The Authors of the Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Deborah Raber is a fourth-generation native Oregonian from the Rogue River Valley. She completed an undergraduate degree in Economics from Southern Oregon State University in 1976, and a Masters degree in Agricultural and Resource Economics from Oregon State in 1984. She has worked for the City of Hillsboro as a planner for over thirty years on many different projects including the master plans for Orenco Station, Tuality Hospital, Jones Farm, and Hillsboro Airport. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. With Kimberli Fitzgerald, Deborah co-authored the book Hillsboro (Arcadia Publishing 2009). 

  • John T. (Jack) Ramsay was born in Philadelphia in 1925. He holds a BS from Saint Joseph's College and an MS and EdD from the Univ. of Pennsylvania. After serving in the U.S. Navy, he taught and coached basketball at the high school and college levels. He began his NBA coaching career with the Philadelphia 76ers (1966-1972), and later with the Buffalo Braves (1972-1976), Portland Trail Blazers (1976-1986), and Indiana Pacers (1986-1988); his Blazers were 1977 NBA Champions. After 1988, he has served as a radio/tv analyst, since 1992 with ESPN. His publications include Pressure Basketball (2007). He died in April 2014.

  • Jarold Ramsey, who grew up on the family ranch near Madras, earned a B.A. from the University of Oregon and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington. He taught at the University of Rochester for more than thirty years before he returned to the Madras ranch in 2000. He is the author or editor of many books, including Coyote Was Going There, Reading the Fire, and New Era; four books of poetry; and numerous articles and monographs. His honors include the Don Walker Award, the Helen Bullis Award for Poetry, and the Quarterly Review of Literature International Poetry Prize.

  • SuAnn M. Reddick is the historian for Chemawa Indian School in Salem and is currently researching the history of the school and its place in the Pacific Northwest. With Cary Collins, she has written several articles concerning Native American history. She lives in McMinnvillle.

  • Janna E. Reid is a middle school English teacher in Southern Oregon. She lives in Grants Pass with her husband, her son, and another on the way. She thinks that middle school teachers are crazy.

  • Bob Reinhardt earned his Masters of Arts in history from the University of Oregon, with a thesis on the history of the communities of the North Santiam Canyon in the western Cascades. He has presented portions of that project at conferences throughout the Northwest. He was the 2007 recipient of the Center for Columbia River History's Castles Fellowship, for which he wrote a comparative history of community displacement in the face of federal dam construction in Detroit, Oregon, and Hover, Washington. Bob is a PhD candidate in history at the University of California, Davis.

  • Don Reynolds is emeritus professor of English at Southern Oregon University. He has lived in Ashland since 1967 and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Washington.

  • June Reynolds was born and raised in Oregon and is a local historian for the Sherwood and Washington County area. She was a teacher and librarian for thirty-five years and is on the board of directors for the Sherwood Historical Society.

  • Phyllis Reynolds received her master's degree in English language and literature from the University of Michigan in 1964. She taught English at Pacific Lutheran University and was an English teacher and counselor in the Medford school district for twenty-eight years. She served on the board of the Oregon Council of Teachers of English for ten years and worked with the Oregon Writing Project. Her involvement in school improvement projects included helping to write and administer two consecutive grants under Oregon's original House Bill 2020 legislation. She has lived in Ashland since 1967. 

  • William Patton, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s (OSF) first general manager and executive director, dedicated his life to theater and was a passionate supporter of the arts. His advocacy for the arts had no borders. He viewed art as connective—art begets art—building a vibrant theater in Ashland would be good not only for Southern Oregon, but for the state and the regional theater movement across the country.

    Patton helmed OSF from 1953-1995. Under his astute guidance the Festival grew from 29 performances and an audience of 15,000 to 752 performances and 359,000 in attendance the year he retired. His marketing skills and financial care ensured steady growth throughout the more than 40 years of his tenure, leading to the Festival’s emergence as one of the largest repertory theatres in the United States.

    Born in Medford, Oregon in 1927, Patton and his family moved for a brief time to Berkeley, CA, but returned to Medford where Patton finished junior high and high school. He was active in drama and community theatre, and while working on lighting for the Medford Little Theatre he met Angus L. Bowmer, founder of OSF. After graduation, Patton matriculated at Stanford University, but his studies were interrupted by two years of service with the Army Air Corps. He returned to Stanford, earning a degree in drama. While at Stanford his path crossed once again with Angus Bowmer, who was pursuing a doctorate in theatre. They struck up a friendship, and Patton began to spend his summers in Ashland working at OSF. Patton joined the Festival as a lighting technician in 1947, and in 1953 Bowmer appointed Patton as general manager—the Festival’s first paid full-time employee; in 1981 his title was changed to executive director.

    In 1958 Patton married Shirley Douglass, an actress at OSF who would delight audiences with her work for 30 seasons. Unlike many theater artists who often maintain a nomadic lifestyle, the couple built a home in Ashland and had three children.

    A sensitive and persistent tactician, Patton used his creativity and intelligence to cultivate relationships in Ashland and Southern Oregon and help the business community understand the importance of the theater as an economic driver for the region. He helped build bridges between Ashland and Medford, recognizing that Medford was the professional center of the Rogue Valley. Patton and Bowmer understood that for OSF to succeed people from beyond the valley must attend, so they embarked on a marketing campaign and sent actors up and down Interstate 5. Patton attended national conferences held by Theatre Communications Group (TCG) to gather and share expertise.

    His persistence in building collaborative relationships within and outside the theatre community led to his proudest achievements during his tenure: the construction of the Festival’s performing spaces conceived by Richard L. Hay, OSF’s resident theatre and scenic designer: the Elizabethan Theatre (1959), the Angus Bowmer Theatre (1970), the Black Swan (1977) and the enhancement of the Elizabethan Stage with the Allen Pavilion (1991). None of these projects would have been possible without the support of members, patrons and residents from Southern Oregon and beyond—support that Patton had cultivated and nurtured.

    Patton served alongside three artistic directors: Angus Bowmer, Jerry Turner and Henry Woronicz. Their ability to build an economically sound theater that presented powerful and popular plays in Ashland—a rural town that was clearly benefiting from tourism—became a beacon for those wishing to find similar success for their theaters, art centers and communities. Through the years many art practitioners made pilgrimage to Ashland hoping to discover the key to success, and Patton willingly offered his knowledge to those who arrived.

    In 1983 Patton and Artistic Director Jerry Turner went to New York to accept the Tony Award for regional theatre, a thrilling achievement and recognition of OSF’s excellence in theater. After the ceremony, Patton achieved a measure of notoriety for being identified as a “show biz exec’ in the National Enquirer, dancing at the celebration with long-time friend, Ginger Rogers.

    Patton received the Oregon Governor’s Award for the Arts in 1993 for his significant achievements and contributions to Oregon culture. He also became an Honorary Life Member of Ashland Chamber of Commerce. The Shakespeare Theatre Association of America, Institute of Outdoor Drama, American Shakespeare Center, Lewis & Clark College and Southern Oregon University also honored Patton for his life and work.

    In his retirement and later years, Patton continued to be a theater supporter and audience member until he lost his battle with cancer in January 2011. He had, however, the satisfaction of having seen all 11 plays in OSF’s 2010 season, a few of them multiple times. Art nurtured him always.

  • Rae Richen joined Kerr Volunteers' History Committee in 1981. In 1998, she wrote To Serve Those Most In Need, the history of Albertina Kerr Centers' 90 Years. Richen is also author of two historical novels from Lloyd Court Press, Uncharted Territory and Scapegoat: The Price of Freedom.

  • Captain Thron Riggs went to sea on merchant ships after graduation from high school. He spent twenty-seven years on ships, the last seven as Master. He has been a Columbia River Bar Pilot since 1992.

  • Jay Rishel has taught English at Wilsonville High School since 2000 and currently serves on the board of the Oregon Council of Teachers of English. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Northeast Portland. He swears never to talk about Chuck Palahniuk again.

  • William G. Robbins is emeritus distinguished professor at Oregon State University, where he was professor of history from 1971 until 2002. He is the author and editor of books on Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, including Landscapes of Promise: The Oregon Story, 1800-1940 and Oregon, This Storied Land. Since immigrating to Oregon from the East Coast in 1963, Robbins has developed an abiding affection for the state. It has been one of his great joys to have taught Pacific Northwest and Western American history for more than 30 years.  In the spring of 2015 Oregon State University Press will publish his next book, A Man for all Seasons: Monroe Sweetland and the Liberal Paradox.

  • Cindy Roche has an MS from Washington State University in Forestry and Range Management and a PhD from the University of Idaho in Plant Science. She wrote numerous Pacific Northwest Extension Bulletins on noxious weeds and has been editor of the journal of the Native Plant Society of Oregon, Kalmiopsis, for ten years. 

  • Elaine Dahl Rohse, McMinnville, is a native Oregonian and graduate of the University of Oregon journalism school. She is a past president and life member of the Yamhill County Historical Society. Her book, Poverty Wasn't Painful, was published in 2007. For more than thirty years she has written a column, "Rohse Colored Glasses," for the McMinnville News-Register, and has sold hundreds of articles to newspapers and magazines. She is a former lobbyist for Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association and Oregon State Sheriff's Association, and was McMinnville's first woman council member.

  • Jessica Rondema was born and raised in California. She moved up to Salem to attend Willamette University, graduating in 2007 with a BA in Anthropology. Jessica has worked at Historic Deepwood Estate and the Historic Elsinore Theatre, and was an intern at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art and with the Salem Multicultural Institute. She currently works at the Oregon State Library while doing freelance research about local history in her spare time.

  • Roy Roos has authored two books: Portland's Irvington Neighborhood (1997) and The History of Albina (September 2008), including the neighborhoods of Eliot, Boise, King, Humboldt, Overlook, and Piedmont. Roy came to Oregon in 1987, after studies in architecture, engineering, and forest land management at California Polytechnical University at San Luis Obispo and Humboldt State. He grew up in Sacramento, where he witnessed the destruction of historic buildings and neighborhoods in the name of progress and urban renewal, but which only increased sprawl. In Portland, he has worked as a land surveyor and property manager, and as an advocate of historic preservation.

  • Frederic D. Ross is Professor Emeritus of Education at Linfield College, having retired after 23 years on the faculty as professor and teacher licensing officer. He spent three additional years as Senior Advisor and Assistant to President Thomas Hellie of Linfield, where he acted as liaison to the Board of Trustees from the President's Office and also managed special projects. He holds a Doctor of Education degree from Stanford University, and was a high school German and English teacher and Instruction Vice Principal before joining the Linfield faculty.

  • Leland M. Roth received an architecture degree from the University of Illinois (Champaign), 1966, and his doctorate from Yale in 1971. After teaching at Ohio State University and Northwestern University, he came to the University of Oregon  where he taught from 1978 to 2010, as the Marion Dean Ross Distinguished Professor of Architectural History since 1992. He is the author of A Concise History of American Architecture (New York, 1979), several books and monographs on the New York architects McKim, Mead & White, Understanding Architecture: Its Elements, History, and Meaning (New York, 1993; 2nd ed. 2007), and American Architecture: A History (Boulder CO, 2001).    

  • Eric Rue, a Blackfish Member since 2006, joined the gallery shortly after graduating from PNCA with a BFA in Painting in 2005. Since graduation he has worked steadily and exhibited in Portland as well as in group shows in Seattle (Gallery 110) and New York City (55 Mercer Gallery). In 2008 he was included in a national publication called Studio Visit Magazine curated by Michael Klein, one of the former curators for the Microsoft Collection, and nominated for the 2009 Brink Award at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington.

  • Kristi Russell graduated Southern Oregon University in 2009 with a baccalaureate of science degree in English and a minor in education. Kristi enjoys learning and writing. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to advance her career in educational policy.

  • Greg Ryder has been an Interpretive Park Ranger with Oregon State Parks within the Cape Blanco Management Unit of southern Oregon since 2007. He has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Shawnee State University and is an Oregon Master Naturalist. He enjoys spending time outdoors with his two daughters.