In Memory of Dr. Ronald Jay Portman

Dr. Ronald Jay Portman passed away peacefully on May 30, 2024 surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by the love of his life for 50+ years, Joan (Joni) Portman. Together they had three children, Wendi Portman Fried, Shayna Portman, and Zack Portman whose spouses, his sons and daughter in-love, Gigi Fried, Martin Chacon 3rd, and Carli Portman added to the joy in his life. He was also the very best Sabah (grandfather) to Nadav, Rafi and Yoni Fried and Benji Portman. Ron was the devoted brother of Bonnie Silver and her husband, Richard Silver and the doting uncle of Adam and Andrew Silver. He is remembered with love by his chosen brother, Steven Wienick.

Ron was a compassionate and generous man who dedicated his life to his family and his work. He was an incredible doctor, known for his mission of developing medications specifically for children, for treating his patients and their families with a gentle but firm touch, and for mentoring the next generation of pediatric nephrologists.

Born in Portsmouth, NH, on June 8, 1950, Ron pursued higher education at Northeastern University and Dartmouth Medical School. After school, he proudly served in the U.S. Army as an Active Duty member from 1976 to 1986 and continued his service in the Reserves as a Major until 1988.

Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Portman held various roles, including Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Director of the Division of Pediatric Nephrology and Hypertension, and Executive Director of Pediatric Therapeutic Area at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. He was recognized as one of The Best Doctors in America and Best Pediatricians in America for several years running and was in the Who’s Who in Medicine & Health Care for 10 years straight (1996-2006).

Ronald “Sabah” Portman’s Judaism was an important part of his identity. Throughout his life, he celebrated significant milestones at Temple Israel in Portsmouth, NH, Rodef Shalom in Denver, CO, and Brith Shalom in Houston, TX. He expressed his love for his religion through music and celebrating the holidays with his family and community.

From his unwavering loyalty to every New England sports team, to his love of music, especially the golden oldies and Jewish choral music; from playing games of all kinds including golf, tennis, frisbee on the beach, cribbage and cards to traveling all over the world for his work with his honey, it is clear that Ron was a man of many avid and lifelong interests and hobbies that gave him such joy.

The funeral and burial will be held at Temple Israel Cemetery in Portsmouth, NH on Sunday, afternoon, June 2nd at 2:30pm. A memorial service will follow on Monday, June 3rd, 10:30am, at Orland Memorial Chapel, 1534 Pennington Rd. Ewing, NJ 08618. Shiva will be held on Monday and Tuesday evening at the Portman home from 6:30-8:30pm with service at 7pm at 1231 River Rd. Washington Crossing, PA 18977.

Contributions in his memory can be made to the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology and Sharim v’Sharot

Dr. Ronald Jay Portman will be dearly missed by all who knew him, leaving behind a legacy of compassion, dedication, and love.

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