Thursday, November 20, 2008


On the morning of November 20, Geoffrey Rau peacefully passed away at his family home in Mountain View.

Although modest about his achievements, Geoff accomplished much in his span of 29 years. Above all else, he loved to learn. He was valedictorian at Mountain View High School, graduated from Cal with bachelors degrees in Biology and English, and received a doctorate in medicine from Duke University. While enrolled at Duke, Geoff spent a year as a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As a result of his work at NIH, as well as prior work as a research associate at UCSF, Geoff was author or co-author on eight published scientific papers. Prior to suffering a severe brain injury in mid-October, he was a first year resident physician at UCLA.

Beyond these achievements, and most important to Geoff, were his many close friendships. His friends enjoyed his subtle wit, extraordinary loyalty, and adventurous spirit. Geoff’s adventures included running with the bulls in Pamplona, as well as other travels to Europe, South America, and Southeast Asia, two marathons, and several treks to the summits of Mt. Shasta and Yosemite’s Half Dome.

Geoff is survived by his mother, Carol Raymond, father, Walt, brother, Michael, and grandmother, Marion. Geoff is preceded in death by his half brother, Philip Rau.

A memorial service has not yet been scheduled. We will post memorial information at this blog site.

For those who wish to make a donation in Geoffrey’s name, please contact Community Services Agency, at, or 650-968-0836.


Keith said...

Please accept my condolences.

My thoughts are with you.


Leanne said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Geoff was an amazing person. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.


Matt Shuss said...

Geoff was a major part of my childhood. To say that I am devastated would be an understatement. Our memories together will not be forgotten. If there is anything I can do to help, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Alex said...

Carol, Walt and Michael,

My deepest sympathies. May all the wonderful memories of Geoff and all of our endless love give you strength at this time.


Ginni said...

If words could make the pain less for you I would know what to say. After sitting here for nearly an hour, through the tears, I will tell you that we truly loved Geoff and considered him to be an incredible person. We are grateful to have known him.
We send our love to you all!
Ginni and Steve

Anonymous said...

What an amazing person and a gift to the world for the time he was here. There are simply no words to convey how our hearts literally ache for you. We hope you find peace and comfort in knowing he slipped away painlessly. Love, Linda and Hunt.

erooch said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I have tears in my ears. I know the pain. It should not happen twice. I did not know Geoff other than your proud comments in our conversations. As I have followed this blog and seen all the pictures I feel as if I have gotten to know him. What a wonderful young man. It is a tragedy he left us so young. I am here for you if want to talk. God bless you and your wife Carol.
You can not create or destroy energy. Geoff's energy has just transformed to another level.
God Bless your family.

Anonymous said...

Carol, Walt, and Michael,

This is such devastating news. I am so deeply sorry for your loss. Geoff was truly a special young man who will never be forgotten.

You are all in my thoughts and prayers...


John Doordan said...

Carol, Walt, Michael ---

Words do not convey the feelings of loss right now. Please know your friends wish we could reduce your grief by taking it on ourselves. I know it does not work that way.

I respected Geoff for his accomplishments, and I admired him for who he was.

Take care of each other ---
John Doordan

Jeannine Antypas said...

"Good night sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest." Shakespeare

Red Dawn said...

Dear Carol and family,

We pray for the progress of Geoff's immortal soul in heaven. We pray for the strength and faith his beloved family will need over the months and years to come as you face the loss of time spent together.

Dawn Shelley

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.

--Sonia Lohiya (Geoff's co-intern)

Laura said...

Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. Geoff was a wonderful, kind, funny, compassionate person who brought out the best in everyone. He will be missed.

Laura Duke'08

Vineyard Girl said...

Your wonderful cherished son will live on in all of our lives. My heartfult sympathies to each of you.


joe pierre said...

as we begin interviews for the new intern class, we are truly sad for this news. if only we had known the extent of his suffering, and if only we had been able to help. we at ucla, as well as those whom geoff touched and would have touched, are diminished by his loss.

Anonymous said...

Geoff, although we lost touch through the years, I have always thought of you as a special person and what some say is simply "good people" in my book. It is a shame to even fathom the idea that someone so blessed, so humble, and someone with so many talents has passed away at such a young age. Although your presence will be missed by many, the memories of you will remain with us forever. I wish the very best for your family and friends as they struggle through this loss.

Brad Chatman

LauraT said...

Our hearts are heavy, but we hold Geoff close. He made a huge and joyful impact on this world in a very short time. God's peace be with you all.
The Toby family

Lindsay said...

So very sorry for your tragic loss. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Lindsay Cordes

Steven said...

I knew Geoff from this summer, when he worked for a month on my psychiatry rotation at the VA. He was caring, very smart, hard working, and I could trust him to complete all the tedious details that elevate superior physicians from the merely ordinary. I was stunned to hear of the recent tragedy. He will be missed. My condolences to his family.

Steven Bagley, MD
West LA VA

Ryan Doordan said...

Walt, Carol, and Mike,

I send you all my love. Words can not express my feelings nor will they alleviate the weight of this tragedy of the loss of such a beautiful person. I will always remember geoff for the light hearted, fun and humorous person he was.

Ryan Doordan

Anonymous said...

As I sit here writing this, I can't help picture a cheery Geoff with dad Walt in tow coming to look at a room at my house. At that moment I knew I wanted both of you in my life, and then Carol and Mike just made it even better.

