OBITUARY:Ted Rosenkrantz

Thursday November 15, 2001

This tribute to and obituary of Ted Rosenkrantz was  

written by Berkeley resident Mark Coplan,  

president of In Dulci Jubilo 


Though many of us in the community know who Ted Rosenkranz was, others don’t realize that, with no children of his own, Rosenkranz created In Dulci Jubilo, Inc. to fulfill a life-long dream of helping to inspire our kids.  

He died at 80 of cancer on Friday afternoon.  

In addition to giving more than 23 full years of his life, Ted didn’t do anything part time – he gave more than $500,000 of his own money to the organization.  

He would have no extras for himself, but would write a personal check for $500 to a teacher without blinking an eye. Especially if it was for a garden or a spelling bee.  

And his neighbors will tell you he was truly a legend in his garden, but even some of them didn’t know of his generosity to Berkeley schools and the city’s children. He always insisted that he take no personal credit.  

For all of these years, when I.D.J. sponsored an event, Ted was the quiet guy in the back passing out refreshments.  

During the past two months, as he waited to pass, I had many wonderful opportunities to spend time with Ted. We spoke of many things, like when he was a student at Willard Jr. High, what it was like to be the second family to build a house on Fulton Street and the early days of I.D.J. 

Thursday morning he told me that the time had come and he was waiting to die. He told me that his only regret was that he had not been able do enough to inspire and excite kids. I laughed and reminded him of all that he had accomplished for Berkeley kids. And I assured him that In Dulci Jubilo would continue to make dreams in the classrooms come true, inspiring both teachers and students for the next 23 years.  

After staying low key for so many years, Ted finally settled back and enjoyed the spotlight. He was deeply touched when Mayor Shirley Dean came to his bedside and presented him with a proclamation declaring Ted Rosenkranz Day in the City of Berkeley. He watched Berkeley Community TV from his bed when the School Board proclaimed Ted Rosenkranz Day in the schools. And when the Daily Planet ran a full page article honoring him (2/10/2001), he had the most beautiful, shy smile as I read it to him. Someone brought him a stack of copies and he passed them out to visitors for days. It was beautifully written, and it was a fitting eulogy to one of Berkeley’s greatest sons.  

Ted left knowing that he had made a difference. 

A memorial will be held during the first week of December and will be announced in the pages of the Daily Planet.