Ronald Dethlefson passed away early Easter morning, April 12, 2020 at Trinity Home. We are so very grateful for the excellent care he received during his stay and his family is equally grateful for the support they received from Hoffman Hospice.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Barbara, his daughter Carolyn, and son James, daughter-in-law Guinevere, grandchildren Griffin, Josephine, and Antionette.

In lieu of flowers please send donations to Wesley United Methodist Church - 1314 Oswell St. Bakersfield, CA 93306 (checks only please). To further your support please consider a donation to the Alzheimer's Disease Association of Kern County.

Ronald Dethlefson retired Professor Emeritus of Communication at Bakersfield College in California. He collected early records and phonographs since 1953 and began writing about Edison records and phonographs in 1980.

In the succeeding decades, he collaborated with George Copeland, a scholarly collector of popular and operatic recordings living in St. Louis; wrote a monthly column for "In the Groove:" a publication of the Michigan Antique Phonograph Society; was quoted extensively in the Los Angeles Times and online; and volunteered as a consultant at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan.

Ronald Dethlefson's major publications include:

  • Edison Blue Amberol Recordings (APM Press, 1980); Edison Blue Amberol Recordings: 1912-1914: American popular series, "live" recordings and selected recordings 1915-1928 (APM Press, 1980)
  • Edison Blue AmberolRecordings 1912-1914: Companion edition, with Michael Buchak (Stationery X-Press, 1997)
  • Edison Blue Amberol Recordings Volume 2(1915-1929) (APM Press, 1981)
  • Pathe Records and Phonographs in America, 1914-1922 (Mulholland Press, 1999)
  • Edison, Lambert Concert Records & Columbia Grand Records and related phonographs (Mulholland Press, 2004) with George A. Copeland and Peter J. Fraser
  • Edison Disc Artists & Records, 1910-1929 (APM Press, 1985) co-authored with Ray Wile

In 2012, the Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) presented Ron with its Lifetime Achievement Award. ARSC recognizes outstanding published research in the field of recorded sound, encourages high standards, promotes awareness of superior contributions, and presents this annual award to an individual in recognition of his or her life's work in published recorded sound research.