R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

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karlhenning
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R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by karlhenning » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:14 am

Scarpia left this sad notice over at GMG:
Those of you who participate on ClassicalMusicGuide will know of Ralph Stein, a Professor of Constitutional Law at Pace University, who was formerly a frequent participant there. Upon visiting my facebook page, I saw an update indicating that he has died. Ralph had been hospitalized since February, due to complications of diabetes, and recently had expressed optimism about finishing physical rehabilitation and returning to teaching. No details on the immediate cause of death are available.

In any case, I never met him in person, but Ralph was a great soul who made a strong impact on the lives of those who knew him.
Last edited by karlhenning on Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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John F
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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by John F » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:49 am

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that. Ralph was a cool guy, and the reports that he was recovering were so hopeful. Thanks for telling.
John Francis

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by Donald Isler » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:39 am

Very sorry, indeed, to hear this. He was a friend to many of us.
Donald Isler

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by BWV 1080 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:41 am

damn, only knew him through this site and Facebook, but what a great guy

lennygoran
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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by lennygoran » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:48 am

karlhenning wrote:
In any case, I never met him in person, but Ralph was a great soul who made a strong impact on the lives of those who knew him.
So sorry to hear this--we had the pleasure of sitting at his table for the last forum dinner at gabriels and it was so wonderful to talk with him. Regards, Len :(

Barry
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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by Barry » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:25 am

I'm not rejoining the board, but I saw on Facebook that Ralph has passed away and I wanted to share my feelings here.

I knew he was in the hospital a lot in recent months, but didn't realize he was at death's door.

This is such horrible news. He was such a great guy. I had gotten together with him for meals/concerts on a number of occasions in NYC and the conversation and company was always fantastic.

I'll miss him, as I know you all will.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by living_stradivarius » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:28 am

Saw the news on FB. He always kept a cool head. RIP Ralph, you will be missed by all of CMG.
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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:12 pm

Ralph always expected to live to be at least 90 and never have to retire (I believe he was about 68).

This is devastating.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by RebLem » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:26 pm

Barry wrote:I'm not rejoining the board, but I saw on Facebook that Ralph has passed away and I wanted to share my feelings here.

I knew he was in the hospital a lot in recent months, but didn't realize he was at death's door.

This is such horrible news. He was such a great guy. I had gotten together with him for meals/concerts on a number of occasions in NYC and the conversation and company was always fantastic.

I'll miss him, as I know you all will.
Damn tootin', Barry. And I wish you would rejoin the board. Believe it or not, I really do miss you.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by Seán » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:54 pm

This is really terrible news. I was very fond of Professor Stein he was such a good and kind friend to me here on CMG and on Facebook too, he was a lovely man. May he Rest in Peace.
Seán

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:11 pm

Barry let me know what happened.

I'm so very sorry. The news took me back to that frantic search for him after his heart attack several years ago and how the CMG community rallied around him, with members living close by him visiting and taking him life-sustaining music and diversions and comforting his family and friends while reporting back to us as often as his condition warranted. He was soooooo very important to us here at CMG. He and I used to fight often and spiritedly for what we each believed in, but always with respect if not downright fondness. In one of those "6 degrees" incidents, it turned out that, in the mid-decade, he was professor to a dear friend's son and daughter-in-law. I'm given to understand that he has not been around much for several years, but I like to think that his spirit was never very far from this little outpost of the arts. I have thought of him often since I left here. He will be missed.

For the record, like Barry, I come here only to pay tribute to Ralph and will not be returning.
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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by RebLem » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:26 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:Barry let me know what happened.

