Obituary: Paul Byers Ranslow

Husband, former Pitzer College president, liberal arts champion

Former Pitzer College?President Paul Byers Ranslow died April 9, 2018 in Lincoln, California from complications caused by prostate cancer. He was 70 years old.

Mr. Ranslow was born in September 1947 in the Republic of the Philippines. He was raised in Southern California and graduated from North Hollywood High School. He earned his undergraduate degree from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, a master’s degree from Springfield College in Massachusetts, and a doctoral degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

He had a distinguished career in higher education, serving more than 40 years as a professor, dean, vice president, and president of three colleges—Claremont’s Pitzer College, Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin and Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village, Nevada.

Career hallmarks for Mr. Ranslow included advocating for students of all backgrounds, exercising a passionate commitment to community building, and employing an unwavering devotion to the liberal arts, his family said.

“He was exceptionally loyal, a superb listener, a friend of the disenfranchised and a man of extraordinary integrity and character. Moreover, he had a curious and intellectual mind, a bent for a good political argument, a keen sense of humor, a love for the LA Dodgers (and later the San Francisco Giants)?, and a penchant for good wine and Mexican food.”

His parents, Paul and Ida Ranslow, and father in-law, Fred Wilson, preceded him in death.

He is survived by his loving wife, Stephanie; his sister, Susan Ranslow Solorzano, and brother, Peter Ranslow; nieces Jasmin and Taylor Joy; mother in-law, Marcella Wilson; and his brother and sister in-law, Kip and Melissa Virts. 

“Paul Ranslow will be dearly missed, and friends and family will have a celebration of his life at a future date,” his family shared. “He left us all a legacy of graciousness, kindness, and wry wit. He was, in the best sense, a good and generous man.”

The family asks those wishing to pay tribute to Mr. Ranslow do so in the form of a donation to the charity of their choice.


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