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In Memoriam: Donald L. KreiderProfessor of Mathematics and Computer Science, Emeritus(1931-2006)

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 12/12/06 • Genevieve Haas • (603) 646-3661

Donald L. Kreider
Donald L. Kreider

Donald L. Kreider, of Sugar Hill, NH, died unexpectedly on Thursday, December 7, 2006, at age 75. He was born in Lancaster, PA, son of the late Jacob Lester Kreider and Rosanna (Rittenhouse) Kreider. He was educated at Lititz High School in Lititz, PA, and graduated from Lebanon Valley College in 1953 where he held the track record for high hurdles. Kreider received a PhD from MIT in mathematical logic in 1959. At MIT, in recognition of his conspicuously effective teaching, both as a graduate student and as a member of the academic staff, he was awarded the Goodwin Medal in 1958.

Kreider spent his academic career on the Dartmouth faculty, starting in 1960 after a postdoctoral year teaching at MIT. At Dartmouth, he taught a wide range of subjects in both mathematics and computer science. In addition, Kreider served twice as chair of the Department of Mathematics and as Vice-President and Dean of Student Affairs under the Presidency of John Kemeny. An avid hiker, he led Freshman Trips into the White Mountains for many years.

In the 1960's, he was invited to join the Entebbe Project and spent three summers in Africa working closely with local teachers, developing a new high school curriculum in mathematics, textbooks, and teacher training materials for use in village schools.

Kreider served the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) in many capacities: on the Committee on the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics (CUPM), which publishes guidelines for the mathematics curriculum and for teacher training, on the Budget Committee, as Treasurer (1989-1991), President-elect (1992), President (1993-1994), and on the Board of Governors (1995-1999). Kreider was a leader in calculus education reform and received one of the first grants in the Calculus Initiative launched by National Science Foundation in 1989. In addition, Kreider served many years for the College Board, as chair of its Calculus Development Committee and as a member of its Mathematical Science Advisory Committee in the 1970s, when he was instrumental in creating an Advanced Placement course in computer science.

Kreider authored several mathematics texts: Linear Analysis, with Kuller, Ostberg, and Perkins; Differential Equations, with Kuller and Ostberg; Investigations in Mathematics, with La Torre and Proctor; and Case Studies in Calculus with Lahr. He was still working with his Dartmouth colleagues Dwight Lahr and Susan Diesel on Principles of Calculus Modeling - An Interactive Approach.

Don Kreider is best remembered for his caring and gentle leadership. Wisdom, kindness, and humanity were Kreider's hallmarks throughout the many years in all of his professional and personal relationships. Kreider could always be relied upon to provide thoughtful advice on any issue, and would personally take the high road in any situation, lead by example, and cheerfully undertake any task. He knew how to get things done in a quiet gentle manner, often seeing what needed to be done before it became known, and taking care of things without seeking credit. Those who knew him remember him for his exceptional dedication and charm.

Kreider chaired the Norwich, VT, school board during the early 1960's and was instrumental in forming the first inter-state school district in the United States, between Norwich, VT, and Hanover, NH. Kreider had a life-long interest in astronomy and was actively involved in the telescope club at Dartmouth.

Kreider served as Treasurer of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Boston's Back Bay and also as a Vestry member. After retiring from Dartmouth in 1997, he lived in Jamaica Plain, MA, and in Sugar Hill, NH. In December 2005, he moved to Sugar Hill permanently. He had recently joined the choir at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Littleton, NH, and was elected to the board of the Sugar Hill Historical Museum.

Kreider is survived by his loving companion of more than twenty-six years, William F. White of Sugar Hill, NH. He is also survived by his former wife, Mary Ellen (Galebach) Kreider of Norwich, VT, and their three sons and daughters-in-law, John Richard and Vickie Marie (Baird) Kreider of Norwich, VT, Paul Alan and Tawn Michelle (Atchley) Kreider of Boise, ID, and David Kendall and Katherine (Higgins) Kreider of Boxford, MA, seven grandchildren, Sarah Elizabeth (Kreider) and husband Joshua Earl Coiner, and their infant son, Garner Earl, of Radford, VA, Mary Rachel Kreider and Harry Koehler Kreider of Norwich, VT, Mark Berg Kreider and Erik Berg Kreider of Rochester, NY, and Christopher James Kreider and Katherine Teresa Kreider of Boxford, MA. He was predeceased by a brother, Richard Kreider, and two sisters, Rosanna Buch and Janet Knowles.

A Memorial Service will be held at All Saints' Episcopal Church, 35 School Street, Littleton, NH, on Saturday, December 16th at 11:00 a.m. with the Rev. Barbara Thrall as celebrant. Friends are invited to attend a gathering for remembrance and reflection, in the church hall, following the service. Light refreshments will be provided.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make contributions to the Mathematical Association of America. Please make checks payable to 'MAA', write 'In memory of Don Kreider' on the memo line, and send to:
MAA Headquarters
1529 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036

Arrangements and care have been entrusted to the Pillsbury Funeral Homes and Cremation Service, Inc. To view an online memorial or to send a message of condolence, please visit their Web site.

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