Ray Alden Kunze, noted mathematician, died May 21, 2014 after a lengthy illness. He was 86. Ray had a long and distinguished career of national and international prominence. Born March 7,1928, in Iowa he spent his boyhood in Wisconsin where he loved the outdoors and excelled in sports. He served as a mathematical analyst in the department of defense in the fifties, and received his PhD degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago in 1957. His first teaching position after graduation was at MIT; later positions were held at Brandeis, Washington U, UC Irvine, and University of Georgia. At Irvine and Georgia he chaired the departments of Mathematics. He also held numerous teaching positions in the United States including the Institute for Advance Study at Princeton, and in England, Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Australia and Taiwan. He published more than 50 research papers. He was an inspirational teacher who advised 11 doctoral students, many who went on to distinguished careers. Ray was known for a classic linear Algebra textbook, now translated into several languages and used around the world. In 2012, he was named a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society in recognition of his contributions to mathematics. He is survived by his wife Valerie, of Laguna Woods, children from a previous marriage: John, Alan, Maret, Harry and Fritz; Step-sister Mary Bates; step-children David and Jack Beardwood, Kath Stoltz; and grandchildren Michael and Lauren Kunze. He was brave and he did not go gently.
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Published in the Los Angeles Times from July 12 to July 13, 2014