Henryk Minc
{ "" }
Share Henryk's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share

Henryk Minc, age 93, passed away peacefully on July 15, 2013 in Santa Barbara. Henryk is preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Catherine and his brothers Tadik and Ralph. He is survived by his sons, Robert, Ralph (Vicki) and Raymond (Lisa), his grandson Jeff and other extended family.

Henryk was born in Lodz, Poland on November 12, 1919. He escaped Poland during World War II and joined a Polish army unit of the British Army. While stationed in Tayport, Scotland, he met Catherine Duncan and they were married in 1943. After the war, he studied at the University of Edinburgh, where he received a PhD in math- ematics.

After teaching at the University of British Columbia and University of Florida, he accepted a professorship in 1963 at U.C. Santa Barbara. Between 1966 and 1988, Henryk wrote and/or co-authored 10 textbooks and numerous research publications in the area of advanced mathematics. Additionally, he published many scholarly articles for the Biblical Archaeologist and the Bulletin of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity.

Henryk enthusiastically pursued many hobbles. His interest in biblical archaeology and numismatics led him to become an expert collector of antiquities. He spoke at least 5 languages and was able to read and understand several ancient languages, including ancient Hebrew and Greek. He was a skilled musician and played several instruments, including the harpsichord, recorder and bagpipes. He was an avid swimmer, logging in about a mile a day for forty years. During the last 30 years he developed a passion for all things Scottish, enjoying many trips to Scotland with Catherine, playing the bagpipes and actively participating in the Santa Barbara Scottish Society. He developed a love for the Scottish poet Robert Burns, collecting many books and manuscripts written by the author. He was most proud of his appointment as the Honorary President of the Robert Burns World Federation.

A graveside memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, July 22 nd , at the Goleta Cemetery, 44 South San Antonio Road. A reception will follow at the home of Ralph and Vicki Minc.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Santa Barbara News-Press from Jul. 19 to Jul. 25, 2013.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
9 entries
July 26, 2013
Henyk was talented in so many fields and full of goodwill towards everyone. Besides mathmatics, his collection of ancient Jewish coins was one of the finest in the country.
Those who where at his retirement dinner won't soon forget his talent on the bag pipes.
Tom Boehme
July 23, 2013
My sincere condolences to Dr. Minc's family, amid my warm memories of him. I, too, knew Henryk as a mathematician when I was a Ph.D. student at UCSB in the mid-to-later 1970s. The book he co-authored with my thesis advisor and his good friend, Prof. Marvin Marcus, "A Survey of Matrix Theory and Matrix Inequalities," is one of the most dog-eared in my collection. Henryk was a most jovial and cheerful fellow to have around -- his photo is just as I remember him! He and Marvin, and Bob Thompson and Morrie Newman, would often share belly laughs together, on topics as likely mathematical as not. I'm sure they would join me in these words (only Marvin survives). Those were wonderful days at the "Algebra Institute" (Institute for the Interdisciplinary Studies of Algebra and Combinatorics), long gone by now, its cast of characters dispersed and inevitably fading. If they could be brought back, I would know to appreciate them even more. Prof. Minc lived life well and fully, so it is no wonder that he will be missed -- his smiling presence is one of my most enduring memories of the UCSB Math Department. So long, dear Henryk -- you have made your mark on many. Thank you!
Ivan Filippenko
July 22, 2013
Ray, My condolences to you and your family.
Mary Frink
July 22, 2013
I only knew Professor Minc through his formidable mathematics work. My deepest sympathies to his family. May his memory be for a blessing. -JM Saniuk, UCSB '87
Joan Saniuk
July 21, 2013
I met Prof. Minc only once (at the Burns Federation conference in 2001), but had followed for a number of years his enviable record as a collector of Scottish authors, especially Burns, and his writing about what he collected. He and and my senior colleague Ross Roy here in South Carolina (another WWII vet who died earlier this year) often were competing to get special items for their collections. Burnsians will miss Prof. Minc's scholarly enthusiasm.
Patrick Scott
July 20, 2013
I knew Henryk as a mathematician. He was a foremost expert in the theory of nonnegative matrices and an inspiring teacher and colleague. I recall a wonderful course in nonnegative matrices I took from Henryk with Steve Johnson, some pithy comments at my oral PhD defense, and the care he gave to reading my PhD thesis. Aside from mathematics, I was continually amazed at the breadth and depth of his experiences and expertises. He was a man of many nationalities, languages, interests and abilities. A long and very full life!
Bob Grone
July 20, 2013
Deepest regrets. RIP
Steve Pierce
July 20, 2013
I am saddened by the death of Henryk, with whom I was colleague and close friend since 1966, when I joined the mathematic faculty at UCSB. We shared several interests and spent happy hours in past years.
David Sprecher
David Sprecher
July 20, 2013
Every time that I saw him at the UCSB pool, he cheered me up. I will surely miss him.
Charles Akemann
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences