Faculty-Staff-Club (1400x200 slice)
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Dave Whitman (7/2020)

Dave came to SDSU with the incoming faculty class of nine new members in 1969. This group was pivotal in the Departments for the following few decades and included Carl Eckberg, John Elwin, Dave Macky, Jim Ross and Don Short. Dave frequently hosted parties at his desert retreat in the 1980's, 90's and 00's which were enjoyed by faculty, graduate students, and Dave's eclectic coterie of Potrerans. Dave was always an interesting colleague who frequently had a novel take on matters of the day. Dave came to SDSU after his BA degree at Emory University and PhD at UC Riverside. He is survived notably by his daughter, Erin.

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Kung-Jong Lui (6/22/1953 – 4/27/2020)

An internationally influential biostatistician with a specialty in epidemiology and clinical trial, professor Kung-Jong Lui taught statistics to thousands of San Diego State University students during his three decades at the university.

Lui, whose work on statistics involving AIDS contributed to some of the earliest research into the disease, died April 27 at his home after a brief battle with cancer. He was 66.

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CJ Park (3/24/2019)

Funeral services were held at Old North Church at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills on April 6, 2019. A reception followed by dinner was held at the Hilton Woodland Hills, 6360 Canoga Avenue, Woodland Hills, CA.

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Marie Dolansky (1921 – 3/8/2014)

Former professor of Mathematics at SDSU, passed away on March 8, 2014. She was 93. From 1981 until 1994 she taught mathematics at San Diego State University and at several community colleges in the San Diego area until her retirement. In her spare time, she devoted herself to various Czech organizations. In Boston she was on the Board of the Masaryk Club, and in San Diego she served as Executive Secretary of the Czech and Slovak Cultural Association and of the Friends of Czechoslovak Music organization. For several years she was Music Director of the House of Czech and Slovak Republics in Balboa Park. The three passions of her life were education, music (she was an accomplished pianist), and her Czech heritage.

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George Manning Richardson (2/24/1983 – 2/22/2014)

A memorial was held for Manning on February 22nd in Encinitas at Oak Park. It was a celebration of his life, 2 days before his birthday. Friends were encouraged to dress in kung fu gear, 80′s outfits, or anything else that would represent the spirit of Manning.

Manning was admitted to the graduate program at SDSU where he received a Master of Science degree in Statistics in May 2012. He was pursuing a PhD in Computational Statistics at SDSU. He had taken a job with the online gaming company Zynga located in San Francisco in August 2013 where he was a systems analyst. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Sigma Theta honors groups.

The Department has established the George Manning Richardson Memorial Fund to support student scholarship and teaching endeavors. The funds will sponsor students and events that bring Manning’s passion for data analysis and statistical computing endeavors to their work and embody his energy, kindness, and quirkiness in their approach to statistics research and teaching. Contributions may be made out to The Campanile Foundation, with George Manning Richardson Memorial Fund in the subject line, and mailed to: George Manning Richardson Memorial Fund, San Diego State University, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182-7720

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Joseph Moser (4/13/1930 – 9/25/2013)

Services were held on October 1, 2013 at St. Didacus Catholic Church in San Diego, California for Dr. Joseph Martin Moser, age 83 of San Diego and formerly of Melrose, Minnesota who passed away on September 25, 2013 in San Diego. Dr. Moser was born on April 13, 1930 in Spring Hill, Minnesota to Henry and Eleanor (Lieser) Moser. He attended St. Lawrence Seminary, St. John’s University and St. Louis University. Dr. Moser moved to San Diego in 1958 and was employed as a Professor of Mathematics at San Diego State University, retiring in 1998. Survivors include his daughter, Julia (Shaun) Matthews of Fullerton, California; three grandchildren, Lillian, Felicity and William; two sisters, Virginia Oberg of Richfield and Jane Reber of St. Joseph; and one brother, Tony of Eden Prairie.

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James "Jim" Emerson Ross (6/24/1939 – 4/3/2013)

Jim passed away at the age of 73 on April 3, 2013 from complications due to Parkinson’s disease.

Ross retired from San Diego State University in 1999, earning the title of professor emeritus in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

Ross was born on June 24, 1939, to Gladys and Donald Ross in Minneapolis.

His father died when he was 5 years old, leaving Ross’ mom to raise him on her own. His cousins, who lived nearby, became like siblings to him and remained dear to him throughout his life.

From a young age, Ross had an impressive math talent and often spoke of how mathematics problems were like a game to him.

Later, during his years at the University of Minnesota, he made lifelong friends who would become surrogate uncles and aunts to his children. Ross described that time as some of the most treasured years of his life. He was very active playing tennis, basketball, soccer and golf with his friends in the math department.

