Ronald "Ron" Reitz '61 May 4, 2022 6:56 PM updated: May 4, 2022 6:59 PM
Dr. Ronald C Reitz
February 27, 1939 - December 20, 2021
Dr. Ronald C. Reitz, age 82, passed away on December 20, 2021 after a year-long struggle with cancer. Ron was born in Dallas, TX on February 27, 1939 and grew up in Pittsburg, TX, a small town north of Dallas. During high school, he earned his Eagle Scout rank and was a member of the Brotherhood of the Order of the Arrow. After high school he attended Texas A & M for his undergraduate degree in Chemistry and then received his doctorate in Biochemistry from Tulane University in New Orleans. There he met Jeanne Geiger, his wife of 57 years. After their marriage, he spent 3 years at the University of Michigan as a post-doctoral fellow awarded by the National Science Foundation. He then accepted a position as an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina. In 1975 he answered an ad in a scientific magazine for a position as a biochemistry professor at a new 4 year medical school established at the University of Nevada, Reno. As Ron said, “it was the best decision I ever made.”
Ron was instrumental in advancing the Biochemistry Department at UNR and secured a significant grant to purchase equipment, instrumentation and programming to expand his department. Through almost 30 years as a full professor at the university, he was funded by several NIH and NSF grants and published many peer reviewed research papers. Between UNC and UNR over 14 students received their PhDs and Masters Degrees under his tutelage. He also did research in England, Germany and Japan. Ron was favored by all the medical and biochemistry students because of his sincere concern for them, their learning and their success. Ron loved what he did.
The most important thing to Ron was faith and family. Both of his children, Erica and Brett, were raised in Reno and Ron took part in coaching and supporting their activities. He was impassioned by the outdoors and nature, and he shared this love with his family and friends. He spent most weekends with his family camping, hiking, skiing and golfing together. He spent many family vacations touring and showing them the natural beauty of our country.
He is survived by his wife, Jeanne Geiger Reitz; his two children, Erica Reitz Yahn and Brett Reitz; his brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Rhoda McNitt Reitz of Kennett Square, PA; his sister and brother-in-law, Sharon and Robert Jackson of Loveland, CO; his nephews, Strefan Fauble, Charlie Jackson and Andy Reitz and his niece Amy Reitz; and his grandchildren, Ayden Yahn, Taryn Yahn, Caroline Reitz and Charlie Reitz.
Ron’s funeral will be held on Thursday, December 30, 2021 at 11:00am at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church, Tulsa OK.