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Reis, Ralph Isadore

Reis, Ralph Isadore

Male 1928 - 2014  (86 years)

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  • Name Reis, Ralph Isadore  [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
    Born 15 Feb 1928  Nürnberg, Bavaria, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4, 6, 8
    Gender Male 
    Arrival 10 Mar 1936  New York, New York, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Departure Cherbourg, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Origin Germany Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Immigration 10 Mar 1936  New York, New York, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    • Role: Witness
    Name Rolf Reizenstein 
    _UID A5CE445C066C470B821F078F47DF86F7B175 
    Died 31 Mar 2014  Sarasota, Sarasota, Florida, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    Ralph I Reis Death Certificate.jpg
    Ralph I Reis Death Certificate.jpg
    Person ID I16927  My Family Tree | Weiss Lang Family Branch, Mergentheimer Family Branch
    Last Modified 22 Jan 2017 

    Father Reizenstein, Michael,   b. 28 May 1887, Nürnberg, Bavaria, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Sep 1960, Rochester, Monroe, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years) 
    Mother Mannheimer, Rosa,   b. 1893, Oedheim, Heilbronn, Baden-Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Oct 1961, Rochester, Monroe, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years) 
    Married Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F6258  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Backlar, Barbara Rose 
     1. Reis, Rosalind Mae
    +2. Reis, Michele Ingrid
    Last Modified 19 Apr 2020 
    Family ID F6288  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Lopez, Teresa 
    Last Modified 19 Apr 2020 
    Family ID F6290  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Documents
    Ralph I Reis - Death Certificate
    Ralph I Reis - Death Certificate
    Death Certificate

  • Notes 
    • Ralph I. Reis (Published in Connecticut Post on Apr. 6, 2014)

      Ralph I. Reis, 86, passed away on Monday, March 31, 2014 at his homein Sarasota, Florida after a long illness with Parkinson's Disease.Ralph was born on February 15, 1928 in Nuremberg, Germany andemigrated with his parents to the United States in 1936. He graduatedtop in his class from James Monroe High School, in Rochester, NY andreceived a BS degree in Chemical Engineering at MIT and a Masters ofEngineering from the University of Rochester. After working as achemical engineer at DuPont , Ralph served in the army from 1950-1954.Later Ralph obtained a MBA at Columbia and a CFA certification. Hebecame a security analyst at E.F. Hutton focusing on chemicalcompanies and later worked at Mellon Financial. Ralph then began hisown hedge fund. For the majority of his professional life, Ralph livedin Westport, Connecticut where he enjoyed swimming, playing tennis,traveling, spending time with his Doberman Pincher dogs, but hispassion was sailing. He was a member of Birchwood Country Club, SUSSailing Club, Minute Man Yacht Club, and MIT Club. Ralph and his wifeTere moved to Sarasota, FL in 2007. Ralph was preceded in death bythis parents, Rosa and Michael Reizenstein. Ralph is survived by hiswife, Tere L. Reis of Sarasota, FL; Daughters, Rosalind Reis ofHousatonic, MA and Michele (Todd) Melet of Chapel Hill, NC;Grandchildren Sydney and Eli Melet. Also survived by Barbara BacklarReis of Westport, CT, the mother of his daughters. The family wishesto extend their gratitude to the loving people who helped care forRalph. A memorial service will be held on Friday, April 4th at 3:00pm.In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Neuro ChallengeFoundation, 4411 Bee Ridge Road, Suite 246, Sarasota, FL 34233.

      Ralph Reis Eulogy
      My Dad
      By, Michele Melet

      My dad was a man of few words, so in his honor I will keep it brief.If my dad were here he would probably quote Winston Churchill and say"A good speech should be like a woman's skirt; long enough to coverthe subject and short enough to create interest." So, with thesubject of my dad, let me share with you some of my favorite memories.