While in college, he agreed to a blind date with a beautiful redhead, Gail Flaten. Ross was smitten, and the two married in 1964. They had two children; Kyle, born in 1965, and Kari, born in 1968.

Ross continued to excel in his mathematics education. In 1969, he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. That same year, he was offered a job at SDSU and left with his family for the West Coast.

He enjoyed conducting research and writing papers with partners on abstract mathematical theories. After a few short years, Ross was awarded tenure at SDSU. When he retired in 1999, he was awarded the status of professor emeritus.

A passion and intense curiosity for life kept Ross on the move. Each summer he would pack up his family to visit his mother in Minneapolis. These road trips would become adventures that often included detours to Seattle or Arkansas.

At 40 years old, Ross was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. His wife, Gail, was his sole care provider much of this time. Throughout his struggle with the disease, Ross never complained or felt sorry for himself. He continued to have a zest for life and was an eternal optimist in this battle.

Many will remember Ross as a social, fun man who was always the last to leave a party!

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Charles Bernard Bell, Jr. (8/20/1928 – 10/26/2010)

Dr. Lesley writes: I want to comment on the life of Chuck Bell, a remarkable man who has recently died. Chuck was from New Orleans and graduated from Xavier University, the only historically black Catholic University in the United States. He went on to earn his Ph.D. (1953) in Statistics from the University of Notre Dame. Chuck worked for Douglas Aircraft Co. for 4 years before and after finishing his Ph,D., and spent time at Xavier and at Stanford before joining our faculty at SDSU in 1958. Chuck was the second black faculty member at SDSU, and the first to be tenured. In 1964 he began a 2 year sabbatical that took him to several European centers, and on his return he took a position at Case Western, from which he went on to Professorships at Michigan, Washington and Tulane. He taught at the Univ. of Madrid in 1964 and in Sept. 1965 he went to the Institut de Statistiques (ISUP) in Paris. Kjell Doksum was there that year. He also visited statisticians in Tokyo and ISI in Calcutta. He spent time collaborating with Statisticians in Kenya, Nigeria and India. It is pretty clear that Chuck and his wife , Mary, were travelers. They also made a point of learning the language spoken wherever they were. It was hard to name a place that Chuck had not been to. I recall a conversation about Timbuktu. Chuck returned to SDSU in 1981, and stayed until 1992, when he retired.

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Nicholas Branca (2/25/2008)

Nicholas Branca passed away suddenly on Monday, February 25, 2008, while traveling in Australia. Nicholas will be greatly missed as a dear colleague and a highly respected scholar.

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Alma Morosz (7/2/2007)

There was be a celebration of Alma Marosz's life hosted by her daughter, Kathleen Marosz, on Thursday, August 9, 2007 at the La Mesa Community Center. A program and luncheon was held. Kathie Ross helped with the arrangements. The family suggests donations to the Alma Marosz Memorial Scholarship at the Reuben H. Fleet ScienceCenter, P.O. Box 93303,San Diego, CA 92163.

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Dr. R. Deanne Branstetter (6/29/1918 – 3/12/2007)

Dr. R. Deanne Branstetter was on our faculty from 1955 to 1981. Dr. Branstetter was born on June 29, 1918 and died March 12, 2007. He grew up on an 80 acre farm in Curryville, Missouri. Dean graduated from NE Missouri State Teachers College in 1940 with a BS in Mathematics. It was there that he met Geraldine Gehrke whom he married and celebrated 62 years of marriage before her death in 2005.

During WWII, Deanne served as a navigator in the Army Air Corps. After the war, he continued his graduate studies, completing his Masters at Vanderbilt University and his PhD in Mathematics at Iowa State University. His career then took him to Colorado Springs where he worked for the Air Defense Command as an Operations Analyst. After two years, he made a career change and moved his family to San Diego, where he taught mathematics at San Diego State College for 26 years. In 1967 he was honored with the Distinguished Teaching Award by the State of California.

The students at San Diego State also awarded him with an Outstanding Teacher Award. Professor Branstetter served as a member of the Statewide Academic Senate and served as Chairman of the San Diego State College Senate. Besides teaching, he served for a time as the Mathematics Department Chairman (1964-67) and as Dean of Undergraduate Studies for the College. He retired from teaching at San Diego State in 1981. Retirement led to touring much of the world and teaching as a guest professor at many universities. He taught Probability and Statistics for 10 years at Brigham Young University and also had assignments for teaching a semester in Hawaii and at Kansas State University. At BYU he was active as a volunteer in helping students prepare for their actuarial exams. BYU granted him the rank of Professor Emeritus and recognized him for outstanding service to the university. Burial is in Derby, Kansas.

