Cover photo for Ronald Kransdorf's Obituary
Ronald Kransdorf Profile Photo
1935 Ronald 2024

Ronald Kransdorf

December 23, 1935 — January 18, 2024

Wayland, Massachusetts

Ronald Kransdorf was born on December 23, 1935, in Brooklyn, New York to Elias and Lillian Kransdorf (nee Whitehouse). At the age of 4, the family relocated to Washington, D.C., where Ronald would spend the rest of his childhood. In 1954, Ronald graduated valedictorian of his class from Roosevelt High School, where he was, among other things, the captain of the school’s golf team. 

Ronald was awarded a full scholarship to George Washington University by the National League of Masonic Clubs in recognition of his many academic and other achievements. While at GW, Ronald studied electrical engineering and was an active member of the XI Chapter of the Sigma Tau fraternity, but more importantly, in 1958, he met the love of his life, Sandra Lee Spivak, a beautiful and vivacious freshman whom he would marry in 1960. 

After graduating college in 1958, Ronald began his career as an electrical engineer at IBM, but soon became bored by the practice of engineering. However, he found that he loved working with patents for new inventions and convinced IBM to pay for him to go to night school at Georgetown University to study patent law. It was while in law school that he started his family. In 1961, Ronald welcomed his first of four sons, Geoffrey. Ronald went on to graduate in 1962 at the very top of his class. By then, he was leading a busy life between being a full-time engineer, a law student, and a father.

In 1962, Ronald moved his family from DC to Chappaqua, New York to work at IBM headquarters. That same year, his second son, Andrew was born, and in 1964, Kipling was born. In 1968, Ronald left IBM to join the patent and licensing staff of Bunker-Ramo (now part of the Honeywell Group) as patent counsel, working on the then burgeoning field of high-speed data and digital computers. Also in 1968, Ronald relocated the family to Westport, Connecticut, where, in 1969, Matthew was born.

In 1972, Ronald left Bunker Ramo, and moved the family to Lake Forest, Illinois, to become the General Counsel for Chicago Musical Instruments, which was later acquired by Norlin Industries. While it might seem like a jump from digital computers to musical instruments, Ronald was intrigued by the then emerging technology behind electric guitars, synthesizers, electric drums and other forerunners of today’s array of electrical instruments. He worked closely with Les Paul, the inventor of the modern electric guitar, and Robert Moog, the inventor of the first synthesizer, and his home was filled with prototypes for these new instruments. 

In addition to patent work, Ronald was responsible for major licensing deals for instruments like the Les Paul guitar, giving him the opportunity to work with such rock, country and blues legends as BB King, Keith Richards and Lester Flat, to name a few. 

In 1983, Ronald decided it was time to try something else. Up to this time, Ronald had never worked in a law firm, but was recruited into the highly prestigious Boston based firm, Hale & Dorr (now WilmerHale) to build out their patent law practice. The family then moved to the historic suburb of Concord, Massachusetts. 

After establishing the patent law practice at Hale & Dorr, in 1986, Ronald left to become a partner at Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, one of the country’s largest firms devoted exclusively to intellectual property law. While there he enjoyed having a broad array of Boston based inventors as his clients, including such luminaries as the futurist Ray Kurzweil. Ronald continued to grow in this role, eventually becoming President of the Boston Patent Law Association from 1994 to 1995.

In 1988, the family was hit with the tragic loss of Sandra Kransdorf to breast cancer after many years of battling the disease. Ronald later remarried (Johanna Mak) and retired to Southern California where he enjoyed the weather, tennis, hiking and serving as a volunteer mediator for the courts. 

In his final years, Ronald moved back to the Boston area to be closer to his immediate family. Ronald was preceded in death by his second wife in April of 2022. Ronald was 88 when he died peacefully surrounded by his family.

Ronald leaves behind his son Geoffrey in Toyko, Japan, Andrew (Lorraine) in Scarsdale, NY, Kipling (Ellen) in Sudbury, MA, and Matthew (Ming) in Brooklyn, NY. He was grandfather to Zachary, Aaron, Alexander, Ezekiel, Erica and Cosmo. He was also loved by 2 stepdaughters, a stepson and their children.

Family and friends will gather to honor and remember Ronald for a period of visitation on Saturday, February 3, 2024, from 2:00-4:00 pm at the Concord Funeral Home, 74 Belknap St., Concord, MA. His funeral service will follow at 4:00 pm.



Service Schedule

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Saturday, February 3, 2024

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, February 3, 2024

4:00 - 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

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