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Ruben Weltsch

Died: Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Age: 90
Ruben Weltsch, resident of Woodland Pond at New Paltz, died on July 19 at the age of 90. Born in Berlin, he came to the United States alone at a young age while his father, noted writer and editor Robert Weltsch, and sister Shoshana fled the Nazis to Palestine. He attended an underground high school outside of Florence, and once in the U.S., graduated from Amherst College. He went on to earn advanced degrees from Columbia and the University of Colorado. In 1949, while a librarian at Rice University, he met Patricia Jacobs who was a student there; they were married in September 1953.

Ruben’s tremendous knowledge of history, languages and classical music made him much in demand as a scholar: he served as president of the-Czechoslovak History Conference for two years and was a longtime writer of historical abstracts for ABC-CLIO, earning a special honorary plaque for achievement. Ruben was at the State University of New York at Stony Brook for many years, beginning in 1958. He served jointly as a professor and the director of the library, eventually leaving his library post to focus solely on teaching in the History Department, where he continued as associate professor until 1986. In retirement, he volunteered at the library he once headed, helping to catalog classical music scores. He was much beloved by his students and colleagues. His vast knowledge, warm manner and modest demeanor endeared him to everyone.

He is survived by his wife Patricia in New Paltz; son Dan living in Alexandria, Va.; and daughter Deborah and granddaughter Emily Rose Horowitz, both of Tillson. Also surviving are two sisters in Israel; Daniella Tal, of Jerusalem, and Shoshana Gumpert of Zikhron Ya’akov, as well as nieces, nephews and extended family. He will be greatly missed. Memorial contributions in Ruben’s memory can be made to the Jewish Congregation of New Paltz, the American Heart Association or the National Kidney Foundation.
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