      My dad was smart, REALLY SMART. To graduate from MIT in three years isvery impressive. I remember, him helping me with high school math.These were probably not our happiest times together! "Michele, don'tyou get it?" You have two parallel lines, look at the angles." "It'sright there in front if you!" "No dad, I don't get it!" Guess, his IQgene wasn't passed on to me.

      Dad wanted me to do well in school. The importance of education was abelief that his mother, Rosa Reizenstein, impressed upon dad.Specifically, dad wanted me to achieve first honors, an A- average orabove in middle school. You see, I was getting second honors (a B-average or above). So, my dad made me a bet! He said that if Iachieved first honors in school he would buy me a horse. This was mydream, to have my own horse! Well, guess what? The next semester Iearned first honors and he kept his promise and I was the proud ownerof a horse named Red Devil. My childhood memories, are filled withhappy times at the barn with my horse. I used to compete in horseshows, and my parents used to come and "cheer" me on. My dad used todescribe the horse shows he watched as, "Here we are... a bunch ofasses, looking at a bunch of asses, running around on a bunch ofhorses asses."

      Yes, this was my dad's sense of humor. Sometimes, his humor, had shockvalue. A few years ago, My dad, Tere, my children, Sydney, Eli, and Iwent out to a local Restaurant, Pacific Rim. A hostess with a low cutshirt and tight short skirt sat us at our table. The five of us sat atthe table and immediately discussed the hostess's breast. Are theyreal? They can't be! They were too big! To perky to be real! The girlsthought they were fake! My dad, said, "There is only one way to findout if they are real!" "How?" "I will ask her..." " No way, you arenot going to ask her, dad." Perhaps my dad thought that was achallenge and he took it on. He called the Hostess over and said,"I've been admiring them (pointing at her breasts), are they real?" Mychildren, who were probably 11 and 7 years old at the time, couldn'tbelieve what Grandpa just said. Tere and I were mortified as ourmouths hung open in disbelief at the question he asked the hostess.Well, I don't want to leave you in suspense, but what do you think thehostess said? "they are real." Hhhmmm!

      Ralph was a big proponent of staying in shape. He was quite theathlete between gardening, sailing, tennis, riding the exercise bike,waterskiing and swimming laps! I am the youngest child, and my dad,really wanted a son. Yes, he hoped for a son very much. As a matter afact, at the hospital after I was born, my mom in anticipation of mydad's desire for a son said, "let's have him circumcised." Of courseshe quickly realized that would not be possible, they had anotherdaughter. So, as children, Rosalind and I, were quickly enrolled, inthe "Ralph Reis Boot Camp" of sports --- learning to water ski at age6, dropping a water ski at age 7, getting up on one ski at age 8,learning to water ski backwards at age 9, well you get the picture. Mydad was an avid sportsman, he cared about keeping his body in shapeand made exercise part of his daily lifestyle.

      My dad was born in Nuremberg, Germany. He didn't like talking abouthis childhood in Germany much, but I remember him saying how, all theJewish boys from his neighborhood would walk together to schoolaccompanied by an adult. He told me how other kids would throw stonesat them because they were Jewish. When he was 8 years old he emigratedto the United States with his parents, Rosa and Michael. He and hisparents resided in Rochester, New York with his Uncle Ike who paid fortheir passage to America. My dad continued to be alienated by peers inRochester, since it was wartime and people didn't favor Germans. Plus,my dad spoke broken English with a poor accent. Despite this, my dadexcelled in school and was determined to, be successful in his life.

