Obituary: William ‘Bill’ Raffeld

Bill Raffeld
Wiliam Raffeld

William “Bill” F. Raffeld, associate professor emeritus in the School of Theatre & Music, died May 17. He was 83.

He dedicated his life to his friends and family, to theatre, and to the students, faculty, staff, and alumni at UIC.

He joined the faculty in 1963 and continued to share his knowledge, skill, wisdom and kindness with students and colleagues after retirement. The list of his significant contributions to theatre at UIC is long. He helped establish the Department of Speech and Theatre within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; served as Director of Theater and later Coordinator of Theatre; led the performance program (acting and directing); and directed an International Theatre Exchange program between UIC and companies in Russia and England. More recently, he co-founded the Theatre and Music Alumni Association; and continued to substitute teach until as recently as this past year. He will be dearly missed. 

Survivors include his siblings, Diane Raffeld (Jack) Zelinger, Renee Bernheim and David Raffeld, and many nieces and nephews. A private service was held May 20.

Contributions in his memory may be made online to the William F. Raffeld Award at UIC or by mail: UIC William F. Raffeld Award (checks payable of the University of Illinois Foundation), 1305 W. Green Street, MC-386, Urbana, IL 61801. Add a note that the donation is for the UIC Professor William F. Raffeld Award.

 The William F. Raffeld Award is intended for a continuing undergraduate student at UIC, majoring in Communications and Theater, of outstanding creative ability, must have demonstrated exceptional ability in the department’s production program, and who has a minimum 3.0 GPA. 

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