Our dear father, Robert James Ringlee, passed away on November 27 surrounded by his loving family. Dad was born on April 23, 1926 in Sacramento, CA.
Dad is survived by his three children, Sarah N. Fowler (Daniel) of Plainfield, Vermont, Jane C. Ringlee (Robert Donaldson) of Schenectady, New York and R. Kris Ringlee (Elizabeth) of Delanson, New York; eight grandchildren, Benjamin Donnon, Andrew Donnon, Owen King, Callum King, Alexis Bruce, Sean Bruce, Syndenn Harmon and Maren Foley; and eight great-grandchildren, Liam King, Connor King, Killian King, Duncann VillaLobos, Eliza Donnon, James Donnon, Ruby Foley and Olive Foley. Dad was predeceased by his loving wife of 63 years, Helen L. Ringlee.
Dad served in the US Navy from 1943 to 1946. After his honorable discharge from the Navy he continued his studies in engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dad let us know how appreciative he was for his GI loan to be able to continue his higher education. Upon graduation he came East for his first job where he eventually met the love of his life, Helen. They met on a canoe trip on Lake George. This foreshadowed Mom and Dad’s everlasting love for the outdoors.
Dad grew up in Seattle, WA surrounded by the high peaks terrain. As a teen and in his early twenties, he climbed Mount Rainier and throughout the Cascade mountain ranges. Dad skied the high peak’s areas and told us stories of sleeping under the most magnificent star-filled skies at 10,000 feet. He made us laugh with his stories that included an encounter with a brown bear. While Dad and his friends slept soundly, this huge bear ate all of their camping breakfast except for their coffee. When they awoke and discovered the melee that had occurred during the night the bear came back into camp to get more food. Dad’s friend decided to chase the bear out of their campsite. This big bear started to run away but all of a sudden turned back and charged at them. At that point Dad and his friends climbed up the nearest trees and had to wait for this big bear to leave. Dad kept us enthralled with his adventures throughout his life.
Dad and Mom first settled in Pittsfield, MA and then moved to Schenectady, NY. Dad continued his studies as he worked full-time. He received a Doctorate in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. After working at General Electric, he and a group of engineers formed the company Power Technologies Incorporated. Dad traveled the world for his work, often bringing Mom. He was world-known for his expertise in power systems analysis and reliability. Dad was asked to teach many courses in his field all over the world. At the age of 90 Dad attended the IEEE conference in Chicago, IL. Dad presented some of his ground-breaking theories and work. Dad continued his engineering consulting work up to this present year.
Dad was generous with his time and expertise. He stepped in to become the ADK president and helped the mountain club to grow. Dad was on the local school board where he was known for his fair and kindly dealings. Dad’s church, Unitarian, benefitted from Dad’s willingness to set up and monitor their financial systems and also help to maintain their electrical systems. Dad loved his neighbors and neighborhood, West Hill. He worked with his neighbors on many projects including setting up the “green belt” around the houses, President of the West Hill Board, and trails’ building and maintenance.
Dad’s love for his family was his driving force. We knew that we could ask Dad any question and receive a considerate and thorough response. We also knew that he was a humble and powerful soul that continued to guide us to his end. We know too that he will continue to be our guiding light.
A Celebration of Life for our father, Robert J. Ringlee, will be held on December 28, 2019 Saturday at 2 PM at the Schenectady Unitarian Universalist Church. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to either the Schenectady Hospice or the Adirondack Mountain Club. Arrangements have been made by the Glenville Funeral Home, Inc.