GSE and PSU fondly remember Ron Narode

Ron Narode 3Feb 4, 1954 – Feb 23, 2016

We are so saddened to lose our friend and colleague, Ron Narode, who died on February 23, 2016.

Ron was an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, serving more than 25 years at PSU. He was a beloved teacher of math and science education, as well as a valued colleague throughout the University.

Ron brought a tremendous breadth of knowledge and experience to his work, including studies of Chinese, Judaic studies, philosophy, and English before pursuing his MAT in physics, and then his EdD in math and science education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He was a masterful educator, always posing questions and exemplifying the passionate curiosity that he inspired in his students and colleagues.

Over his career at PSU, in addition to teaching, Ron published three books and wrote scores of articles on teaching math and science curriculum. He was principal investigator for over 43 grants totaling $14,115,079, including a multistate National Science Foundation grant in the amount of $10M with Portland Public Schools. In 1989 he was a Fulbright scholar in Portugal at the Universidade do Minho. He taught education at the University of the South Pacific, in Suva, Fiji, from 1989 to 1991.

Anyone who knew Ron knew that he was not all about work. Ron loved being in nature, canoeing, hiking in the woods, or walking many miles on Oregon’s hard-packed sandy beaches. He took care of his spirit and made the time to get out in one of his many canoes onto lakes and rivers around Portland. Nothing gave him more pleasure than sharing this joy with others.

While Ron struggled for two years with stomach cancer, that did not stop him from continuing his teaching, his work with the union, and his general enjoyment of life. He will be remembered for his big smile, his strong stand for social justice, his deep belief that every individual has the capacity to be a critical thinker, and his ability to listen thoughtfully to other points of view.

Ron is survived by Sarah Cleveland, his wife of 30 years; his adult children, Simon Narode and Ruth Narode; his sister and brother-in-law, Karen Zuckerman and Howard Zuckerman; his brother and sister-in-law, Dane Narode and Dana Narode; and his father, Leonard Narode.

A memorial service will be held on July 9, 2016, Ballroom – Smith Memorial Student Union. Doors open at 2pm, program begins at 2:30pm.

In lieu of gifts and flowers, Ron expressed his desire that contributions in his memory be made to PSU’s Helen Gordon Child Development Center. Donate online at Enter the gift amount in the first row, labeled “Helen Gordon Child Development Center.” Enter “In memory of Ron Narode” in the Gift Notes field. Or mail a check to:

Portland State University
GSE Development
PO Box 751
Portland, OR 97207-0751

Make the check payable to the PSU Foundation and write, “HGCDC, in memory of Ron Narode,” in the memo of your check.

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