resides in Special Collections, of the Oviatt Library at CSUN Under his tireless leadership, IGRA developed one of the largest databases of music in print, manuscripts, journals and guitar correspondence for research scholars, students and the guitar amateur. Ron is survived by his wife Beth, his children, Maureen, Purcell, Andrea Lentz, Glenn Purcell, two step children Stacy Bingel and Katherine Courter, four grandchildren, a brother Lou Purcell and a sister Joan Walter. A Celebration of Life service was held on September 10, 2011. Donations in memory of Ron may be made to the International Guitar Archives at California State University, Northridge. God broke our hearts to prove to us He only takes the Best. Love you Mr. Ron

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Published in Los Angeles Times from Sep. 28 to Oct. 5, 2011.
Memories & Condolences
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21 entries
September 22, 2020
Special moment with Ron. Early 1990's showing him my first hand made guitar.
Wanted to share this photo of this special moment and memory with Ron. So many lasting memories that have changed my life for the better. This one captured by Beth on film. Thank you Beth.
David Schramm
Friend
September 22, 2020
Remembering my dear friend, mentor, and teacher Ronald Purcell. I miss him so much. I think of him everyday, every time I pick up my guitar or teach my students. Thank you Ron for having a huge impact on molding my life. Your teaching legacy and memory is passed on through me to my students. Such an honor to have been one of your students. I will never forget our last lesson. Beth, thank you for your kindness and friendship. Much love, Dave Schramm
David Schramm
Friend
September 8, 2020
Your not hear Physically Mr. Purcell, And it’s been a long time since I last saw you , There are Times and Moments in our Lives that can be Very Brief but Can leave Very Lasting Memories, Like I said Mr. Purcell I’ll hear you again, only this Time you Will have Also Mastered the Harp!! D. Doner Jr.
Don Doner Jr
Friend
August 19, 2020
Hi Mr.Purcell ! (thats how I remember Addressing you) You And Mrs Purcell Welcomed a Long Haired Hippy into your home back in the 70’s! Without “any” Hesitation (that’s just crazy back then) Spent some quality time with you and your Family and had no idea of who you really were “professionally” Personally ? “You were Always Super Cool to me” I was so young And so stupid back then . Up until just recently I found out what an Impact you had on The Guitar Foundation, WOW!! Your the most Famous Person I know!! And for sure the most Talented . I keep on recalling my Fondest Memories and they always make me Smile, Sure wouldn’t be the first time I’d like to step back in time and redo some things, I’ll hear you again Sir, D Doner Jr.
Don Doner Jr
Friend
August 5, 2020
So sorry to hear of Ron’s passing , knew him and his Family Personally back in the late 70s!! Had the Honor of Hearing and watching Ron In his own Home on a few occasions, went to some Jazz Concerts with him and his family, heck I think Beth made Dinner for us a few times, The best of Memories, My Sincerest Condolence’s To all Family Members, D Doner
Don Doner
Friend
August 5, 2020
I’m so sorry to hear of Ron’s passing (time sucks) , I knew him on a personal level and had the Honor of listening and watching him play in his own house on many occasions, he even took me to see some Jazz Bands around town with his Family also had a few Dinners at Ron’s with his Family a few times. My Sincere Condolences to all of you , D Doner
Don Doner Jr
Friend
September 22, 2019
Dad, you are truly missed! I wish you could see your great Grandson Rowan. Your kids miss you so much! Love Andrea
Andrea Lentz
Daughter
September 22, 2019
Remembering my dear friend , mentor, and teacher. Ronald Purcell. I think of you every day and every time I teach of pick up a guitar. Wish you were here for me to share my musical journey and discoveries with. Love you my dear friend and miss you so much. Blessing to Beth and family. My love and prayers.
David Schramm
Friend
April 20, 2018
Miss you dad! I miss your wisdom and your calls to me ever Sunday!
Andrea Lentz
Family
October 6, 2011
I studied with Ron from 1979-82, all wonderful years. I remember him as a dedicated and passionate teacher and researcher, with a slightly evil sense of humor. Rest in peace, my friend.
Brad Benefield
October 6, 2011
To Beth and family: our condolences go out to you. I will always remember my years of study with Ron, even though this is some 30 years ago. Kindest regards.
David & Mary Norton
October 6, 2011
As a classical guitar enthusiast and supporter of fine arts and music, a true appreciation of the efforts that Dr. Purcell has contributed to the world cannot merely be expressed in words... I am thankful for all his efforts in life and hope others will continue his pioneer breakthroughs in music.
William Edmund
October 6, 2011
I have been tremendouly blessed to have been a student of Maestro Ron Purcell. He was a great teacher, friend and mentor. I will never forget the precious time I got to spend with him. My sadness is replaced by joy knowing that he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. See you in the Kingdom Ron! God bless you Beth and family.
David Schramm
September 29, 2011
Dad, I will cherish and remember the times we went fishing or on pack trips together in the Sierra’s. I will miss playing golf with you, and will always remember the fun we had at the courses we played. I will long for those philosophical conversations we used to carry. I will remember what you taught me, be it shooting a firearm, working on a house, history, philosophy, or interpretation of music. I will search for your wisdom and guidance in the choices and decisions I must make in the future. It saddens me to know that my daughters (Nicole & Julia) will no longer get to chase you around the house, and the smiles that would light up in their faces when they would see you. But I think more than anything, I will miss your hugs (I know Nicole and Julia will miss them). I love you, and will miss you Dad… and will always remember you.
Glenn Purcell
September 29, 2011
We are thankful for the cherished memories of growing up
together. Ron was a great brother and friend. Oh, how
we will miss him.
Lou Purcell and Joan Walter
Joan Walter
September 29, 2011
Riley with Grandpa
Kitt Courter
September 29, 2011
Ron...you began as my stepfather...but you became my dad. I love you and will miss the times with you and Riley down in your garden. I will miss seeing your face light up and your smile when we where all in the house. Seeing the true love you had for mom is the best think i could see and feel. Thank you, I will miss the music you and Riley would conpose... I love you!
Kitt Courter
September 29, 2011
Ron...you where my step dadbut through the years you became my dad. I miss you everyday. Riley misses picking tomatoes and walking around the property with you. Wayne misses laughing with you and the talks. Me, I just miss you and seeing your eyes light up with a great big smile. Seeing the true love with you and mom will be with me always. I love you!!!!
Kitt Courter
September 29, 2011
I'm so sorry for your loss, I met him just that one time but it was enough to know he was a good and loving person.
Lon Simonetta
September 29, 2011
My Dad!
Andrea Lentz
September 28, 2011
I will miss you dad! You were a wonderful father and many memories we shared together as a family. I will always love you! Andrea Purcell Lentz
Andrea Lentz
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