      My dad equated success in life with financial success. Having grown upwith limited funds, it was of utmost importance for him to be able tosupport his family in a nice way. Growing up, I was very lucky, beingable to travel on wonderful vacations, go to summer sleep away camps,have college and my wedding paid for. While financially all my needswere met, as a young child I often didn't hear the words, "I loveyou," and he rarely hugged me. Deep in my heart, I knew he stillloved me. Though verbally, dad did not express his feelings. Iremember him being most proud of me when I was working in New Yorkcity earning a lot of money in the Incentive Industry. In his mind,now I was a success. As my dad grew older, I think his definition ofsuccess expanded. He was in search of making his life fulfilling, hewas in pursuit of happiness and relaxation. I think he found this outon the water in his sailboat. Another memory comes to mind, how elatedhe was when he learned he was a grandfather. As my dad aged and hismobility diminished, he couldn't do the activities he loved. He wasbond to a walker and wheelchair and he became more introspective andmore verbal. Much of the time we spent together was no longer "doingthings," it was talking. Often it was talking about finances, but nowhe talked about his feelings too. This was a welcomed change. This iswhen I felt his love, stronger and deeper than ever. I heard thewords "I love you!" and this was the greatest gift he gave me. To knowthat I am good enough, just the way I am and that I was loved.

      FOR MY DAD
      From Rosalind
      April 4, 21014

      If the true wealth of a human being is measured by the opening of onesheart, and how much love one gives away, my dad left this world a veryrich man.
      I love my father. And my love extends beyond the personality that wasRalph I. Reis. My love for my dad feels timeless as though I have aninextricable link to his soul. Perhaps because I was named after hisadored mother Rosa, who predeceased my arrival by five months. Yet, Ibelieve there is something much more
      A parent once said to his child: ”I was only playing the role youasked me to play.” What contracts do we agree to before we are bornto further the growth of our soul?! It seems my dad agreed for me tobe the yin in to his yang or the yang to his yin. We balance theseesaw of a dualistic world and came together in the unspoken meetingsof our hearts.
      Dad would say: “Rosalind, we agree that we disagree, end ofconversation!” This was dad in control, having only, HIS say. Oh,how I despised that line "end of conversation." I live forconnection. Don't we all?
      I recently once, and a triumphant once, hung up on my Father.
      I, had the last word. And though it may have been through thepromptings of his wife Tere, dad called me back, and then we were inconversation!! I loved when I met and was met by my Father
      In recent years, while at my Father's house, he would knock, and openthe door to where I was resting. He would travel to meet me, down thehall with his walker and fall onto the bed, or ask me how I slept andwe'd hold hands!!!
      I'd live for those moments.
      Our dualistic world gives us each something to push up against. Ifound Myself in relationship to dad’s will, not initially, but atlast.
      As a child, I accompanied my Father on his passionate persuits ofswimming, tennis, waterskiing and the dogs.

