Obituary for Hans Felix Weinberger
Hans Felix Weinberger, 88, of Durham, NC passed away on September 15, 2017. Hans was born in Vienna, Austria on September 27, 1928 to the late Walter and Linda Haas Weinberger.
Hans is survived by his wife, Laura Larrick Weinberger currently of Durham, NC, his daughters, Catherine Weinberger and her husband Mark Sherwin, and Sylvia Hewitt and her husband, Steve; son, Ralph Weinberger and his wife, Katie; grandchildren, Max Weinberger, Emma Weinberger, Evan Sherwin, Stuart Sherwin, Evelyn Curtis, Nicky Curtis, Chris Hewitt, Nikki Hewitt; and a great-grandson, Alexander Corlis.
Hans was first and foremost a loving husband and soulmate with his wife. He was also a loving parent and grandparent. He engaged anyone he could because he was truly interested to learn their story but also because he respected and admired diversity in life choices.
He loved the United States and what it stood for – accepting all with open arms, including him, his parents and some of his relatives who were fortunate to be given their lives and a new opportunity when they fled Austria in 1939 and ultimately made a new life in Pennsylvania.
Hans seized upon opportunity, demonstrating an aptitude for the sciences from a young age. He was a finalist in the “Westinghouse Talent Search” at the age of 17, receiving this recognition for designing a self-inflating life vest for the US Navy. By the Age of 21 he had earned his Doctorate in Mathematics from the Carnegie Institute of Technology. He joined the faculty of the University of Maryland in College Park where he spent ten years at the Institute for Fluid Dynamics and Applied Mathematics. As a young professor, he lived in Washington D.C. where he met his wife, Laura, while attending a social event. They moved to Minnesota in 1960. Ultimately Hans spent 37 years on the faculty of the University of Minnesota Mathematics department where he served the institution and profession in many leadership roles, including as department chair, mentor to numerous students and a driving force behind and the founding director of The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications. Mathematics and collaboration with colleagues remained a lifelong passion for Hans who made a daily bus trip to his office as a professor Emeritus for 18 years following his “retirement” and he continued to develop differential equations on the backs of envelopes until he left us.
There will be a memorial service on Friday September 22, 2017, 1:00 p.m. at Soapstone United Methodist Church, 12837 Norwood Road, Raleigh, NC 27613. For those so inclined, the family requests donations to The American Refugee Committee www.ARCrelief.org or The Unitarian Universalist Services Committee www.UUSC.org in lieu of flowers.