Carl Hermann Rinne

July 9, 1936December 10, 2013

Carl Rinne, age 77, passed away at Huron Woods, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI, on the morning of December 11, 2013, after a long struggle with Lewy Body Dementia. Born on July 9, 1936 in Cleveland, OH, to Carl Rinne, Sr. and Maxine Rinne, both deceased, Carl was preceded in death by his two younger brothers, David Rinne and Stephan Rinne. Educated at DePauw University and Stanford University, Carl served a tour of duty in the U.S. Naval Reserve, during which time he visited Japan and other Far Eastern ports, much to his delight and edification. He taught high school English in several California Bay Area schools, including Palo Alto High School. Upon completion of his Ph.D. degree at Stanford, Carl was appointed Principal of the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools High School. Coming to the University of Michigan in 1970, he served as Education Director of the Environmental Simulation Laboratory in the UM School of Natural Resources, as Assistant to the Dean of the UM-Flint campus, and then as Assistant Professor and Associate Professor of Education at UM-Flint where he was also a faculty member in the Public Administration program. While on a sabbatical in Japan, he was Visiting Professor at Kyoto University. During his teaching years, Carl originated several new courses, published three textbooks on classroom management and leadership skills, and invented a simulation training technology which later came to be called “Skills Central.” In 1962, Carl married Mary Johns of Ft. Wayne, IN. He is survived by their children, Melissa Rinne and John Rinne, several cousins and nieces, and granddaughter Marie Okada. In 1999, Carl married Tamara Real, who lovingly cared for him throughout their marriage and his later illness. Carl and Tamara converted a century-old Ann Arbor church to their home. In “The Church on Fountain Street,” they hosted musical and dramatic events as a treasured part of their active social life. Carl performed music all his life, particularly as a vocalist and trombonist. He performed for over two decades in “PRIME Vocal Jazz,” making two singing tours to Europe, and appearing in numerous music festivals including the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Carl was especially thrilled with his opportunities to sing in choruses in Carnegie Hall and in the Moscow Academy, Russia. After many decades as a choir soloist in the Episcopalian church, he converted to Russian Orthodoxy and became a beloved choir member. Carl was also active as a trombonist in the 5-trombone ensemble “JazzBones” and the Saline Big Band during the decade of 2000. One of Carl’s favorite athletic activities was “Flounders,” a unique and vigorous brand of water polo played three times each week and followed by convivial lunch at the University Club, Michigan Union. Funeral services will be held Thursday, December 12, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at St. Vladimir Orthodox Church, 9900 Jackson Rd., Dexter, MI 48130 ( Burial will be Friday, December 13 at 10:00 a.m. at Forest Hill Cemetery in Ann Arbor. A celebration of “All Things Carl” will take place at a future date. Carl and his family request that donations in lieu of flowers be given in Carl’s memory to either the Lewy Body Dementia Association ( or to a worthy cause of your choice.


  • Funeral Service Thursday, December 12, 2013
  • Graveside Service Friday, December 13, 2013

Carl Hermann Rinne

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Kim Lawrence

August 13, 2015

My condolences to you. Tamara, I knew you in junior high school so many years ago. It was beautiful to read of your love affair with Carl. And remembering you, and your orchestration of our gang's adventures, it was pretty easy to imagine you and Carl's wonderful home, and the love and light it contained. My thoughts and good wishes are with you.

Melissa Rinne

December 12, 2014

Thank you to all who signed and read this guest book for remembering my father with so much love and admiration. He lived a fulfilling, stimulating, and blessed life, and I know that he would have been filled with humility and gratitude at all the feelings--expressed or silent--of all of you who gave him joy, peace, and love over the years. My special thanks go to Tamara, whose love and devotion to him cannot be described in words. She made his very difficult struggle with Lewy Bodies Dementia in his last years a time of warmth and loving care. And I am so grateful for my brother John David, who was there for him in so many ways over the years. Poppi, you will never be forgotten, and your legacy lives on in so many ways. We will always love you.

Reva Hawke Daniel

November 29, 2014

I was so sorry to read today (almost a year later) of Dr. Rinne's illness and passing. He was an inspiration to me when I was an age-advantaged student. I adored his L.E.T. Class and enjoyed working for him on coding the data from his observations of Japanese schools and being one of the proofreaders of his book on classroom control. I have 2 copies! I send my sympathy to his family.

Ryan Boros

October 15, 2014

I had the privilege to have Carl as a client early in my career. His ideas were truly ahead of their time. He couldn't have been a nicer man and it was a joy to work with him and Tamara. I was extremely saddened to find out he had passed. Deepest sympathy to all of Carl's family.

Richard Wallace

February 10, 2014


I was so sorry to hear about Carl's passing. We will be listening to jazz in his honor.

Christy Klim

December 20, 2013

I'm so sorry to read of Carl's passing. He was my dad's treasured friend, and a friend to all our family. I'll never forget when I was sitting with my dad in the ER after he had heart problems. Carl showed up to visit, even though he was himself in a wheelchair from a foot injury at the time.
Sometimes my dad and Carl practiced trombone at my house. I worked in the garden and listened to their beautiful music through the open windows. It was heavenly.
I also deeply appreciated the generosity of Carl and the Jazzbones in performing for veterans at the VA hospital.

My deepest sympathy to all of Carl's family.
Thank you Carl. We'll miss you.

Jerry Brabenec

December 15, 2013

It was a privilege to know and play music with Carl and my heart goes out to Tamara and all of Carl's family. He was a gracious friend and an expressive and fun loving musician who brought positive energy to everything he did.

Harry D'Souza

December 13, 2013

Carl was always kind and serene. I will remember his gentle manner fondly.

December 13, 2013

My sincere sympathy to the family of Dr. Rinne. Carl was a professor of mine when I attended college in Flint in the late 70s. In the terrible employment climate of the 80s I quit teaching after a six year slog in substituting. Many years later I was working in a retail shop in Kerrytown in Ann Arbor. One night in walked Carl Rinne, the only customer in the store at that time. It took me a minute to realize who he was. When he wandered by I said, "Hmm, you must be a college professor." He looked at me quizzically and said, "Yes, I was.". So I looked downward and said, "Probably a professor of English, no, hmm, Education." He looked at me rather thunderstruck and said, "I was a professor of Education, how did you know that?" I said, "It's your shoes. Those are the sort of shoes you might wear if you're a professor in a field like that." So he looked at his shoes a while, pondering. When I'd enjoyed myself enough I let the cat out of the bag. He got quite a laugh out of that. I explained to him that while he was an excellent professor of Education I had found that being a teacher didn't really suit me. I reminded him that he used to say that, having been a principal in Chicago, that "teaching was a percentage game." I said that this cuts both ways, and that some who had been enthused by teaching might later choose a different path, and that at any rate, I always used the principle of "active listening" which he taught me in a retail setting. No education really goes to waste if you think about it, and I often wonder where I would be if not for great teachers like Carl.

Jerry Drummond
U of M Flint Class of 80

December 13, 2013

How well I remember Carl from our UM-Flint days. It is hard to believe that he is no longer with us. My heart reaches out to his family.
Renate McLaughlin