      This was not my will, but his.
      Dad was an Engineer and his mind was put to use to efficiently solveproblems and meet needs. Dad had a repugnence for excess weight andthought those with larger bodies were not closing their mouths normoving their limbs. And my dad, bless his heart, was not ashamed tolet this be known to his rotund doctors and anyone he saw fit.
      Hence, he put a plastic bubble over the pool and insulated it withstyrofoam boards and a plastic covering. With a heavy snow, we’d beoutside with broom in hand, least the bubble get weighted down andcollapse. With lighter snow, I’d be his accomplice and we’d put onour terrycloth robes, mine light maroon and his navy or white. We’dwalk down from the stone terrace, past the crabapple tree, in winter,mind you, and raising the grey, wide toothed plastic zipper, we’d goinside. I now see the bubble as a giant whale or womb. As I wouldenter, I’d hear the swoosh of the air come upon me.
      We’d remove just enough of the Styrofoam boards which covered thewidth and length of the pool, to reveal the rising steam and theappropriate room to swim our laps, and in we would go.
      For dad, this might have been exercise, but for me, water was safety,water was home. And dad took me into that world, for which I amforever grateful.
      The pool was not the only place dad displayed his strong will.Michele and I were in the Long Island Sound wearing wet suits inApril, waterskiing. Michele’s constitution often provided her with avoice of objection. I acquiesced and gained my voice later in life.With dad there, to constantly prod me along!
      In addition, dad had a passion for his garden and his grounds. Hebrilliantly grew wisteria, to save the cost of buying an awning tocover the porch, so come warmer months, there were lofty flowerscovering our heads and it seemed to be prime picking for birds’ nestsas well.
      Dad would put on his old khaki army clothes, which I believe he waspleased to step into, and he and Dave would go to work. The slopesand ground eminated green brilIiance, with the crab apple treeflowering pink and dropping its petals, the peonies standing tall,impatients hanging in baskets and callalilies by the pool.Rhodadendrons and azaleas provided a rich array of colors, while thetall trees were tended as well as any able body. Dad had an eye forbeauty and was proud of his landscape, in which he worked. He hadcome to the country as novice and created like a seasoned gardenerwith meticulous care.
      I have inherited his love for such beauty, though more wild, thangroomed. What a lifelong endowment in which to drink in the world!!!Thank you, thank you dad!!!
      And while I might rest in the hammock between the two tall oaks,listening to the wind, or lie upon the grassy blanket with the dogs, Idid not know my dad as a man to truly rest, except perhaps aboard hisboat.
      In Summer months, after waterskiing waned, or dad’s knee had, dadreturned to his passion for sailing. First sharing boats withpartners and then moving to one of his own.
      On weekends, I use to joke that dad would tell us to “hurry up, leastwe miss the wind." Such was his desire to be on the water and hiscontrol.
      Dad's life could be charted by the bodies of waters he crossed andsailed upon. Covering the Atlantic, escaping Germany, in his youth,Lake Ontario in Rochester, The Charles at MIT and the Sound inConnecticut. Sailing, I believe allowed dad his closest taste offreedom. A place where he was still in charge yet one where he usedhis brilliance to problem solve and collaborate with the elements.
      As on land, so on sea, dad was captain and mom, Michele and I were hiscrew. I can recall, with dad at helm, I would dangle my legs off thebow of the boat and sing to the wind. Or the occasional times I wouldget close to my dad for a photo. In truth, I yearned for suchcloseness. Those were few, but happy sails. Later in life with Tereand members of Singles Under Sail, dad had a crew who took his ordersless personally, as they raced and engaged the wind and sails toheeling VERY close to the waters edge.
      Equally to his sailing, dad LOVED his dogs. They took his commandsseriously. Ricky, dad referred to as his son and along with Heather,the two doberman's were taken to the beach, Cockini Island in theSound and into the pool, where Ricky would swim along side dad. Theywere best partners.
      So, for an active man who loved the water, Parkinson's slowly tookthese pleasures away. Dad's years of research, dedication andanalysis, gifted him to relocate to another body of water, where helived with Tere, facing the Sarasota Bay, in what he called his"Gilded Cage". Still, dad was a fighter, and he placed his mind onwhat he excelled in, research and his daily devotion to his exercisebike and vocal exercises, which he pursued and believed in, like anolympian. Here in Florida, dad came in contact with Erik,Tracy andLaura, and along with dedicated Carolann from CT, they were fourpeople who composed his days. The weekly four!! My heart singsgratitude to each of you, deeply.
      Unlike my daily journals of poems and prose, dad filled his withscrupulous accounts of his health, medications and transcripts of hisdoctor's visits. In addition to reading the latest news on drugs andtreatments. So apt and one pointed was my dad, that he actually savedhis own life, by drawing attention at Sloan Kettering, to hispancreatic cancer, from which he survived!! My dad was a truefighter, with Tere by his side.
      George, an aid later in dad's life, took this task of medical recordsas seriously as dad did, and for that, became a comrade, alley andfoe. And I thank you George, for those days you would facilitate mysinging "Oh what a Beautiful Morning" with my dad. They were goldenmoments.
      Dad was scared of dying and if he could have planned it, he wouldhave. During this time, he was cared for by some exemplary people;Sharon, Linda, Steve and George. Through his helplessness and losingphysical control, dad came to rely upon others who provided safety andwho he could trust, and this, I believe, along with his weekly four,helped him to further unravel his precious heart. I thank you all,deeply.
      Leaving Germany at a young age, dad's foundation for safety and trustwere taken out from under him. He needed sea legs as his family madeway to Rochester and was saved by his Uncle Ike, for whom dad's middleinitial "I" stands. After MIT, dad shortened his name and his ties tohis German Jewish identity to work in an industry, ChemicalEngineering, for which there were not many identified Jews.
      However, dad's wife Teresa, the same name of Uncle Ike's beloved,became dad's source of safety and yes, she with whom he tested hiswill, for dad had a persistence and knew what he wanted, and felt safewhile in control.
      In the final week of his life, dad wished to be at home, in comfortand to ultimately relax. And what happened, was the family, for whomhe was devoted to taking financial care of all his life, joined himfor his last voyage. I think to a boat, as Tere, Michele and I werecamped out beside him. Though still the master of his ship, we werehis stewards. Tere, with her heart and the accrued skills shereceived from the University of Ralph, reading his every move andneed, along with me and Michele, helped chart his course, with ourunfathomable love. Such love between us was palpable. We were holdinghands, massaging his head, I was singing to my dad, Tere was dancingwith him in a wheel chair, Michele was beside him, whispering to himand playing songs of surrender by Josh Grobin. And all the while, wewere witnessing a will and strength that must have come from the AllMighty. There we were, guiding my dad, letting him know that he wasfinally safe to let go. And when he was ready, he sailed from hisGilded Cage!!
      On the seesaw of opposing forces, dad was a force of will, but therebetween us was a space of unflinching love.
      For all the beauty dad created, my wish is that you are now surroundedby a beauty as vast as the ocean and as wide as the sea. May you belike the spinnaker, fully aloft, where you heart soars on the breathof God.
      Your devotion of the heart, has come to light and will be treasured,always.

