Former mathematics professor passes away

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

Longtime mathematics professor, Ruth Flournoy, passed away on Jan. 27. Professor Flournoy joined the UAA faculty in 1978, and served as the Chair of the Mathematical Sciences Department from 1993-95. Though she retired from full-time teaching in 1999, Professor Flournoy remained an engaged member of the UAA community as a professor emerita.

An obituary about Professor Flournoy is included below. Our thoughts go out to her friends and family.

Obituary from the Anchorage Daily News:

Ruth Flournoy

Anchorage resident Ruth S. Flournoy, 81, died Jan. 27, 2010, at Providence Alaska Medical Center.

She was born Nov. 8, 1928, in New York City, N.Y., to Henry and Madeline Schumacher.

Ruth moved to Anchorage in 1976 and became a long-time Alaskan.

She had a distinguished academic career, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics in 1949 from Queens College of the University of the City of New York, and a Master of Arts degree (mathematics education) in 1973 from Newark State College, N.J. Ruth had a long career teaching mathematics in Anchorage. Shortly after her arrival in Alaska, she taught mathematics at both East High School and Bartlett High School. She served on the faculty of Anchorage Community College from 1977 to 1978. In 1978, she joined the faculty of the University of Alaska Anchorage, rising to the level of professor. Ruth excelled as a math teacher, earning Distinguished Teaching Awards in 1984-1985 and 1990-1991, and the Distinguished Alumni Award. She served as chairperson of the Mathematics Sciences Department from 1993 to 1995. Upon her retirement in 1999, she received the title of professor emerita.

What Ruth was perhaps best known for was the ease with which she could convey her love and knowledge of mathematics to her students. Ruth often joked that she had "taught math to half of Anchorage." Ruth loved Anchorage and was active in the community. She was a long-time member of the Anchorage Weavers and Spinners Guild, as well as the University of Alaska Alumni Association. Ruth's love of travel took her on trips all over the world. She never ceased to enjoy learning about different cultures and seeing new sights.

An avid dog lover, she managed to spoil all the family dogs over the years and could frequently be seen walking the various paths and parks in Anchorage.

Ruth touched the lives of many people, family and friends alike. She will be sorely missed by all.

She is survived by her husband of 53 years, John J. Flournoy; her sons, John J. Flournoy III (Lisa) of Anchorage and Dr. Thomas H. Flournoy (Cyndi) of Port Republic, N.J.; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her son, Dr. Peter S. Flournoy.

Memorial contributions may be made in her name to the University of Alaska Anchorage. Arrangements were with the Anchorage Funeral Home and Crematory. Per her wish, her ashes will be scattered off Beluga Point into Turnagain Arm.

Creative Commons License "Former mathematics professor passes away" is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.