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Dr. Robert E. Icenhauer-Ramirez

October 19, 1955March 5, 2021
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Dr. Robert E. Icenhauer-Ramirez, historian, lawyer, author, history lecturer, and beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend. Robert died on March 5, 2021. He was 65 years old and will be greatly missed by the many people that knew and loved him.

Robert was born in 1955 and grew up in Hebbronville, Texas, a small town in south Texas. As he described it, Hebbronville was “an ideal little town to grow up in” because everyone knew and protected you. At a very young age, he developed a love of history. When his father traveled to some of the bigger cities around Hebbronville, he would often buy Robert a new history book. Neither of his parents attended college, but they instilled a love of learning in both of their sons. When he was 17, Robert attended Texas A&M University; he majored in history and graduated in three years, followed immediately by three years of law school at the University of Texas.

He started practicing law when he was 23, a career that he prospered in for the next 40 years. He was not adversarial by nature, but he was an excellent trial lawyer, known for his thorough preparation and revealing cross examinations. He worked first in Port Arthur, Texas, and later as an attorney for the City of Austin. He spent most of his career in private practice in Austin, as a criminal defense lawyer and also representing police officers in civil cases. Never wavering in his love for reading history, Robert will be remembered for always carrying with him to the courthouse whatever book he was currently reading.

Robert eventually pursued his dream of becoming a historian, receiving his doctorate degree in history in 2014 from the University of Texas. He published a book in 2019, Treason on Trial: The United States v. Jefferson Davis, through LSU press, about the prosecution of Jefferson Davis after the civil war. His greatest aspiration came true when he was given the opportunity to teach history at UT, including several semesters on the civil war. His passion for history and engaging teaching style made him a favorite professor.

History was his passion, but Robert’s children were his pride and joy. He married Linda in 1979 and they had three children: Mike, Katie, and Liz. He shared with his kids his love of baseball, UT sports, and history; he coached their little league teams for many years; he took them to UT games; he took them on many trips to tour civil war battlefields and to attend major league baseball games. He was always their steadfast and loyal supporter, helping them pursue their dreams in any way he could. He also remained very close friends and law partners with Linda throughout his life.

In 2003, he married Jennifer and spent the rest of his life by her side. They joyfully watched their family grow with the addition of in-laws, nephews, grandchildren, and family friends that became part of the family. He helped his son open a bar on Rainey Street before anyone had heard of Rainey Street. He loved having family and friends over on Sundays for steak night, always making a point to show visitors his library and ever-growing collection of books and historical documents. In addition to practicing law and teaching, he travelled and hiked with Jennifer. He delighted in spending time with his grandchildren. Although his sudden battle with cancer took him from his family far too soon, he lived life to the fullest each day, never forgetting to show appreciation to those who surrounded him.

Robert will be remembered for many things: his laugh, his wit, his generosity, and his graciousness. He had the innate ability to show others that they were appreciated and valued. He inspired others to believe in their abilities and pursue their dreams. But mostly he will be remembered for being a teacher: of history, of kindness, of steadfast loyalty, and of love.

He is survived by his wife, Jennifer Poppe, his three children and five grandchildren, Michael Allen Icenhauer, his son Harrison Robert and daughter Palmer Reese; Katherine Icenhauer-Ramirez, her wife Deanna Lichter and their daughters, Kianna Grace and Hannah Ruth; and Elizabeth Icenhauer-Ramirez Mendoza, her husband Adam Mendoza and their new son James Ryan. He is also survived by his children’s mother, Linda Icenhauer-Ramirez, his brother, Gocha Allen Ramirez and his wife, Jessica, and by Alex Damianov. He was preceded in death by his parents, Zaragoza San Miguel Ramirez from Hebbronville, Texas and Ruth Ann Icenhauer, from Muncie, Indiana.

Robert’s life will be celebrated on March 17, 2021. Visitation will start at 10:00. The service will be at 11:00. Both visitation and service will be held outside at 7004 Western Oaks Blvd., Austin, Texas. A graveside service will immediately follow at Cook-Walden/Forest Oaks Memorial Park, 6300 William Cannon Drive, Austin, Texas.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Dr. Robert Icenhauer-Ramirez Memorial Endowment in the Department of History at the University of Texas at Austin by visiting http://links.utexas.edu/cusrbxh. Donations can also be mailed to The University of Texas at Austin University Development Office, PO Box 7458, Austin, TX 78713, with Icenhauer-Ramirez in the memo line or by contacting mmisselhorn@austin.utexas.edu.


