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John Sanford, News Service (650) 736-2151; e-mail:

Rosemary Leute, graduate student administrator, dies at 64

Rosemary Leute, a longtime graduate student administrator in the departments of Philosophy and Religious Studies, died Aug. 18 at her Los Altos home. She was 64.

The cause was cancer, family members said.

Leute was widely admired in both departments as a skillful administrator and sympathetic adviser.

"Our students were tremendously fortunate to be led through the process by Rosemary," said Lanier Anderson, an assistant professor of philosophy. "Rosemary was their all-purpose guide, therapist and counselor, teaching them not just how to apply for a job, but how to wait and how to hope, how to face up to disappointment and to success in short, how to manage themselves in life."

A native of North Dakota, Leute studied in Germany and traveled extensively after graduating from Smith College in 1959. She later pursued a graduate degree in German literature at the University of California-Los Angeles, where she met her future husband, Richard Leute, then a postdoctoral fellow in chemistry.

They married in 1968 and moved to the Bay Area that same year. Rosemary worked as a librarian at Oak Elementary School in Los Altos and then as a teacher at St. William Catholic Church's parochial school, a onetime elementary and middle school in Los Altos, before coming to Stanford, where she worked for more than 10 years.

Eve Wasmer Scott, administrator in the departments of Philosophy and Religious Studies, described Leute as "a truly wise and humanitarian colleague whose advice could always be trusted."

"All of us staff members, as her co-workers, knew very well that Rosemary worked because she loved it not because she had to, but because she truly enjoyed working with the students, truly valued working in education and, I like to think, enjoyed the camaraderie and the mutual respect that exists among the members of our departments," Scott said.

Michael Bratman, a former chair of the Philosophy Department who also spent several terms as its director of graduate studies, said Leute's job was demanding "in ways both technical and personal."

"She administered a complex budget for the graduate programs. She played a major role in helping the graduate students and faculty in both departments navigate the complexities of a large university," he said. "She provided enormously valuable support for the 'inputs' and 'outputs' of our graduate programs that is, graduate admissions and graduate placement.

"In all these contexts, and many others as well, Rosemary worked with quiet efficiency, grace and great competence. We will miss her greatly."

Leute is survived by her husband and two children: Kirsten Leute of Mountain View, an associate in Stanford's Office of Technology Licensing, and Eric Leute, who lives in San Diego and just began his first year of medical residency.

A funeral Mass was celebrated Aug. 22 at St. Simon Catholic Church in Los Altos. Leute was buried at Alta Mesa Memorial Park in Palo Alto.

Those interested in making a donation in Leute's memory may consider a list of charities posted at


By John Sanford

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