  • Sources 
    1. [S1428] U.S. City Directories,, (Name: Name: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.comOperations, Inc., 2010.Original data - Original sources vary accordingto directory. The title of the specific directory being viewed islisted at the top of the image viewer page. Check the director;) (Reliability: 3).
      Residence date: 1976Residence place: Westport, Connecticut

    2. [S1432] U.S. Phone and Address Directories, 1993-2002,, (Name: Name: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.comOperations Inc, 2005.Original data - 1993-2002 White Pages. LittleRock, AR, USA: Acxiom Corporation.Original data: 1993-2002 WhitePages. Little Rock, AR, USA: Acxiom Corporation.;;) (Reliability: 3).
      Residence date: 1994 1995
      Residence place: Westport, Connecticut

    3. [S264] U.S. Public Records Index,, (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007) (Reliability: 3).
      Birth date: 15 Feb 1928Birth place: Residence date:1935-1993Residence place: Sarasota, FL

    4. [S264] U.S. Public Records Index,, (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007) (Reliability: 3).
      Birth date: 15 Feb 1928Birth place: Residence date: 1974Residenceplace: Somerville, MA

    5. [S1432] U.S. Phone and Address Directories, 1993-2002,, (Name: Name: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.comOperations Inc, 2005.Original data - 1993-2002 White Pages. LittleRock, AR, USA: Acxiom Corporation.Original data: 1993-2002 WhitePages. Little Rock, AR, USA: Acxiom Corporation.;;) (Reliability: 3).
      Residence date: 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002Residence place:Westport, Connecticut

    6. [S1201] Cook County Birth Index (Reliability: 3).
      Birth date: 1928
      Birth place:
      Marriage date: 1959
      Marriage place:
      Residence date:
      Residence place: Connecticut, United States

    7. [S1433] GEDCOM File : 10.11.2011 Backar ~ Reis Family Tree.ged.

    8. [S1180] New York Passenger Lists, (, Year: 1936; Arrival: New York, United States; Microfilm serial: T715;Microfilm roll: T715_5773; Line: 8; List number: . (Reliability: 3).
      Birth date: abt 1887
      Birth place: Germany
      Origin date:
      Origin place: Germany
      Arrival date: 10 Mar 1936
      Arrival place: New York, New York
      Departure date:
      Departure place: Cherbourg, France

    9. [S1192] Death Certificate.