I'm so very sorry. The news took me back to that frantic search for him after his heart attack several years ago and how the CMG community rallied around him, with members living close by him visiting and taking him life-sustaining music and diversions and comforting his family and friends while reporting back to us as often as his condition warranted. He was soooooo very important to us here at CMG. He and I used to fight often and spiritedly for what we each believed in, but always with respect if not downright fondness. In one of those "6 degrees" incidents, it turned out that, in the mid-decade, he was professor to a dear friend's son and daughter-in-law. I'm given to understand that he has not been around much for several years, but I like to think that his spirit was never very far from this little outpost of the arts. I have thought of him often since I left here. He will be missed.
I share your sentiments. :D
Corlyss_D wrote:For the record, like Barry, I come here only to pay tribute to Ralph and will not be returning.
:(
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by Proton » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:43 pm

I’m very saddened to learn of Ralph’s death.

Some years ago, a group of us that included Barry and Frank B. (febnyc) met up at Academy Records in the city. That was in July 2000, the day after his 57th birthday. Afterwards, we walked across the street for lunch, and then hiked down to the old Tower Records store before finally going our separate ways. It was a most enjoyable outing; I really liked everyone I met that day.

Even though we met just once, Ralph was the sort of person who made an lasting impression. He was a real mensch.

May he Rest in Peace.


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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by Holden Fourth » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:48 pm

Like many here I never met Ralph as he never came to Australia. However, he was a large presence on the forum that eventually came to be CMG and his insightful, erudite and witty posts made me look for his posts first. I've followed them ever since and became concerned a while ago when he stopped posting.

A devoted family man, he often used to mention his son Teddy of whom he was inordinately proud and I am thinking of him in particular at this point of time.

Although the religious sentiment is not aligned with Ralph's views I do have to say Requiescat in Pace Ralph.

As usual in these circumstances, the Verdi Requiem will be on my listening list tonight and I'll add some Dittersdorf.

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:54 pm

Holden Fourth wrote:As usual in these circumstances, the Verdi Requiem will be on my listening list tonight and I'll add some Dittersdorf.
Believe it or not, there is a Dittersdorf Requiem. How do I know? I speculatively searched "Dittersdorf requiem" and it came up. The YouTube performance has been deleted, alas.

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/alb ... _id=259736

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by lennygoran » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:55 pm

lennygoran wrote:
karlhenning wrote:
In any case, I never met him in person, but Ralph was a great soul who made a strong impact on the lives of those who knew him.
So sorry to hear this--we had the pleasure of sitting at his table for the last forum dinner at gabriels and it was so wonderful to talk with him. Regards, Len :(
I just remembered I have a photo of that forum dinner and also a few that occurred before I was a member. Regards, Len

Image

Image

Image

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by Wallingford » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:56 pm

I held out a faint hope, despite my location, to see him at a future meet-up.

Really sad to hear this. :(
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by Steinway » Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:46 pm

Ralph was a person I really admired and the few times I was in his company were memorable, indeed.


May he rest in peace.

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by Werner » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:31 pm

It's too soon have to say farewell to one of the bright lights on CMG. He inspired respect from many directions with the profundity of his thoughts and the way he managed to respect those who differed with him.

The return - however temporary, of Corlyss and Barry bears this out.

Thank you, Ralph, for spending time and thoughts with us.
Werner Isler

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by Allen » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:06 pm

I learnt a lot from Ralph on this board .... about music, law, life, etc.

May he rest in peace.

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:10 pm

Not long after I joined here, I once posted a mildly sarcastic remark to Ralph, I forget what or why...
Ralph wrote:ROTFLMAO !!!
I was terrified, i'm British and it was a joke! What the hell does that mean?
Ralph wrote:Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off !!!
He was way cooler than me, even given my past life, he had everything in Spades...
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:11 pm

And lets all send our love and sympathy to his son, he just lost one of the World's Greatest Dad's...
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:28 pm

Chalkperson wrote:And lets all send our love and sympathy to his son, he just lost one of the World's Greatest Dad's...
Yes, Ted, who was way past being called Teddy. By now I expect he has long since graduated from Northwestern University, and I don't know what he might be up to these days. I am monitoring both the NY Times and the Westchester County newspaper for an obituary. I hope we can know a little more about a man who led a rich, varied life for which the word "interesting" is not adequate. But whatever we find out, the miracle of Ralph will always be a Socrates-like capacity for friendship.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by Donald Isler » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:36 pm

Pace Law School Tribute to Ralph

'Pace Law School mourns the passing of Professor Ralph M. Stein. A founding member of our faculty, Professor Stein died on October 16 of complications from diabetes. Funeral arrangements are pending.