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Dr. Herbert A. Gindler (6/8/2005)

Dr. Herbert A. Gindler, Emeritus Professor of Mathematical Sciences at San Diego State University, suffered an apparent stroke on the evening of Tuesday, June 7, 2005 and died the next morning. Herb obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Minnesota in 1950. He came to the Mathematics Department at SDSU in 1960, and earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1961, under the direction of Angus Taylor at UCLA. Herb's area of specialization was Functional Analysis and Operator Theory. He also published papers on the teaching of calculus. For personal reasons, Herb became interested in Diabetes, and he organized a continuing seminar in mathematical modeling of Diabetes in 1983. Many of our faculty participated in that seminar, which ran for several years.

Herb is survived by his ex-wife, Carol Geertz, his son Daniel, and his daughter Leah. A service was held on Sunday, June 12, 2005 with a reception of family, friends, and colleagues celebrating the life of Dr. Gindler.

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Dr. Saul Drobnies (10/22/2002)

Dr. Saul Drobnies, Emeritus Professor of Mathematical Sciences at San Diego State University, died October 22, 2002, at San Diego Hospice, of lung cancer. He was born on June 8, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York, and moved with his parents, Abraham and Lee Drobnies, to Dallas, Texas, when he was five years old. He graduated from Forest Avenue High School in Dallas in January, 1950, and briefly attended Southern Methodist University before moving to Austin to attend the University of Texas, where he received all of his academic degrees. He studied with the renowned mathematician and teacher, R. L. Moore, and completed his doctoral studies in 1961 under the guidance of Hubert S. Wall. Dr. Drobnies worked for General Dynamics in Fort Worth, Texas, and taught mathematics at San Diego State University from 1963 until his retirement in the early nineties.

He is survived by his former wife and friend, Ana LaReal Drobnies, of San Diego; by his sister, Naomi Baxter, of Yorba Linda, California; and by his daughter, Adrienne Drobnies, and granddaughter, Ariel Fournier, both of Vancouver, Canada. Saul's intelligence, humor, and gentle spirit will be missed by family, friends, and former students. No formal services were held and ashes were scattered at sea on November 1, 2002. Contributions may be made in his name to San Diego Hospice, 4311 Third Avenue, San Diego, 92103.

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Dr. Edgar Howard (9/20/2001)

Dr. Edgar Howard, Emeritus Professor of Mathematical Sciences at San Diego State University, died September 20, 2001. Dr. Howard was born March 4, 1932 and grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado. At the age of 19 he joined the Marine Corps and served as a radio operator during the Korean War. (His elbow makes a short but significant appearance in the movie "Battle Cry.") After his service, he returned to San Diego, where he had gone through basic training, and earned a Bachelor's degree in Physics (1959) and a Master's degree in Mathematics (1961) at San Diego State University. He then went into the Ph.D. program in Mathematics at New Mexico State University. On earning his Doctorate in 1964, Edgar spent two years at Idaho State University and in 1966 he became Assistant Professor of Mathematics at San Diego State University. He rose to the rank of Professor, and he retired in 1997. Edgar was a very fine teacher of Mathematics. He was named Most Influential Faculty Member by the outstanding graduating Math major 3 times. Additionally, he directed numerous Master's theses.

Like Gene Lopez, who died in late 2000, Edgar was a fine teacher who was honored several times with awards for outstanding teaching. In their honor, the Department has established the Gene Lopez and Edgar Howard Memorial Fund. All contributions will be used to promote and enhance the "mathematical culture" of our undergraduate programs.

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Dr. Gene Lopez (2000)

Dr. Gene Lopez was born in 1926 and grew up in La Verne, California during the Great Depression. After serving in the army during World War II, he earned a scholarship to attend The University of California at Los Angeles. After earning his B.S. in Mathematics in 1951, Gene went on to obtain his Ph.D. in Mathematics from UCLA in 1961, under the supervision of Magnus Hestenes.

Gene came to the Mathematics Department at San Diego State University in 1961. He was a gentle man whose quiet demeanor seemed to captivate students during his lectures. His classes were often on a list of most popular in the University, a distinction which is unusual for Mathematics courses. He won the TRW Excellence in Teaching Award in 1999. Gene retired from teaching in the Spring of 2000. The Department has established the Gene Lopez and Edgar Howard Memorial Fund. All contributions will be used to promote and enhance the "mathematical culture" of our undergraduate programs.