Obituary: Dr. Harris Ripps

We found the following obituary for Dr. Ripps, who lived in a Boca Pointe condo since 2008:

Dr. Harris Ripps of Boca Raton, FL, passed away September 18 in Boston. An O.D. and M.D. Ph.D. from Columbia University. Dr. Ripps was formerly Professor of ophthalmology, visual science, anatomy, cell biology, physiology and biophysics and Chairman of Ophthalmological Research at New York University Medical School and later at the University of Illinois’ Chicago College of Medicine; and research scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA from 1968-2014.
Dr. Ripps made invaluable contributions to the study of the mechanisms by which retinal cells communicate with one another and also to basic science investigations to identify the causes of visual loss in inherited retinal diseases. His research was continually funded by NIH from 1975 through 2007. He was honored for his research contributions throughout his career and received some of the most prestigious international and national awards in vision science, including the Edrige-Green Award of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the prestigious Proctor Medal from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and The Alcon Research Institute Award of Excellence. Dr. Ripps was a Distinguished University Professor who held the Charles I. Young / Lions of Illinois Endowed Chair of Ocular Research from 1985, when he joined the Department, until his retirement from UIC in 2009.
In 1963 the FBI delivered a top-secret device to Dr. Ripps. It was an Argon laser. They wanted to see the effects of this new device on the human eye. The experiment was done on the rabbit eye. The first time it was used it made a loud pop and the rabbit died. The government agents were ecstatic about having a death ray. The agents did not know that rabbits die from fright. But Dr. Ripps was the first person to see the effects of the laser on the retina. Now the laser is routinely used to save sight.
Later in his career he discovered the presence of the dark current in the retina. Before his discovery, everybody thought the way signals worked in the eye was, one stimulus initiated another and then another and so on until the brain saw the signal. What really happened was that there was a stimulus that shut off a flowing current in the retina. This created a much faster response for us to actually see the light.
More recently, looking carefully at a blinding condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa, he discovered that only small clusters of cells were actually affected by the genetic disorder, but the entire retina died with time. This was because a chemical neurotransmitter was being released that was toxic to the other retina cells. This was a chemical never discovered to be in the retina before. As it turns out this may be why many eye diseases can lead to a progressive vision loss even when treatment has been initiated.
A Navy veteran, Dr. Ripps’ avocations included art, music, sports and photography. He was a collector of Whistler graphics and Vanity Fair prints, and an avid opera buff. He passionately followed football, tennis, and golf. He was the devoted and happily married husband of Jeanne (Meisler) for 64 years, cherished father of Bradford (father-in law of Debbie), Glenn and Owen; loving grandfather of Jeffrey (his wife Christina), Zachary (his wife Adrianna) and Molly, and proud great-grandfather of Johanna. He was a fun brother-in-law and a loyal friend. A memorial service will be held in New York on October 5th.

Obituary: David C. Leipzig

The following obituary was forwarded to us earlier. We heard about Mr. Leipzig’s passing from many readers.

David Leipzig passed away on Sept. 15, 2014, from injuries sustained in a jet-ski accident.
Dave was born in Kenosha, Wis., on Nov. 9, 1962, to James and Cora Leipzig (Chiappetta). He attended the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, studying pre-med and earned his doctorate in podiatry at the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences in Dubuque, Ia.
Dave was also a member of the Wisconsin National Guard, completing his basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO before serving at Ft. Sam Houston in Texas. In 2003, Dave moved to Florida where he managed a popular sports bar in West Boca Raton until his passing.
A memorial was held on Sept. 19, in Boca Raton, FL.
He is survived by his father James; sisters, Debbie, Denise (Dee Dee), Jeannine, and Carrie; brothers, Jim and Mark.

