OBITUARY

Otto R. Theurkauf

October 24, 1927June 16, 2014

Otto Robert Theurkauf, (Bob), died on June 16, 2014, at the age of 86 in Greenwich Hospital. He was a resident of Waccabuc, NY and spent winters at his home in Wellington, FL.

Bob was born October 24, 1927 in Glen Ridge, NJ to Edward A. and Frances (Fitzgerald) Theurkauf. He grew up in Montclair, NJ and graduated from Montclair High School. In October, 1944, the day after his 17th birthday, he enlisted in the Navy Air Corps, where he trained as a pilot before the war ended.

After a few semesters at Duke University as part of his naval training, Bob enrolled at Princeton University and graduated in 1950. He said his best legacy from Princeton was meeting his wife, Justine (Tina) Farrell, in Woodstock, Vermont at a joint Princeton/Smith College ski weekend. Bob and Tina celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this past January.

Fresh out of Princeton, Bob joined the firm of Scudder, Stevens & Clark, investment counselors, in 1950, where he remained for his entire fifty year career. He started as an oil analyst and was transferred to the firm’s Los Angeles office in 1962. In 1972 he was called back to New York and appointed the firm’s head of equity research. He later chaired the firm’s investment policy committee and served on its Board of Directors. Following Scudder’s acquisition of The Japan Fund, Bob served as its president.

Horses were an important part of Bob’s life. He learned to ride as a child, and once settled in Los Angeles, the family got involved in riding and showing. Bob himself rode in horse shows until he was in his 70’s. In the 1980’s he was president of the Greenwich Riding and Trails Association.

He is survived by his wife, Justine (Tina); daughters Sarah Boyle of Stamford, CT, Susan Howe and husband, Rick Howe of San Diego, CA; Amy Reed and husband, Rolon Reed of Katonah, NY; six grandchildren and one great-grandchild; as well as a brother, Dr. Edward A. Theurkauf of Chester Springs, PA; and a sister, Joan Hayden of Bala Cynwyd, PA. He is predeceased by a daughter, Lydia F. Theurkauf; and a brother, Thomas F. Theurkauf.

In lieu of flowers the family has requested that donations be made in his name to the Lewisboro Library, PO Box 477, South Salem, NY 10590.

A funeral mass will be held on Monday, June 23, 2014 at 10 a.m. at St. Michael the Archangel Church, 469 North Street, Greenwich, CT; followed by burial at St. Mary’s Cemetery, 399 North Street, Greenwich, CT. If you wish to leave an online condolence please visit www.leopgallaghergreenwich.com

Services

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Funeral Service Monday, June 23, 2014
  • Burial Monday, June 23, 2014

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • *In Lieu of Flowers*
REMEMBERING

Otto R. Theurkauf

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Bill Wallace

July 17, 2014

To the Theurkauf Family,

I had the privilege to work with Bob for many years at Scudder. It was relatively early in my career and I will always be thankful for his mentoring and kindness. He was always very approachable and willing to give any colleague or client as much of his time and expertise as they wanted. Bob was a person we would all do well to emulate. I would say the world is a lesser place without him but I know that he made it a much better place for those of us who knew him.

My condolences and best wishes,

Bill Wallace

Bobbi Shorthouse

July 6, 2014

Dear Tina, Although I only knew Bob from the Greenwich croquet courts, from the first day I met him, he (and you) were always warm and friendly. Like Denys and me, I know many people have fond memories of him. My sympathy to you and your family. Keep those good memories close.

Nick Bratt

July 2, 2014

Dear Tina and family , I want to record two events which I shared with Bob during our working careers at Scudder.

Until I arrived at Scudder Bob had been focused on investment opportunities in the US. After several lively debates -- he always had strongly held opinions -- I not only convinced him that we should take Japanese industrial competition very seriously but that he should also accompany me on a research trip. Initially he was not too keen on the idea and he made it very clear to me that he did not wish to eat raw fish ( " don't forget , Nick, I'm a meat and potatoes man " )nor did he want to sleep on a tatami mat in a ryokan ( " the Hilton will be fine " ).But, as the saying goes , the rest is history . Bob and I had a thoroughly enjoyable and highly productive trip . He became fascinated by the country , its culture, its people and , importantly, its investment opportunities . He expanded his responsibilities at Scudder and for many years was involved with the Japan Fund , in addition to his research and managerial roles.

