Robert "Bob" Rothman - Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes & Crematory

Robert “Bob” Rothman

Died April 20, 2022

Robert “Bob” Rothman, age 88, of Newark, DE, passed away on Wednesday, April 20, 2022.

Bob graduated from SUNY at Buffalo, earned his Master’s Degree from Michigan State and his PhD in Sociology from Purdue University in 1968. That same year he joined the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware, where he taught for 34 years. He became a full Professor and served as Department Chair the last five years of his career. He encouraged the development of the Honors Program, legal studies and interdisciplinary graduate programs. The report of a committee he chaired early in his career recommended the establishment of the Black American Studies Program, which is now the UD Department of African Studies.

As a scholar, his research and publications focused on the sociology of work, complex organizations and stratification. He was a noted author and a trusted advisor and advocate for many undergraduate and graduate students. In addition to the undergraduate classes he taught, he developed and taught a course on the role of detectives in society using novels as his primary source. He led study abroad trips to London for a decade, a city that he and Nancy deeply loved. When he retired from the University in 2002 he was named Professor Emeritus.

Bob is survived and will be sadly missed by his loving wife and best friend of 58 years, Nancy; his wonderful daughters and sons-in-law, Cathy Germani (Steve), Anne Isabella (Mark) and Patty Rothman; and his terrific grandchildren, Joe, Will, John, Luke, Grace, and Colin; as well as his in-laws and many nieces and nephews.

Bob loved to spend time with his family, play tennis and bridge, travel extensively abroad with Nancy, attend his grandchildren’s events and read Dickens and mystery novels. He volunteered at the Newark Free Library and was a lifetime supporter of University of Delaware sports. He is remembered for his sense of humor, wise counsel, vast array of idioms, collection of Hawaiian shirts and love of family.

A private family service is planned.

The family suggests honoring the memory of Dr. Rothman by sending a contribution to the Friends of the Newark Free Library, 705 Library Avenue, Newark, DE 19711 or The Ministry of Caring, 115 E. 14th Street, Wilmington, DE 19801 or online by clicking here.


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One Condolence for Robert “Bob” Rothman

  • This is coming way too late and for that I apologize. I just learned of Bob’s passing. He was my PhD advisor and I learned a lot from him. I appreciated his willingness to mentor a nurse without any previous degrees in sociology and to provide helpful encouragement throughout the program. We shared interest in medical and administrative issues, and even discovered that he and Nancy were married the same week as my husband David and i were. I wish Nancy and the rest of the family my heartfelt condolences.