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Efraim Pacillas Armendariz Ph.D.

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Efraim Pacillas Armendariz Ph.D. Obituary
Efraim Pacillas Armendariz, Ph.D Dr. Efraim P. Armendariz passed peacefully on Wednesday, February 13, 2013, surrounded by family. He touched many people during his lifetime and leaves behind a wonderful legacy. Efraim was many things - a devoted family man, a respected academic at the University of Texas, a warm colleague amongst his fellow mathematicians, a coach and role model to several little league baseball teams, an avid music-lover and guitar music performer, and a friend to many. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Edna; his son Paul, his daughter & son-in-law Elisabeth (Elisa) and Phil Bass, granddaughter Isabella Bass; He leaves behind his three brothers & their wives, Ruben & Cynthia Armendariz, Joshua & Mary Ann Armendariz, Benjamin & Helen Armendariz; two sisters, Linda Hernandez & Bernice Cole; and many beloved nieces & nephews. He was preceded in death by his sisters Dina Armendariz, and Helen Zapata (brother-in-law Daniel Zapata); parents, Guadalupe & Hermelinda Armendariz. Efraim was born July 9, 1938 in Brownsville, Texas. He lived in various places throughout his life and spent his high school years in Galveston, Texas. It was on the island where he met the love of his life, Edna, and they were married June 9, 1961, a marriage that lasted 51 years. Theirs was a true romance and friendship, and they enjoyed each other's company, especially while travelling the world and "cruising" with their extended families. Efraim was a 1956 Ball High School graduate, where he discovered his interest in Mathematics. He received a scholarship to attend Texas A&M University, earning his B.S and M.S. in Mathematics. While at Texas A&M, he served in the Corps. and was a member of the singing cadets. He earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Nebraska. A member of the Mathematics Department at the University of Texas at Austin for 46 years, he served as chair of the department from 1991 - 2007. His research investigations have dealt with various aspects of noncommutative ring theory, with an emphasis on rings satisfying a polynomial identity and generalizations of von Neumann regular rings. He published over 40 research articles in this area, a book on elementary number theory and supervised 6 doctoral students in Mathematics. In 1998, the Texas Section of the Mathematical Association of America honored Efraim with the 1998 Distinguished Teaching Award. Efraim was instrumental in the beginning of the Emerging Scholars Program at the University of Texas. He was also an active supporter and participant of the UTeach program, focused on preparing high school math & science teachers by bringing deeper mathematics knowledge into high school classrooms. Efraim enjoyed sports, especially baseball. He coached little league baseball for many years, and Coach Efraim is fondly remembered by his players. If he couldn't coach, he watched, earning a special award from Concordia University as a dedicated fan, never missing a single game, home or away, while his son was a member of the team. Efraim always enjoyed listening to and especially playing music. While in high school, he, his sister Dina, and brother Ben formed a band and began playing during movie intermissions at the Broadway Theater in Galveston. In Austin, his circle of close friends would get together once a month to sing & play music, working through a fun repertoire of hymns, old classics, and folk songs. He also played rhythm guitar with his friends and family in two bands - the blues & rock styled Ax Nelson and the Tejano - Latin styled Sister Sister y Los Misters. As he leaves us, we are blessed with many wonderful memories of his humor and wit, his loyal support, and his unwavering commitment to make a positive contribution to everything he was involved in. The family would like to thank Hospice Austin's Christopher House for their caring support during the last two weeks of his life. The family would especially like to thank our Math Department family, close friends near and far for their loving calls and visits, and our wonderful immediate family for all of your loving care during these last two years. A celebration of Efraim's life will be held on Saturday, February 23, 10am at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 3003 Northland Dr. Austin, TX 78757, with a reception immediately following. Colleagues, friends, and the family of Dr. Efraim Armendariz wish to establish an undergraduate scholarship in the Department of Mathematics to honor his memory and many academic accomplishments. If you would like to contribute to the Efraim Armendariz Memorial Scholarship, please make an online gift at giving.utexas.edu/armendariz or mail your donation to the College of Natural Sciences, Development Office, The University of Texas at Austin, 120 Inner Campus Drive, G2500, Austin, TX 78712.

Published in Austin American-Statesman on Feb. 22, 2013
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