Ms. Rin, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library
Shifra Rin, who served at Van Pelt-Dietrich Library from 1964 to 1983 as Hebrew cataloger and bibliographer, died at home on March 25, at the age of 97. She died peacefully with her family at her bedside.
During her Penn years, she published several academic articles, as well as co-authored Acts of the Gods: The Ugaritic Epic Poetry (1996) with her husband, Penn professor Svi Rin, who pre-deceased her in 1998 (Almanac October 6, 1998). In recent years, she took up painting and ceramics, and was invited to display her works at several exhibitions.
She is survived by her daughter, Ruth A. Rin (CW’66), retired Hebraica cataloging librarian at Van Pelt-Dietrich Library; daughter, Dr. Hadas Rin (CW’68, G’70); son, Dr. N. Adam Rin (C’71, GEE’72, GrE’76); daughter-in-law, Judith B. Rin (G’73); four grandchildren, Dahlia Rin (C’05), Dr. Deborah Erlich, Jonathan Rin, Benjamin Rin; and two siblings.
Dr. Melzi, Romance Languages
Dr. Robert C. Melzi, a lecturer from 1977 to 1978 in the department of Romance languages in the School of Arts & Sciences, passed away March 1 at age 96.
Dr. Melzi was a professor emeritus of Romance languages at Widener University, where he served on the faculty for 30 years and chaired the Romance language department in the 1970s. He also taught courses at St. Joseph’s University, Villanova University and Bryn Mawr College. He retired in 1990.
Dr. Melzi researched Dante and later wrote about the treatment of Jews during the Italian Renaissance. In 1967, he wrote Castelvetro’s Annotations to the ‘Inferno’: A New Perspective in Sixteenth Century Criticism. A speaker of four languages, Dr. Melzi wrote Bantam New College Italian-English Dictionary in 1973.
Born Italo Liebman in Milan, Italy, Dr. Melzi graduated from the University of Padua and then served as an officer in the Italian Army.
After emigrating to the United States in 1942 and changing his name, Dr. Melzi sold chicken feed and then sold insurance.
He was encouraged to return to school, where he earned a master’s degree and doctorate in Romance languages from Penn in 1956 and 1966, respectively.
He taught for a year at Millersville State College before joining the faculty of the Pennsylvania Military Academy, now Widener University.
Dr. Melzi is survived by a son, Bob; a daughter, Marie; seven grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter. His wife died in 2008 and a son, James, died in 2007.
Donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 399 Market St., Suite 102, Philadelphia, PA 19106.
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