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Kurt A. Raaflaub

September 12, 2023
Kurt A. Raaflaub
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Obituary for Kurt A. Raaflaub

Kurt A. Raaflaub, 82, of Providence, died Tuesday at the R.I. Hospital as the result of a fall at home. He was the beloved husband of Deborah Boedeker. In addition to his wife, he leaves his stepchildren Edgar Boedeker of Cedar Falls, Iowa, and Nancy Boedeker of Indianapolis; his brothers Beat and Hans-Ueli Raaflaub of Basel, Switzerland and their wives Marianne and Monika; seven nephews and nieces in Switzerland, and his sister-in-law Amy (Dickmann) Massie of St. Louis.

Born to Swiss parents, Fritz and Heidi (Ninck) Raaflaub, who were stationed at a mission station in Buea, Cameroon, Kurt moved to Switzerland at the age of seven. He received his PhD in Classics and Ancient History from the University of Basel, served in the Swiss military, and joined the faculty at the Free University of Berlin in 1972. He moved to Brown University in 1978, where he taught and published in Ancient History and Classics until his retirement in 2009. Major publications include books on Julius Caesar, the history of political freedom, and comparative Greek and Roman political history. He served as President of the Classical Studies Association, and from 1992 to 2000 as co-Director of Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies (Washington, D.C.).

Kurt was an accomplished flute player and lover of classical music and Alpine hiking. He is remembered as an engaging teacher and stalwart friend.

A memorial service will be held at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church on Orchard Ave. in Providence on October 28, 2023 at 3pm. (to prevent the spread of Covid, wearing of masks is encouraged but not required. Donations in his memory may be made to Brown University or the Nature Conservancy in Rhode Island.

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