  • Allen Ramirez
  • Ron Meyerson
  • Adam Mendoza
  • Chris Poppe
  • Mike Kueber
  • Dana Henry
  • Mike Soliz
  • Dal Ruggles
  • Alex Damianov


  • Visitation

    Wednesday, March 17, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Wednesday, March 17, 2021

  • Graveside Service

    Wednesday, March 17, 2021


Dr. Robert E. Icenhauer-Ramirez

have a memory or condolence to add?

Mike Lynch

March 17, 2021

When Robert represented an accused in my court, I could rest assured that the defendant was getting the most vigorous and complete defense possible. Robert possessed a rare combination of attributes: he was a fierce advocate, a brilliant lawyer and scholar, and a true gentleman. It was a pleasure spending time in his company, whether talking the law, history, or sharing family stories. We will all miss him dearly. My condolences to his family.

Gray Laird

March 16, 2021

Robert was what every lawyer strives to be. I truly looked up to him and always will. It was an honor to be a colleague and friend of his. My sincere condolences to all of his family. He will be greatly missed.

Michael Norris

March 16, 2021

Robert was a remarkable man. The world is a lonelier place without him. My sincere condolences to the family.

David Phillips

March 16, 2021

I think Robert's first job in Austin was prosecuting in my court (Municipal Court). I loved him from the start! He was so genuine in everything he did.
He mostly went on to the criminal law side of things and I went civil, but we still saw each other from time to time. Honest, trustworthy, friendly, kind, intelligent--he hit all the right notes. I'm so sorry to hear of his passing. Too soon. I didn't know about the Ph.D. or the book. I've ordered a copy and look forward to remembering the man when I read his work.

Allan Williams

March 11, 2021

Robert - Having known you for many years, I have admired you as a lawyer, historian, colleague and friend. The world is a better place because you were here. I will miss you.

Allan L. Williams

Stephen Toland

March 10, 2021

My deepest condolences and prayers for healing. I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to get to know Robert over the years and to have learned much by watching him in the court room. A true gentleman. As South Texas natives who majored in history, loved baseball, criminal defense and spending time with our families...we had so much in common and I will really miss our brief yet meaningful talks.

Chris Johnson

March 10, 2021

I am so sad to learn of Robert’s passing. He was a man of class and quiet dignity who’s kindness, piercing gaze and genuine interest in others made him a pleasure to be around. I am proud to have known him. He was an example of how to be a person and how to practice the law. I will miss him.

Lisa Mims

March 10, 2021

Robert was always one of the smartest people in the courthouse. He was kind, and always willing to offer advice. He will be greatly missed.

Brian Manley

March 10, 2021

I was deeply saddened to learn of Robert’s passing. I had the good fortune of knowing Robert over the years and will miss him. He had an amazing legal mind and was an inspiration to many. My thoughts and prayers are with Robert’s family, who I know he cherished dearly, during this difficult time.

Art Acevedo

March 10, 2021

So very sad to learn about the loss of such a great man. Robert had a spirit warm and caring spirit and a heart of gold. He was the consummate professional and a phenomenal litigator. One of the things he loved to do is speak with pride about his family. My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends. Rest In Peace Robert, you were taken to soon.

With Deep Sympathy,

Art Acevedo


Robert with his brother Gocha and mother Ruth Ann.


Robert, Liz & Mike at the Rose Bowl for the Texas vs Alabama National Championship in 2010.


Robert, mother Ruth Ann, son Mike & father Gocha.


Moving Robert's safe into the library with the help of Harrison, Mike & Adam.


Robert & his mother Ruth Ann.


Robert & Jennifer at granddaughter Kianna's first birthday.


Robert lecturing on his book at the Civil War Round Table in Austin, Texas.


Robert with grandson Harrison at a UT basketball game.


Robert & Kianna practicing spelling at the office.