Rubin Francis Weston
August 12, 1921 – May 15, 2018
Rubin Francis Weston August 12, 1921 - May 15, 2018 Rubin Francis Weston’s long life’s journey ended just short of his 97th birthday. He was born in Richland County, SC, on July 7, 1921, the second of three children born to Willie and Louise (Hopkins) Weston. His birthdate was mistakenly recorded as August 12, which remained his official birthday until his death. Formerly of Xenia, Ohio; he departed this life at Palisades retirement community in Colorado Springs, CO, on May 15, 2018. His early years were spent in North and South Carolina, and he always thought of himself as a southerner, but in 1936 the family fled the depression South and settled in Philadelphia. There he grew to adulthood, and there his heart--and his family--remained for the rest of his life. In Philly he graduated from the prestigious Central High School for boys. Like many men of his generation, Rubin served in World War II. His naval career was brief, but it left him with a life-long love of seafood, Newport, RI, and the friendly girls of East Coast seaports. He never tired of reminiscing about his time in the Philadelphia Navy Yard, and his Navy duty spent entirely on land. He was of the fortunate generation of men who were launched into successful careers by the postwar GI Bill. What was to become a long academic career began at North Carolina College at Durham (now NC Central University), where he earned BA and MA degrees. In 1964, as a two-time Danforth fellow, he finished a PhD in history and geography at Syracuse University. His doctoral research was later published as Racism in US Imperialism (University of South Carolina Press, 1972) As a teen in Philadelphia, Rubin began working in bake shops, and became an accomplished Jewish baker (his favorite joke). He continued baking at night while attending college and raising a family. Throughout his life his intellectual accomplishments were matched by his cloud-light pocket rolls and world-class cheesecake. He loved good food, and loved to prepare it. A number of relatives have followed in his wake to become superb cooks, several of them male. Rubin began his long teaching career as a high school history teacher in North Carolina, then was recruited to teach at his alma mater while still a graduate student. In 1964, new doctorate in hand, he accepted a position as Chairman of Social Sciences at South Carolina State University, where he remained until 1968. From then until his retirement in 1992 he was Professor , then Chair, of the History Department at Central State University in Wilberforce, OH. Once retired from teaching, Rubin operated an Arby’s restaurant for 18 years. There his Danish rolls and biscuits drew an appreciative public. His final, definitive, once-and-for-all retirement came in 2005 at the age of 84, when he agreed to try to learn how to relax. Rubin’s long life, both public and private, was marked by outspoken activism, particularly on behalf of those deprived of basic human rights. He fought injustice of any kind, whatever shape it took, finding that the just side was often not the popular side. Most notably, in 1968 he found himself caught up in events at SC State University which came to be known as the Orangeburg Massacre. Similar, though better known, events occurred two years later at Kent State University. Once again, he championed the side of justice and earned himself the enmity of powerful people. The family left South Carolina. February 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the Orangeburg Massacre. To the end of his life he always spoke up, always confronted sham and unfairness. To those who worked with him, and to those who learned from him, he cast a long shadow. In addition to his wife, Elisabeth, Rubin is survived by his children Kittie Weston- Knauer (Max) of Des Moines, IA; Saber Muslim (Mariam) of Greensboro, NC; John Willie Weston (Lisa), of East Hampton, NY; and Rachel Weston Ukawa (Kang), of Tokyo, Japan. His grandchildren range in age from 50 years to 9 months: Yvette Stroman, Crescendel Stroman Moss (Willie), Max Knauer IV (Kelli), Joseph P. Knauer, Jovan Weston (Candice), Jasmine Weston Thomas (Nathaniel), Joy Weston, Jamaica Weston, Joseph C. Weston (Megan), LaSaundra Weston, Bashir Muslim, Indigo Weston, Cayla Weston and Kai Ukawa. He is survived by 14 great-grandchildren. Rubin was preceded in death by his parents, sister Willie Mae Bullock, brother Wade Weston, and by four of his children: Clinton (1962), Joseph (2004), and Martin (2018) Weston, and Jennifer (Theresa) Prather (2018). Memorial services will be held in conjunction with a family reunion later in the year, at the family home in Philadelphia, with interment in Rolling Green Memorial Park, West Chester, PA. As he was the last of his generation in his family, and one of the few surviving WWII veterans, Rubin’s passing marks the end of an era. He will be greatly missed.
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Rubin Francis Weston
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May 30, 2018
Rubin was my best buddy on Market Street. We spent a lot of time in the porch swing and on the back terrace discussing life and how it ought to be. I only wish I could have been part of the "Market Street Gang" it sounded like good times. Rest In Peace good friend. Ron and Ann