A constitutional law teacher, Professor Stein taught courses on the First Amendment as well as Remedies and legal history. His seminars included “Slavery, the Constitution, and the Civil War” and “National Security Law and the Challenge of Terrorism.” Devoted to the protection of civil liberties, Professor Stein served on the legal committee of the Anti-Defamation League, and sat on the board of directors of the Lower Hudson Valley Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

“He loved the students more than anything. He would do anything for his students,” recalled Professor Bennett Gershman, who had worked with Professor Stein since 1976, the year Pace Law School first opened its doors. “Ralph was a huge presence at the law school.”

Professor Stein was instrumental in the growth of Pace Law School. Professor Jay Carlisle recalled meeting Professor Stein in February 1977 and how Professor Stein spoke so highly of Pace Law School students during his recruitment of new faculty.

“I was so impressed with him. It did have a bearing on my coming here,” Professor Carlisle recalls.

Professor Stein impressed his colleagues in many ways. Upon hearing of his passing, faculty members recalled his passion for live music, his affinity for collecting books and CDs, the walking tours he would lead through New York City, and his dinners with friends.

“Ralph was one of the most energetic, dedicated, and– in some ways– opinionated man I’ve ever known,” said Professor Merrill Sobie. “He loved teaching. He wouldn’t dream of teaching a normal course load.”

Professor Stein’s abundant energy fueled his kindness, as well. Professor James Fishman recalled a shared love of books that found expression each year at holiday time when the two would exchange books they had chosen for one another. When Professor Stein had taken ill, Professor Fishman remembers that his colleague did not allow his confinement to disrupt their tradition. He arranged for a book to be delivered to Professor Fishman’s office at Pace.

Before beginning his teaching career, Professor Stein spent time at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom. He held degrees from the New School for Social Research and Hofstra University School of Law.

Pace Law School will be holding a memorial service in the next few months.'
Donald Isler

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by Auntie Lynn » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:59 pm

Uncle Ralph will NEVER be gone...send our best to Teddy - he loved that kid...

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by Ricordanza » Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:29 am

This is sad news indeed. Besides our "electronic" communications on this board and Facebook, I had the pleasure of meeting Ralph at the last of our CMG dinner meetings and at a NY Philharmonic concert in 2011. I will miss him.

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by Harold Tucker » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:39 am

I had the pleasure of his company twice and I treasure the memory. No walking tour of lower Manhatten could have been finer. Dim Sum in Chinatown with many treats that I wouldn't have attempted without his urging was a joy. He will be missed. CMG was never the same without him. He was an icon of taste, intelligence and civility.

jack stowaway
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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by jack stowaway » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:46 pm

I first started posting on the old Classical Insites(?) board back in the mid-to late 90's. Being new to online discourse, I first lurked for several months, getting to know the members and issues. I wasn't interested in the music contributions, it was the political discussions that motivated me to quit lurking and join, especially the posts of Ralph.

It seemed to me then, as it does now, that he shone a spotlight on every discussion he was part of. His legal/constitutional perspective on issues was new, and fascinating, to someone largely unfamiliar with such a viewpoint. In addition, his posts were characterized by a humility and good-humor that made a first-time poster feel he wasn't intruding on a closed conversation.

Several times I challenged his opinion on issues (as much to get him to reveal more as for any other reason). And invariably his sober, eminently sane arguments forced me to reassess (if not altogether change) my position.

It's rare to find an individual who can change minds on an issue. Ralph was one such person. In fact, his posts represented a tutorial on clear, unbiased thinking--something for which I remain grateful. Oftentimes the acuity of his arguments quite staggered me, forcing me to go back to ground zero and reassess the basis of my own beliefs and prejudices. And it was the lack of prejudice in his own thinking--the unblinking focus on the issue and the principle rather than the personal that impressed me the most.

