Obituary to Prof Loewenthal

27 Oct 2011 - 09:45


Emeritus Associate Professor Loewenthal started working at the University of Cape Town in September 1974 as a Senior Lecturer and was promoted to Associate Professor on the 1st of January 1987. He retired from UCT on the 31st of December 2006 and move to his olive farm in Vermaaklikheid where he died at the age of 69 on the 6th of January 2011.

Prof Loewenthal did his postgraduate studies as UCT. He was well liked by his students who enjoyed his eccentricities. He always entered the lecture theatre without a single lecture note, believing that keeping notes would make his lectures stale and repetitive. Some of the words and phrases students used to describe him have been recorded for posterity in student are a few:

"...understands the mind of a student through and through...."

"...he made complex concepts so simple to understand ...that you went away wondering what the problem was...

....has the weathered face of a Keith Richards and a devilish sense of humour...

"....he often landed up lighting two cigarettes and placed one on each side of the lecture theatre, so that he could pace back and forth taking regular puffs at each end as the ideas flowed..."

He had a magnetism that drew people to him from all walks of life. He had the rare gift of making all people feel somehow more special, more alive in his presence. That indeed was his magic and a huge part of his legacy. In the end, he faced death as he faced the trials of life: squarely and bravely with honesty and integrity and with that magnificent mix of flippancy and profundity that he made uniquely his own. He wanted all that were dear to him, not to wallow in sadness, but to celebrate his life.