Roni Siswandi – an educator and husband to Josephine Komara of the internationally renowned Bin’s House, died suddenly on Thursday morning, January 10, 2013, age 59, presumably of cardiac arrest.
A man of limitless intellectual curiosity that fed his wide and comprehensive grasp of Indonesian culture, Ronny left a lasting impression on all he knew and the country he loved.
His funeral is scheduled for Thursday, January 17, 2013 at the Kerta Semadi Crematory at Taman Mumbul. The funeral entourage will leave from his Bali residence at Jalan Umaaas II number 86 at 10:00 a.m., where his body lies in state.
A close personal friend of both Ronny and O’Bin (Jospehine), Peter Meyer, wrote conveying his sentiments on the death of this remarkable man who was his friend.
We share Peter Meyer's comments below, recalling Ronny Siswandi.
Roni Siswandi 1953-2013
The fact is that he has always, and that very successfully, avoided publicity and that we don't even have a formal CV to share with you.
But, let me put in writing what is coming to my mind right now - without much research and straight from the heart.
Roni was born November 10, 1953, and was the youngest amongst 8 siblings. Given the difficult times that prevailed during his upbringing, Roni, early on in his life, was already exposed to the need to be self-reliant; ready to work hard and to assume responsibilities that, for many individuals of his age, would have been far more than they would have been able to handle.
When he set his mind to it, Roni could achieve goals nobody would have given him credit for. For that matter, having discovered an interest in Indonesia's historical and cultural past, Roni decided to get his formal education at Universitas Indonesia, where he did not only graduated from the archeological and anthropological faculties, but was invited to join the country's foremost academic institution as a lecturer in these, his specialty fields.
What set Roni aside from the many intellectuals he encountered, was his ability to apply the theoretical knowledge and experience he had gained along the way to the world outside academia. He was able to translate history and culture into valuable contributions to about all areas his many interests touched. In this way he made a quiet mark on hundreds of projects, always careful to remain outside the spotlight and to direct the resulting applause to the people close to him.
Foremost amongst these was the love of his life, Ibu Josephine Komara, better known as O'Bin, who, in cooperation with Roni, created the world famous Bin House a true center of "Indonesian Creations" and a serious reflection of Josphine's and Roni's devotion and commitment to the cultural values as well as a tight circle of family and friends, they shared for decades.
There is no easy way to attach a “catch all” predicate to describe Roni Siswandi. He just was too multi-faceted in his many interests, talents and in the commitments he mede to the family he loved, to the people who worked for him and admired him as “Bapak Roni,” and the many friends who benefitted from his devotion, honesty and guidance.
He will just have to be remembered as Roni – “one of a kind” and never to be forgotten.
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