Obituary: Al Grubow

Alan G. Grubow
Dec. 14, 1928 – April 11, 2014
Alan George Grubow passed away on April 11, 2014 with his wife of 63 years Leda and his two daughters at his side. The only thing quicker than Al’s smile was his willingness to help anyone in need. A salesman by profession, he brought the same tenacity and can-do attitude to the West Boca community he moved to in 1985.
Al served as president of Boca Chase for nearly a decade where his legacy – a beautifully landscaped waterfall welcomes people to the community. He was elected to the Board of Directors of the West Boca Community Council in 2001, where he was instrumental in widening US Route 441 and championed many other causes. He was also a member of the Community Association Institute’s Board of Directors.
Al was perhaps proudest of his final community accomplishment – Drop In Action Sports Complex in Boca Raton. In March, the action sports complex was dedicated in honor of Alan with a plaque that read in part – “whose vision, dedication and tenacity resulted in the construction of the facility”.
Al, a long-time resident of Matawan, N.J. prior to moving to Florida died after a courageous battle with cancer. He was an avid tennis player, always wearing matching tennis outfits with Leda, until just a few years ago. For years, he could be found on the Bamm Hollow Country Club golf course, Lincroft, N.J. every weekend no matter the weather or time of the year.
Al was elected Chancellor Commander of the John F. Kennedy Centennial Lodge 100, Knights of Pythias, a non-sectarian fraternal organization. He grew up in Somerville, MA., Class of 1946, Somerville High School. Al never lost his Boston accent particularly when calling No. 12 in bingo and was a lifelong Red Sox fan.
A graduate of Syracuse University, he was a proud Orangeman sports fan. Al could tell a great joke, loved to laugh and never missed one of his daughters’ softball games, field hockey games or bowling matches during their youth.
Al is survived by his beloved wife Leda, daughters Amy-Sue, Flanders, N.J. and Wendy, Carmel, CA., and grandchildren, Hannah, Jared, Alexandra, Brittany and Zachary. He is also survived by his brother Barry. We send Al off with hearts filled with love and the gratitude of having had the privilege of calling him a friend, husband, father and grandfather.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Al’s name to Drop In Action Sports Complex in Boca Raton: 21271 Millbrook Court, Boca Raton, 33498; If you wish to share your thoughts and condolences with Al’s family, please visit Bernheim-Apter-Kreitzman Funeral Chapel.
Thanks to the West Boca Community Council for providing this obituary.

Steven Brown Obituary

Steven Brown passed away on April 9, 2014. He was the beloved husband of Dana, father of Susie, Andrew and Jordan, and father-in-law to Micha and Jennifer.
Steve was born on August 11, 1955 on Larson Air Force Base, Moses Lake, Washington, and graduated from the University of Illinois in 1977. He married Dana in 1978 and they moved to Boca Raton in 1980 to open Brown’s Interior Design on Federal Highway in Boca Raton. Steve was a member of Woodfield Country Club and served on the boards of Temple Beth El and the Florence Fuller Child Development Center.
Steve’s first passion was his family. He devoted every day to making a better life for his wife and children. His other passion was his business and those he worked with. Most people dread Sunday evenings because they have a long work week ahead. Steve loved his business so much that Sunday meant a new week to grow the business he loved.
Steve also devoted his time to building deep friendships and always being there for his friends and family. Steve always conducted himself with the highest integrity and chose to lead by example. He was quicker to understand than to judge, always choosing to view problems from the other person’s point of view.
Although he ran a full-time business, Steve never missed one of his kids’ sporting or school events. Steve was his kids’ biggest fan, always guiding and supporting them. Steve loved watching basketball and football, especially it meant if he could fill his house and throw a viewing party with his friends and family.
Steve was also known for his quirky fashion, including his beloved fanny-pack (which he swore is making a fashion comeback). Steve personified what a good friend is all about, always making sure that his family and friends were taken care of.
Besides his wife and children, Steve is survived by his parents, Murray and Carol Brown; his in-laws, Allen and Bunny Sabath; his brother, David, and sister-in-law, Suzanne, and his sister, Pamela Nadler and brother-in-law Mark.
Steve will be missed for the passion he brought to life and the love and devotion he committed to his family and friends. Not only will his friends and family miss him dearly, the entire community has suffered a great loss.
West Boca News previously covered the accident that led to Mr. Brown’s passing.

Steve Brown Killed in Bicycle-Van Accident

Update: Steven Brown Obituary
Steven B. Brown (58) of Brown’s Interior Design and a resident of Woodfield Country Club passed away yesterday when his bicycle was struck by a minivan on Lyons Road north of Clint Moore.
The Sheriff reports that the minivan driver was Marion L. Rosenstein (68), who appears to be a resident of Century Village.
On our review of the court database, we do not see any traffic or criminal history for Mr. Brown. Ms. Rosenstein has no criminal history and only one traffic case that we can see, for a red light ticket from 2011. She paid a $264 fine plus a late fee of $23 for that incident.
At this writing it does not appear that any charges have been filed against Mrs. Rosenstein, though the Sheriff is conducting an investigation.
Steve Brown co-founded Brown’s Interior Design in 1975. The firm specializes in high-end interior design. He was raised in Chicago, a graduate of the University of Illinois, and was a member of the Boca Raton Executive Club. He and his wife Dana hosted a party for the Spanish River High School Foundation’s 3rd Annual Progressive Dinner Food For Thought Event back in 2012 and were sponsors of the 5th Annual event this year and last year as well.
West Boca News extends its condolences to the Brown family.
Disclosure: The author is a member of Temple Beth El of Boca Raton.