Professor Norma Sybil Rinsler

Former King’s Vice-Principal and Dean of the University Faculty of Arts

We are sad to announce the death of Professor Norma Sybil Rinsler, who passed away on 10 May 2023 at the age of 95. A remarkable lecturer and teacher, Professor Rinsler paved the way for many talented female academics who would go on to follow in her footsteps.

Professor Rinsler taught at King’s for over 30 years, her career ranging from Lecturer in French to Dean of the University Faculty of Arts (now Faculty of Arts & Humanities). Rinsler’s linguistic talents and love of French culture were recognised by the French government, which named her Officier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (a national order awarded to distinguished academics) in 1989.

Rinsler’s daughter, Miriam, talks fondly of how her mother ‘loved the right word in the right place, the way a teacher can fade out as the pupil becomes more confident’. She adds that Norma ‘was a generous, persistent and very skilled teacher. When my father had a stroke at 70, she spent hours with him, day after day, teaching and encouraging him until he could speak and walk again.’

Active until the day she died, Professor Rinsler spent her retired years enjoying caravan holidays with her husband, going to concerts and spending quality time with her family. A true academic until the very end, she continued translating well into her retirement – even stopping to spontaneously scribble a translation of a 15th century poem on an appointment letter at the eye hospital, just a few days before her final illness.

Miriam tells us: ‘After my father’s death in 2019, my mother remained strong and incisive, completing The Times crossword daily and offering her quietly passionate love to her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.’

An exceptional academic and translator and beloved family member, Norma will be missed by family, friends and colleagues alike.

Details for this obituary were taken from the King’s website.