This thinking, of course, was grounded in his love and admiration for constitutional law. And in this he was truly a teacher--as witness his ability to impart that admiration and respect to someone from a different culture and a distant country.

So I count myself, in some small way, a pupil of Ralph, a pupil left with a clearer understanding of the law and its potential to positively shape society.

I had often hoped that he might visit Australia so that I could meet him. Alas, that will never happen.

Finally, like Corlyss and Barry (two posters I also admire) I have ceased participating in this forum due to other interests. So this post seems a fitting way to bow out--as I came in, with a 'vale atque' to a memorable poster, distinguished teacher, and eminently rational human being.

And a fond farewell also to fellow posters. I have enjoyed and appreciated your contributions over the years.

Jack

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by Febnyc » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:47 pm

I had the great pleasure to spend many good times with Ralph - we shared Indian lunches/dinners around Westchester County, dim sum lunches in White Plains, and he visited us often when we were living in Manhattan (and Barry will also remember a group lunch in downtown NYC when Teddy joined us as a pre-teen I think - Proton, as he mentions in his nice post, was present too). When Ralph suffered his heart attack (or whatever it was exactly) I appropriated my wife's 4-wheel drive car to get to him through a January snow storm - and bring to the hospital a portable CD player (this before the existence of iPods) and some discs. Ralph was a unique individual - a different sort from anyone else I've known. He drank too darn much Coke and ate indiscriminately. But he never was dull and always ready for a good argument on almost any subject.

I came to CMG this evening - a rare visit these days - and was shocked to see the "RIP." Gosh! he will be missed by many - I am one of those many. Whenever I play my Dittersdorf CDs I especially will remember Ralph with fondness.

Be in Peace, Ralph.

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by lennygoran » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:29 pm

Febnyc wrote: dim sum lunches in White Plains,
Please what place--we're in Westchester County a lot on gardening business! Regards, Len :)

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by THEHORN » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:23 pm

So sad to hear about this. I barely knew him, having met him at one of our get togethers, but he seemed like such a nice guy .

jbuck919
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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:41 pm

Febnyc wrote:He drank too darn much Coke....
Diet Coke, Frank. Ralph was nothing if not progressive. :wink: :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by lennygoran » Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:45 am

[quote="jbuck919"

Diet Coke, Frank. Ralph was nothing if not progressive. :wink: :)[/quote]

Yeah but what size cup! Regards, Len fleeing] :)

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by Febnyc » Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:46 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Febnyc wrote:He drank too darn much Coke....
Diet Coke, Frank. Ralph was nothing if not progressive. :wink: :)
Absolutely, John! You're right.

To Len: Ralph enjoyed the restaurant in White Plains called "Aberdeen." http://www.aberdeenwhiteplains.com/

There are better dim sum places in Manhattan - one on the Bowery just south of Canal Street is the ne plus ultra - but, if you are in the White Plains area, Aberdeen will do just fine.

Last night, thinking of Dr. Stein, I listened to all of Dittersdorf's Sinfonias on Ovid's Metamorphoses (six of them). Powerful works which, no joking, are quite dramatic and should not be as obscure as they are. Ralph, in this case as well as with his Diet Cokes, was nothing if not progressive. :wink:

lennygoran
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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by lennygoran » Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:03 am

Febnyc wrote: To Len: Ralph enjoyed the restaurant in White Plains called "Aberdeen." http://www.aberdeenwhiteplains.com/
Thanks I'll keep Aberdeen in mind--we visit many private gardens in Westchester through the Open Days Garden Conservancy--the great Steinhardt Garden will be opened Nov 3--Japanese Maples in fall foliage like you wouldn't believe!

http://www.gardenconservancy.org/openda ... n-day.html

Also thanks for your help on the generator front--ours is now up and running and the 2 ugly propane tanks are fairly well hidden--since the photo we've stained the board on board fencing.

