Cover photo for Robert A. Ravitz's Obituary
Robert A. Ravitz Profile Photo

Robert A. Ravitz

July 15, 1952 — January 23, 2024


Robert A. Ravitz

Robert “Bob” Ravitz made his closing arguments on January 23, 2024. Bob was born on July 15, 1952 in Miami, Florida to Bill and Toba Ravitz. He spent his childhood misbehaving, most notably getting kicked out of Hebrew school for disagreeing with the teacher. Luckily, that passion for arguing didn't land him in dire trouble; instead, he turned it into a passion. Bob went to the University of Colorado for undergrad, and then to law school at Oklahoma City University. From there, he landed in the Oklahoma County Public Defender’s Office – where he would become Chief Public Defender and stay for the remainder of his career. Bob was a passionate and outspoken advocate for criminal justice reform, staunchly anti-death penalty, and likely a thorn in the side of anybody who disagreed with him. He successfully argued Cooper v. Oklahoma before the United States Supreme Court where the Court unanimously concluded the Oklahoma standard for determining competency to stand trial was unconstitutional. He’s been recognized with many prestigious awards and served on many boards – but those are all things you can Google. What the internet will not tell you is that when his kids were little, he used to chase his daughter, Rachel, around the house pretending to be one of the Winkie Guards from The Wizard of Oz. The internet will also not tell you that he drove through flooded streets and pouring rain to rescue his marooned daughter, Jenny, whose car was stuck in over two feet of water. Nor would the internet tell you that his granddaughter, Abby, gave him the affectionate nickname “Bob Bob” (likely because his wife, Diane, would always have to call his name twice. “Bob?.... Bob!”). He chatted weekly on the phone with his sister, Tina, who shared his dedication to social justice causes. He loved sports, particularly the Oklahoma City Thunder, and was known to shake the walls with a robust and ear-splitting “LUUUUUUUUUUU!” when Luguentz Dort made a steal or scored a three. He was known to give both his sons-in-law, Josh and Alex, directions to places they definitely knew how to get to. He was married to Diane for almost forty years, the result of a successful blind date. Bob arrived late, but thankfully Diane didn't hold it against him. He was loyal, thoughtful, empathetic, loved to hike and travel, and had a warm and welcoming core. His family, friends, and colleagues will miss him terribly. He is survived by his wife, Diane, daughters Rachel Sievers and Jenny Ravitz Brightman, granddaughter Abby Sievers, sister Tina Ravitz, sons-in-law Josh Sievers and Alex Brightman, and Josh's parents Frankie and Bruce Sievers. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to TEEM - The Education and Employment Ministry or Diversion Hub. A celebration of Bob’s life will be held at Crossings Community Church at 14600 Portland Ave, Oklahoma City on Tuesday, January 30th at 10:30 AM.

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Past Services

Memorial Service

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

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