Robert Bly is dead – Obituary 2021 – cause of death

Columbia, South Carolina-Robert Bray is the son of Robert Stuart Bray Sr. and Otai Brown Bray. He was born on August 10, 1929 in Lakeland, Florida. He died at his home in Western Columbia on January 27, 2021.

As a young boy, Bob is very active as a Boy Scout and is proud to be an Eagle Scout. While in Lakeland, he attended Lakeland High School and Florida Southern College, and received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.

Later, he received a master’s degree from Northwestern University and a doctorate from the University of Colorado in 1957. During his graduate studies, he met Ruta Kramins, a Latvian immigrant, who was also studying for a PhD in chemistry. They married in 1956 and became partners in science and life for the next 64 years.

After obtaining a graduate degree, Bob worked as a research chemist at DuPont, but two years later, he thought that academic life was the best for him.

In January 1961, after one year as a postdoctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he accepted the position of assistant professor, teaching organic chemistry and conducting research in the Department of Chemistry at the University of South Carolina. He was promoted to associate professor in 1964 and professor in 1970.

He served as the head of the department from 1970 to 1973, and then took a one-year leave as a visiting scholar in the Department of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. The following year, he returned to the Department of Chemistry at the University of South Carolina and played an important role in its two decades of rapid development.

He is actively engaged in teaching and research, serving as thesis advisor for 20 PhD and 4 master students. He retired as an honorary professor in 1994, but continued to teach for the next nine years.

He is a respected member of the Carolina family and is remembered by colleagues for his boring sense of humor and as a mentor and encourager for new faculty and staff.

In his later years, he developed a keen interest in chorus. Over the years, he joined six choral groups: Columbia Chorus Association, Master Singer, University of Southern California Men’s Choir, Berkshire International Chorus, Arpad Darazs Singer and Ebenezer Lutheran Choir Church.

Bob is a compassionate person. He is deeply concerned about community care and social justice. In this capacity, he worked as a volunteer in a free medical clinic (he was named “Volunteer of the Year” in 2010), served meals at the Salvation Army, Washington Street soup cellar, and used wheels when he was in his 80s Food delivery.

His wife Ruta, brother Allen from Atlanta, Georgia, Richard (Becky), nephew of Germantown, MD, Robert (Gina), nephew of Atlanta, Georgia, and three great nieces Lucy, Charlie and Anne Survived.

The family thanked Dr. Craig Maylath for his compassionate care.
A private memorial service will be held at Ebenezer Lutheran Church on February 20, 2021. Donations can be made to the Ebenezer Lutheran Church Capital Campaign Debt Reduction, the University of South Carolina Chemistry/Biochemistry Promotion Fund or the university to replace the flowers of the South Carolina Conservatory of Music to support choral music.

Leave a Comment