DONALD KAHN

Obituary
1 entry
  • "Donald was a friend and mentor. I will miss him."
    - Roy Joshua
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KAHN--Donald William, Ph.D., died suddenly of natural causes on Friday, January 16, 2015 at his home in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Don was truly a Renaissance man. A scholar of algebraic topology and an accomplished photographer, he viewed the world (often through the lens of his omnipresent Leica) as a composition of light and form. Don traveled far and wide to scuba dive, view solar eclipses and climb mountains, returning home after each voyage to hand-develop and print and share a photographic record of his experience. Along with many professional publications and two books on advanced mathematics, he had recently published a concise history of photography. Don was a lifelong musician who played trombone, piano, harpsichord and cello. He had a true passion for music and each Wednesday played in an amateur chamber orchestra. Don loved the French language and spoke like a native. He rode his bike year- round in Minneapolis weather and was a raconteur who delighted in long conversations with family and friends. From his earliest days, Don was a mediator, a protector and a jovial presence at any gathering. Donald was the son of Irving Kahn and the late Ruth Perl Kahn of New York City. He grew up primarily in Belle Harbor, New York, attending high school at Woodmere Academy. He received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and his doctorate from Yale University, and taught at Columbia University, Heidelberg, Toulouse and Mexico City. Don is survived and beloved by his wife of 58 years, Minnesota State Representative Phyllis Kahn; his father, Irving Kahn; his brothers, Alan (Linda) Kahn and Thomas (Marilyn Weitzman) Kahn; his children, Tamar (Daniel) McNally and Jeremy (Kate Conner) Kahn; seven

grandchildren; and many loving cousins, nieces and nephews. Two memorial services, one to be held in Minneapolis and the other in New York City, will be announced at a later date. Donald W. Kahn was a giant of a man in every sense of the word. "We will 'ere remember." -The Kahn Family

Published in The New York Times on Jan. 25, 2015
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