Alice T. Schafer

Boston Globe obituary

Obituaries Index

SCHAFER, Alice T. (Turner) 94, of Lexington, MA, died on Setember 27, 2009.

Beloved wife for 67 years of Richard D. Schafer of Lexington.
Devoted mother of John D. Schafer of Turner, ME and Richard S. Schafer of Newton, MA. Grandmother of Scott D. Schafer of Marlborough, MA, Tania Murray of Frankfort, IL and Stephanie Altavilla of Chelsea, MA. Great-grandmother of Mikayla and Grant Murray.

Born Alice Elizabeth Turner in Richmond, VA, on June 18, 1915, she was orphaned early, and was raised by two sisters, Miss Pearl Dickerson of Scottsburg, VA and Beulah Dickerson (Mrs. George W.) Rogers of Richmond. She lived in Scottsburg through high school and then in Richmond. She received an AB degree from Westhampton College of the University of Richmond 1936 and an honorary DSc degree from that University in 1964. In 1940 she received an MS degree and in 1942 a PhD degree from the University of Chicago.

She taught mathematics at several colleges, principally at Connecticut College, and then at Wellesley College where she retired in 1980 as the Helen Day Gould Professor of Mathematics.

Following her retirement she continued to teach at Simmons College and at Marymount University in Arlington, VA, until she was eighty-one years old.

During 1973 - 1975 she was president of the Association for Women in Mathematics, which later named its annual prize for the outstanding undergraduate woman majoring in mathematics the Alice T. Schafer prize. She was active in the American Mathematical Society, the Mathematical Association of America (which in 1998 granted her its annual award for distinguished service to mathematics), the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Phi Beta Kappa, and other professional organizations.

She led delegations to China for People to People.

In accordance with her wishes there will be no funeral or memorial service. Douglass Funeral Home Lexington 781-862-1800

Published in The Boston Globe from September 28 to September 30, 2009