Nature 14

Jose Luis Reissig

June 21, 1926 ~ November 9, 2021 (age 95)


Jose Luis Reissig, 95, passed away on November 9, 2021 at the Lutheran Care Center in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on June 21, 1926, he was the son of the late Luis and Herminia (Portatadino) Reissig. He pursued his academic studies in  science in the United States, at the University of Michigan as well as at Caltech (California Institute of Technology) where he received his Ph.D. in molecular biology in 1952. Jose spent 6 years working as a researcher in the University of Edinburgh, the University of Copenhagen, and the Pasteur Institute in Paris, and then later at the University of Buenos Aires.  

He married the love of his life, Raquel Rabinovich, in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1956, whom he had met in Argentina when they were high school students. By the time they returned to Argentina in 1960, Jose and Raquel had grown to a family of three, with the birth of their daughter, Celia. They had two more children, Pedro and Nora, before relocating the family to the United States due to the growing political instability in Argentina. In the United States, Jose Luis Reissig taught at CW Post College, Long Island University, where was a tenured faculty member and researcher in the Science Department for over 20 years. He was an impassioned researcher and published widely in the field of genetics and molecular biology.

Jose Luis Reissig took a sabbatical to India in the early 1980’s and embarked on the most transformational stage of his life: his introduction to Buddhism. For over 30 years, he was one of several leading meditation teachers in Dutchess County, New York, holding a weekly sitting group in their Rhinebeck home. Jose Luis Reissig was also known for his dharma talk series and organized many retreats around NY State. He was a teacher for many years at IMS (Insight Meditation Society, Barre Massachusetts) and the Omega Institute (Rhinebeck, New York).

Along with his charisma, compassion and intelligence, his love for chocolate also defined him throughout his life. His children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren never arrived empty handed — each visit came with dark chocolate in any form. 

In addition to his wife Raquel, Jose Luis Reissig is survived by his sisters Magdalena, Sutti, and Selva; his children Celia, Pedro and Nora; his grandchildren Celeste, Cristina, Cecilia, Manuel, Pablo, Gabriela, Lucia, Maya, Ruben, and as well as his great grandchildren, Zenaida, Omer, Lucas, Camilo, Jazmin, and Mariluz. 

There are no calling hours. The service and burial took place in the Rhinebeck Natural Burial Ground and were private.

Memorial donations in honor of Jose can be made to Amfar (American Foundation for AIDS Research).  In lieu of flowers please consider donating to amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Arrangements under the direction of the Dapson-Chestney Funeral Home, Rhinebeck, NY,


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