Image

Regards, Len

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by Teresa B » Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:06 pm

I learned of this sad news on Facebook. I liked Ralph so much--never got a chance to meet up with him despite his kind invitation to come and enjoy some dim sum in NY. He was a great guy with a wonderful sense of humor.

Will miss him. :(
Teresa
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Author of the novel "Creating Will"

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by karlhenning » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:29 am

Hmm . . . "my" thread not good enough, eh? ; )
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Cosima___J
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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by Cosima___J » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:17 pm

Ralph is now in Dim Sum Heaven enjoying a heaping plate of his favorite food. :)

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by ch1525 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:44 pm

Dang, that is really sad news. I still remember meeting Ralph at the meetup.

May he now enjoy eternal dim sum with Dittersdorf!

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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:56 pm

I wish Ralph's family had left us an obituary; I am guessing that it was against his wishes, for there was a side of him that would be consistent with not wanting such a thing. He had an unbelievably interesting life: Army officer, police officer, not traditionally schooled but finally a person of academic stature, a huge reader, someone who slept but few hours because he considered it a waste of time, and I have not come near to the end. I wish his family (an ex-wife and a son) had found a way to fill in the gaps for us, but I suppose they cannot know what he meant to us.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jbuck919
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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:04 pm

I know this is a month old, but I just found it. It is as close as we are likely to get to an obituary, but it does talk about a forthcoming memorial service.

In memoriam, Professor Ralph M. Stein

18. Oct, 2012 92 Comments

Pace Law School mourns the passing of Professor Ralph M. Stein. A founding member of our faculty, Professor Stein died on October 16 of complications from diabetes. Funeral arrangements are pending.

A constitutional law teacher, Professor Stein taught courses on the First Amendment as well as Remedies and legal history. His seminars included “Slavery, the Constitution, and the Civil War” and “National Security Law and the Challenge of Terrorism.” Devoted to the protection of civil liberties, Professor Stein served on the legal committee of the Anti-Defamation League, and sat on the board of directors of the Lower Hudson Valley Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

“He loved the students more than anything. He would do anything for his students,” recalled Professor Bennett Gershman, who had worked with Professor Stein since 1976, the year Pace Law School first opened its doors. “Ralph was a huge presence at the law school.”

Professor Stein was instrumental in the growth of Pace Law School. Professor Jay Carlisle recalled meeting Professor Stein in February 1977 and how Professor Stein spoke so highly of Pace Law School students during his recruitment of new faculty.

“I was so impressed with him. It did have a bearing on my coming here,” Professor Carlisle recalls.

Professor Stein impressed his colleagues in many ways. Upon hearing of his passing, faculty members recalled his passion for live music, his affinity for collecting books and CDs, the walking tours he would lead through New York City, and his dinners with friends.

“Ralph was one of the most energetic, dedicated, and– in some ways– opinionated man I’ve ever known,” said Professor Merrill Sobie. “He loved teaching. He wouldn’t dream of teaching a normal course load.” [An intentionally ambiguous remark? Ralph only taught what he wanted to teach.]

Professor Stein’s abundant energy fueled his kindness, as well. Professor James Fishman recalled a shared love of books that found expression each year at holiday time when the two would exchange books they had chosen for one another. When Professor Stein had taken ill, Professor Fishman remembers that his colleague did not allow his confinement to disrupt their tradition. He arranged for a book to be delivered to Professor Fishman’s office at Pace.

Before beginning his teaching career, Professor Stein spent time at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom. He held degrees from the New School for Social Research and Hofstra University School of Law.

Pace Law School will be holding a memorial service in the next few months.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

lennygoran
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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by lennygoran » Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:17 pm

jbuck919 wrote:I know this is a month old, but I just found it.
But isn't this the same as what Donald presented in this thread quite a while ago? Even if it is it's nice to read it again! Regards, Len

jbuck919
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Re: R.I.P. Ralph Michael Stein

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:18 pm

lennygoran wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:I know this is a month old, but I just found it.
But isn't this the same as what Donald presented in this thread quite a while ago? Even if it is it's nice to read it again! Regards, Len
Maybe so. Oops.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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