Lionel Rombach lived a life of remarkable austerity, spending little and giving his savings to the cause he loved best: education.
Lionel England (“Lee”) Rombach, died at the age of 93. An unassuming man whose life was one of service, learning and simplicity, Lee was an avid bicyclist, an amateur artist, a deacon in the Roman Catholic Church, a devoted supporter of The University of Arizona, and a 60-year resident of the “Poet’s Corner” neighborhood.
Lee earned three UA degrees over the course of four decades. In 1943 he began a life of service with the Red Cross. As a social worker, juvenile and adult probation officer, and Chief of the Pima County Adult Probation Department Lee continued to pursue additional knowledge in order to come to a better understanding of his role in the life of his organization and the people he served in those positions.
Modest compensation is the norm in social service careers and those who engage in them leave their mark on the world through their daily work. For Lee Rombach, this was not enough. He lived a life of remarkable austerity, spending little and giving his savings to the cause he loved best: education. Over the years, he made substantial gifts to the University. He supported the Rombach Scholars, students studying for master’s degrees in public administration. He endowed a student art gallery; scholarships for undergraduate students of interfaith/interdisciplinary studies; and, through a bequest, The Rombach Institute on Crime, Delinquency and Corrections. To date, nearly 200 students have received financial aid thanks to Lee’s generosity. To recognize his extraordinary contributions and example, the University awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2000.
Lee would be very happy today to see his legacy of service and knowledge dissemination continue through the Rombach Institute.