Chocolatespoon: Emily’s Musings

One more Grandpa writeup

Posted on: December 17, 2006

  • In: Family
  • Comments Off on One more Grandpa writeup

Brian and Mom wrote up a notice about Grandpa for the Columbia alumni magazine, and it appears here in their Nov/Dec issue:

Ralph Sheffer, sports marketing pioneer, fundraiser and philanthropist, Westport, Conn., on September 26, 2006. Sheffer was a coxswain at Columbia in the early 1930s, recruited during the first days of his freshman year because he was small. He joined not even knowing how to swim. He attended the Law School, fought in WWII and worked with the U.S. Olympic Committee to sell sponsorships and advertising to support American athletes around the world. Sheffer married Betty Rabinowitz in 1947 and moved to Westport, where he served in a variety of elected and appointed positions, most notably as moderator of the Representative Town Meeting. Sheffer’s name is carved in the wood paneling of the Columbia boathouse in honor of his rowing accomplishments. In 2002, the Columbia rowing community named the newest boat in its fleet in his honor. Sheffer’s wife predeceased him; he is survived by three children and five grandchildren, including Brian Reich ’02, who was a coxswain for Columbia’s heavyweight crew. Sheffer’s brother, Eugene, was a professor of French at Columbia and director of the Maison Française.

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