Ronald Edward Block
April 29, 1941 – March 26, 2021
Miami, Florida - Dr. Ronald E . Block, 79, professor, researcher, and beloved father, passed away on March 26, 2021 at his home in Miami, FL. Ron was born on April 29, 1941 to Frederick J. Block, Jr. and Thelma Cordes Block in Charleston, SC. He graduated from Chicora High in 1959, where he played basketball and drove the bus for the band. He earned a B.S. in Chemistry from the College of Charleston in 1963. After marrying fellow Chicora graduate, the late Patricia (Rose) Block, he earned his Ph.D. at Clemson University in 1969. A postdoctoral fellowship, and the prospect of spending more time with his brother Fred, brought Ron to Florida, where he launched a prolific career as scientist, professor, and mentor. Ron had a persistent intellectual curiosity. He studied biochemical and biological applications of magnetic resonance to a wide range of topics like cancer, Parkinson's, and dementia. He served as Senior Scientist at Papanicolau Cancer Research Institute, took a sabbatical at the Environmental Protection Agency, and worked as Research Scientist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach. Ron won grants from the NIH to support his research and was elected Chair of the South Florida section of the American Chemical Society in 1999. He was highly regarded among his colleagues and published numerous scientific papers, earning a patent for a contrast agent with applications in medical biochemistry. Ron taught chemistry and biochemistry across the state, at University of Florida, University of Miami, Florida Atlantic University, Barry University, and other institutions. He joined Nova Southeastern University in 1993 and became Chair of the Biochemistry Department in 1999, where he served until his passing. Ron held high standards for academic rigor and kindness in the classroom, and strongly believed the student body should reflect the diversity of the state. Over his life, Ron taught dozens of courses and thousands of students. Deeply engaged, Ron was a gentle, lifelong learner who enjoyed friendly intellectual talk, travel, live music, the fellowship of his church community, and above all spending quality time with his daughters, grandchildren, and other family. He will be sorely missed by his daughters Alison (Ernesto) Martinez and Kristin (Rome Hamner) Block, sister-in-law Marina Block, Jeri Hurt, grandchildren Juliette and Alessandro, and loving nieces, nephews, other relatives , and friends. Ron will be laid to rest at Carolina Memorial Gardens Cemetery on Saturday, April 17. Due to COVID- 19, there will be no gathering at this time, however services will follow in Florida and South Carolina once it is safe to gather. ln lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the College of Charleston Department of Chemistry or the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine at Nova Southeastern University.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Ronald Edward Block
April 15, 2021
Ron was highly respected as a friend, college and as a very good and kind person. All of us at NSU miss him greatly. Ron was someone we all looked forward to seeing everyday.
I was once assigned to be a peer reviewer of one of his lectures. His lecture was so informative that I found myself taking notes on the information Ron presented so that I could present the information to my students in my lectures. After his lecture I asked to see the handout that he provided to the students. The handout was so complete and concise on the topic (lactation & the transfer of drugs to breast milk) that I asked if I could use his handout to provide medical and pharmacy students the information they needed on the subject. For more than ten years I have asked students to review Ron's handout because I don't think there is a better resource for them to learn what they need to know on the topic.
Several of the NSU faculty would meet every day for lunch where we would enjoy friendship and intellectual conversation. Everyone was always impressed by Ron's whit, sense of humor and the breath of his knowledge on numerous topics. When the pandemic closed the university, many of the faculty continued to have lunch with Ron because we needed his presence, his kind persona, and the friendly vibe he extended to those around him.
Our lives are better and fuller for having known Ron. We miss him and cherish him in our memory. He was a good friend and a great educator.
Wayne A. Schreier, M.S., Ph.D.
Physiology Division Chair, Interim Division Chief of Anatomy,
Professor, Medical Education,
Nova Southeastern University
Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine