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Mary Elizabeth Layne Boas

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Mary Elizabeth Layne BOAS March 10, 1917 ~ February 17, 2010 Born in Prosser, WA, the only child of Felix Layne and Annie Goff, she grew up on a poultry and fruit farm near Monroe, WA. She earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees in mathematics at the University of Washington in 1938 and 1940, after which she went to Duke University in Durham, NC to do further graduate work and teaching. There she met her future husband, Ralph Philip Boas, Jr., a mathematics instructor; they were married June 12, 1941 in Orleans, MA. She earned a Ph.D. in physics in 1948 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For three decades, she taught physics at DePaul University in Chicago. After her retirement in 1987, she and her husband relocated to the Seattle area, where they spent the rest of their lives; her husband died in 1992. She was active in the Lake Forest Park Garden Club and in 2006 published a third edition of her textbook, Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences. She is survived by her three children, Ralph Layne (wife Sherry), Anne Louise, and Harold Philip (wife Heidemarie), by six grandchildren, and by four great-grandchildren. Donations can be made to the Mary L. Boas Endowed Scholarship in Physics, The University of Washington Foundation, Box 359505, Seattle WA 98195-9505, or at http://uwfoundation.org/
Published in The Seattle Times from Feb. 20 to Feb. 21, 2010
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