I am so sorry for your loss and all that you've suffered over the past several weeks.

I will be saying a prayer for you from here in Los Angeles.


robin said...

Carol, Walt, Michael, Marion:

While we cannot be with you, you are in our thoughts daily. We never knew Geoff as an adult, but reading through all the blog entries has helped us understand a bit about his life. What energy he had! It looks like he turned out to be an incredibly special adult, and I know you were very proud of him.

Again, thinking of you
Robin and Rik Nilsson

Tania said...

Dear Carol, Walt and Michael,

My deepest condolences for your terrible loss. From reading the blog, I've realized what a brilliant, accomplished and spirited young man Geoff was and how much he was loved by everyone. May all the wonderful memories give you strength in your grief.
My heart goes out to you,


Katy Krantz said...

Dearest Carol, Walt and Michael,

I am holding you three close to my heart these days. There really are no words to express my sorrow as well as confusion as to how this could have happened to beautiful Geoff. Know that I'm sending my love everyday.


Oliver Robertson said...

My condolences to Carol, Walt and Michael. I'm so sad to hear of this. Geoff and I where skateboarding buddies back in Junior High and High School, and together with one other person, we formed one of the worst garage bands in history. Geoff was an extremely intelligent and caring person who contributed greatly to his community. I will always remember him for his humor and light hearted nature

I would be happy to help in any way possible.

Love, Oliver

Camilla said...

Carol, Walt and Mike,

I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayer are with all of you.


Julia Treland said...

Geoff brightened my days at NIH. We worked together on many cases and it was always such a delight. Geoff was wonderful with the patients and their families. He frequently added a fresh and insightful perspective. Geoff was such a pleasure to work with --I never saw his feathers get ruffled. And despite the demands of his schedule, he often helped me with mine.

Geoff was young enough to be one of my children. When I learned his fate was so tenuous I felt like the breath had been knocked out of me. Thank you for sharing the course of his condition with us. Looking at the pictures you posted, I couldn't help but think of his laugh and enthusiasm. I am so saddened by the loss of this warm and talented young man. I don't know your family, but they say apples don't fall far from the tree. I wish it were possible to relieve you of some of your immeasurable grief. Please accept my condolences.

Julia Treland

David said...

I was so saddened by the news that Geoff passed away. I look back on some very happy memories of my times with Geoff all those years ago, and I had always thought we would share happy times together again, either in the States or here in London. He - and all of you - have been in my thoughts since I heard the news from my parents at the end of last year. I was very sorry not to be able to make Geoff's memorial service; please accept my deepest condolences. David Coulling

Zracer240 said...

Geoff was my first ever best friend. It was way back in the first and second grade, then my family moved away and we lost touch. Even though we were so young when i knew him, he left enough of an impression on me to do an internet search for him, and was saddened to read about what happened on this blog. However at the same time I was glad to read about all he accomplished in his 29 years, and in reading comments from his friends and family it sounds like he had the same adventurous and fun spirit into adulthood that i saw in him when we were kids.

Thanks to his family for having this site up, otherwise i wouldn't have known. Take care of yourselves!


lavocate5 said...
le président de la république les généraux et les journalistes algériens cautionnent
le double envoi du premier ministre et journal liberté pour extrader vers la cour pénale internationale N.Sarkozy P.B.deFlorian et H.Tahraoui pour crimes de guerre contre l’humanité
pour ce faire il y a maintien des sites
Acquittement bouc émissaires S.Mohammed proposé par la DGSE
conservation de preuves et non jugement de l’affaire en Algérie
l’affaire du frère Khaled Nezzar est pour nous intimider

Hakim Laalam said...
le président de la république les généraux et les journalistes algériens cautionnent
le double envoi du premier ministre et journal liberté pour extrader vers la cour pénale internationale N.Sarkozy P.B.deFlorian et H.Tahraoui pour crimes de guerre contre l’humanité
pour ce faire il y a maintien des sites
Acquittement bouc émissaires S.Mohammed proposé par la DGSE
conservation de preuves et non jugement de l’affaire en Algérie
l’affaire du frère Khaled Nezzar est pour nous intimider
son erreur est celle de ne pas avoir couché avec Alliot comme Benali

Eric S. said...

I worked with Geoff at UCSF, sitting next to him every day for two years before he went to medical school. I was a little older than he was, and was part coworker, part mentor to him. I was thinking today about what a great guy he was, and decided to try to contact him to see how things were going with his career. I am sitting in my office crying to see the news of his death. Geoff was a wonderful person and touched many lives while he was alive. I hope that by posting this I can help re-confirm to all of us that Geoff is still remembered. I only knew him a little while, but he was such a remarkable soul that 10 years later I felt compelled to check in on him. I will remember him, and his antics--running with the bulls, slipping hot sauce into his roommates' Hot Pockets--for the rest of my life. The night my wife and I got engaged, we unexpectedly ran into Geoff, who was also out on a date. So Geoff was the first person to find out I was engaged. I am grateful to have known Geoff. He was kind, funny, and daring. To Geoff's parents: you did a great job with him. Thanks for raising a person who really touched people's lives and made a difference.

Ryan Joseph said...

I still miss Geoff every day. I treasure all the memories I have of our friendship together, from the early days at Springer to buying his first surfboard in Santa Cruz. The next capri sun is on me, Geoff. Miss you.