Dr. Ronald Lee Kaye, father of Rabbi Jeffrey Kaye, passed away March 3, 2018, in Palo Alto, Calif. Rabbi Kaye officiated at his father’s service and burial on March 6 in California.
Kaye, his three brothers, grandchildren, friends, family members and colleagues eulogized Dr. Kaye at the funeral.
“Ron was a friend to many, including his numerous patients, and he went out of his way to help countless people,” the family said.
“Although he will be missed tremendously by the innumerable people whose lives he touched, his memory and wonderful deeds will forever live on in all our hearts.”
Dr. Kaye was born April 15, 1932, in Toledo, Ohio, to Philip Kaminsky and Gertrude Mae Berman, who predeceased him.
A clarinet and saxophone player, he had the opportunity in high school to play with Benny Goodman and his Orchestra and interviewed Gen. Dwight Eisenhower as managing editor at the DeVilbiss High School newspaper.
He met his future wife Tobye Fay Davidson at summer camp in 1949, when he was 18 and Tobye was 14-and-a-half. They married in 1955 in Detroit.
Dr. Kaye received his AB and MD from the University of Michigan. After his internship at Sinai Hospital in Detroit, he completed his residency in internal medicine and rheumatology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic.
He interrupted his post-graduate medical training to serve as a captain in the US Air Force at George Air Force Base in southern California.
In 1963, Dr. Kaye and his wife moved to Palo Alto where he founded the rheumatology department at the Palo Alto Clinic (now the Palo Alto Medical Foundation) and chaired the department until he retired from clinical practice in 1997.
As clinical professor of medicine at Stanford, Dr. Kaye taught many medical students, residents and rheumatology residents.
He chaired the California Medical Association’s committee on continuing medical education, which established re-licensing standards for all physicians in the state and later in the nation through the American Medical Association’s CME department.
One of the first Americans to travel to China in 1979, Dr. Kaye initiated scientific exchanges between the Peking Medical School and Stanford.
He received the first Philip S. Hench Award for Excellence in Rheumatology at the Mayo Clinic; was elected to the Royal Society of Medicine (London) and the American College of Physicians; and was honored by the Arthritis Foundation and the Santa Clara Medical Society.
Dr. Kaye led the Israel Bond drive at Stanford after the Six Day War, served on the Magen David Adom national board, co-founded the Sino-Judaic Institute and co-organized the first Jewish bioethics conference at Hebrew Union College.
He and Tobye belonged to Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills for almost 55 years.
Dr. Kaye is survived by his wife Tobye; sons Brian (Fran), Todd (Julie), Douglas (Cyndi) and Rabbi Jeffrey (Rhonda); grandchildren Naomi (Honza), Ilan, Joshua, Ari, Shaina, Doniel, Micaela, Asher, Jonah and Avi Kaye; great-grandson Ezra Kaye; and brother Jerry (Elsa) Kaye.
Contributions may be made to Congregation Beth Shalom, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, American Friends of Magen David Adom, or charity of choice.
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