Wednesday 10 July 2013

Ron Schoeffel of the University of Toronto Press

Ron Schoeffel, who was 'my editor' at the University of Toronto Press, and who was enormously helpful to me in the whole process of getting Hermeneutics and Method published, passed away a few days ago. Here is a tribute to him from the U of T Press notice that I received a few minutes ago. I pray for Ron and thank God for him: he was truly a wonderful human being, and Lonergan, Lonergan studies, and many Lonergan scholars have been fortunate to have someone like him.

When I first dared to send my MS to the U of T Press, it was Ron who replied. He was, if I remember right, in the midst of jury duty. He wrote a very encouraging letter. Eventually the two referees disagreed, and so he set a third, who happened to be enthusiastic, and so Hermeneutics and Method was eventually published. In later years, I dropped in twice or thrice when I happened to be in the city, usually without notice, and Ron was unfailingly gracious and welcoming. The last time was when he was already in retirement, and working part time for the Press. And then of course he kept setting 'little assignments' for me, which were certainly acknowledgements, and which I am glad I was able to do. Ron was an Editor who brought something extra to his job, and that made him a very special human being. He brought a human touch to his job. 

Here is the tribute:
It is with deep sadness that we write to tell you that our long-time friend and colleague, Ron Schoeffel, has passed away. We were contacted by his son with the news that Ron had died suddenly of natural causes over the weekend.
Ron Schoeffel joined the Editorial Department of UTP in 1963 and made innumerable noteworthy contributions over the course of his 50-year career with us.

He founded the Collected Works of Erasmus project in 1968 and published the first volume in 1974. He officially retired from UTP in 2001, and was recognized at that time with the presentation of an honorary degree from St. Michael's University. He continued to work part time with us on this and other projects that were dear to his heart. He brought us a wealth of knowledge and good judgment. He was a highly regarded mentor to many developing scholars and editors over the years, a shining example of passion and commitment to scholarship, and a respected and much-loved member of our team. He will be sorely missed.
And yet another:
IN MEMORIAM
Ron Schoeffel
January 25, 1936-July 4, 2013
The Canadian Scholarly Publishing industry has lost one of its guiding lights, Ronald Schoeffel. A true gentleman and scholar, Ron died unexpected of a heart attack on July 4th in his Toronto home.
Ron received a PhD from University of Toronto and joined the Editorial Department at University of Toronto Press in 1963. He made innumerable contributions over the course of his 50-year career at UTP. Most notably, Ron founded the Collected Works of Erasmus project in 1968 and published the first volume in 1974. Installments in the series will continue to appear from UTP for the next decade or so.
A project spanning close to fifty years is a rare phenomenon within any industry and virtually unheard of within book publishing. And it is a testament to Ron’s passion, vision and commitment to academic research that what he called his “life’s work,” Erasmus, will ultimately consist of eighty-nine volumes.
Ron officially retired from UTP in 2001, and was recognized at that time with the presentation of an honourary degree from St. Michael's University. He continued to work part time at UTP on Erasmus and other projects that were dear to his heart, such as The Collected Works of Northrop Frye, and The Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan.
“Ron brought us a wealth of knowledge and good judgement, and was a highly regarded mentor to many developing scholars and editors over the years, a shining example of passion and commitment to scholarship, and a respected and much loved member of our team,” said John Yates, UTP’s Chief Executive Officer. “He will be sorely missed.”

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