Curt Ries died peacefully at home in San Anselmo on November 12th, 2021, two years after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Born in Basel, Switzerland in 1938, he came to the U.S. on the last passenger ship to cross the Atlantic before the start of WWII. His family settled in Maplewood, New Jersey, where he grew up alongside his three sisters, mother, and father.
Curt worked hard at school, attending Johns Hopkins University and receiving his MD from the University of Rochester School of Medicine. After two years in the public health service, he moved to California and began a distinguished career at UCSF, where he was a Professor of Medicine in Hematology for over 50 years. Utterly committed to his work of advancing clinical research, mentoring staff, and caring for patients, Curt was known as an exceptionally kind, compassionate, and attentive physician, who exuded warmth, calm, and empathy.
Curt was also a dedicated and loving husband and father. He shared 40 happy years of marriage with his wife, Marybeth and raised three wonderful children: Elizabeth (Dara Sherfat), Julia, and Curt Jr (Kyle Amsler). He was “papa” to his beloved grandson, Kameron, and “Cort” to his younger sister, Elizabeth (Tootsie) Kocher. He treasured spending time with his family around a shared meal and a carefully researched bottle of Pinot Noir.
Curt deeply appreciated the peace and beauty of nature and found a special joy fly fishing in the wild rivers of the West. He was deeply cherished by all who knew him and will be dearly missed by all who loved him. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Doctors Without Borders, the Sunrise Movement, or your favorite humanitarian or environmental organization.
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