Dr. Thomas C. Rambo

August 28, 1940 ~ May 1, 2020 (age 79)

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Columbiana, OH - Thomas C. Rambo, age 79, formerly of California, KY, passed away Friday afternoon, May 1, 2020 at Hospice House, Poland, OH.

Dr. Rambo was born on August 28, 1940 in Ranipet, India, son of the late Victor and Louise Birch Rambo. He moved to the US to attend the College of Wooster, in Wooster, OH, then moved on to earn his doctorate in biology from the Ohio State University. He spent two years teaching at Haile Selassie University in Alemaya, Ethiopia.

Thomas was a professor (emeritus) of biology at Northern Kentucky University, where he received the Outstanding Professor, Professor of the Year, and Strongest Influence Faculty awards. He was a founding member of the university faculty when he was hired in 1972. He also served as lay pastor at California Christian Church for 25 years and was most recently a member of First Christian Church in Covington, KY.

Baseball (Cincinnati Reds). Birds (always watching). Ice cream (Graeter’s). Warmth (temperature and personality). Travel (Costa Rica and beyond). Teaching (Always). Music (classical). Faith.

But above all, generosity. Every student was his “kid,” every person someone to be lifted up. He shed literal blood for the mosquitoes in his lab and selflessly sacrificed his lap for the comfort of his dogs—and even a cat or two. He opened his home to many, sharing the peace of the surrounding nature with everyone who visited. He loved his family with a quiet intensity you knew you could always count on—even when he was biting his tongue to keep from yelling about some stupid thing his kids had done.

He is survived by his wife, the former Elinor E. Emery, whom he married on July 6, 1968; his son, T. Birch (Sharon) Rambo of Crockett, VA; his daughter, Elisabeth (Fritz) Nelson of Columbiana, OH; five grandchildren, Micah Rambo, Rosalind H. Rambo, Clara Lederer, Tabitha Lederer and Eric Nelson; a brother, Dr. William (Dr. Lydia Englehardt) Rambo of Charleston, SC; and a sister, Barbara Hoshiko of Ashland, OH.

He was also preceded in death by a sister, Helen Walters, and a brother, Dr. V. Birch Rambo.

Services will be held at First Christian Church, Covington, KY, on a date to be determined later.

Memorial donations may be made to First Christian Church, Covington, KY, or the Northern Kentucky University COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Warrick-Kummer-Rettig Funeral Home, Columbiana, OH.

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