Almost exactly 25 years ago I was responsible for his being in China at the time of the Tiananmen Square riots . We had decided to arrange a visit to China for the board of the Scudder New Asia Fund . Unbeknownst to us, political pressures had been building up in the country and while we were in Beijing two dramas unfolded : it looked as if a popular revolution was about to break out and in the general confusion , it felt as if law and order were breaking down, Bob's passport was stolen. You were there at the time, Tina, and I remember very well how anxious you were . We had no idea how long it would take the US Embassy to issue Bob a new passport . Moreover in the tense atmosphere of the time the US embassy staff were not overly keen to be bothered with the issue of a lost passport. By the morning of our scheduled departure ( assuming the airport had not been closed ) Bob still did not have a new passport . You accompanied the rest of us to the airport -- we wanted to make sure we could leave the country before the borders were closed -- while Bob went back to the Embassy one more time in the hope of obtaining a passport. To this day I have kept a vivid image of the look of joy and relief on your face when Bob made it to Beijing airport just it time with a new passport.

Please accept my deepest condolences . Bob was a dear, wonderful man who had a profoundly positive effect on my career and life,

Yvonne Kierlanczyk

June 27, 2014

Dear Mr. Theurkauf … yes, I always called you Mr. Theurkauf; not necessarily because of my European background but out of my respect to who you were, to what you achieved in your life and what you represented. Eleven years is a long enough time to learn about a person. Your stern and yet gentle ways of communicating your wants and dislikes and your sense of humor, so distinct to leave a listener with an after-thought, I will miss forever. I did want to tell you some of these things in person … I did not get a chance. You left us while I was far away … I told my mother whom I was visiting at the time that I might not see you again and suddenly I cried … It was the evening of June 15.
Your leadership qualities that we all could see more of and your inquisitive, sharp mind will be dearly missed. You are an inspiration; you are a model to follow and with all your accomplishments you were such a humble individual. It was my honor to have known you. Fly high in heaven's skies …

My deepest and warmest words of sympathy to Mrs. Theurkauf, Amy, Sarah and Susan. Thinking of you all in these days of sorrow,

Sandra Knuth Walsh

June 27, 2014

Dear Tina and family,
So very sorry to hear this sad news. What a wonderful guy. We loved him and we love you. Your generosity will never be forgotten. Thinking of you and sharing your grief. Sandy, Bob, and boys

June 27, 2014

Amy....you are in my thoughts and prayers. I know how close you were with your Dad and I know how special that can be. He will remain in your heart forever. Linda Seitles (Sherman, CT)

Derek Wassink

June 24, 2014

Tina, I am so saddened by Bob's passing and wish you and your family my deepest condolences. I so enjoyed talking with Bob on the croquet lawn, the conversation usually turned to our favorite subject, as both former Tigers, to Princeton. I am so glad I had the opportunity to meet him, he had a great spirit. Sincerely yours, Derek '87

Lori Howe

June 24, 2014

We were so sorry to hear of your loss. It was a privilege to have made his acquaintance.

Andrea Mewhinney

June 23, 2014

Royal Patrick, Best Mistake and Pluco have their favorite rider again. Otto was a wonderful man. My condolences to the family,

W. David McCoy

June 23, 2014

Dear Tina and Family,

Millie and I were so saddened to learn of Bob's passing. What an amazing and generous man. I loved his no-nonsense manner and good advice. He, as you know, was a great help to me at a critical time for the National Croquet Center and the Croquet Foundation of America -- both financially and personally with his wise counsel.

Millie and I regret we will be unable to attend the service in his honor, but you and he will be in our thoughts.

If there is any way I can be of assistance, please let me know.

David and Millie McCoy