Popular with students and faculty alike, Mark Feshbach liked to "make difficult concepts clear."
Mark F. Feshbach, a popular math professor at the University of Minnesota for 32 years, died Thursday at the University of Minnesota Medical Center from complications of lymphoma. He was 60.
Despite falling ill in April, he still taught a full load of courses last spring, his longtime colleague Richard McGehee said.
"Even over the summer he was coming into the department. He'd just accepted the job as director of undergraduate studies and had a lot of ideas," said McGehee, a math professor who had known Feshbach since he joined the department in 1978.
Born in Boston, the youngest of three children, Feshbach grew up in Cambridge, Mass.
His father, Herman Feshbach, was a physicist and longtime chairman of the Physics Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His mother was a children's librarian.
Feshbach, of Minneapolis, knew early on that he, too, wanted a life in academics, said his wife, Andrea Feshbach.
He studied mathematics at Yale University, graduating with a bachelor's degree, and went on to Stanford University for his doctorate. He landed his first teaching job at Northwestern University, where he taught for two years before accepting an assistant professor job at Minnesota.
Feshbach was thorough and well-organized, McGehee recalled. He worked his way up to full professor.
At teaching, he thrived. "He was very well liked by his students," McGehee said. "He was a popular teacher."
Added his wife: "He really liked it when he was able to make difficult concepts clear to students."
As devoted as he was to teaching, he was perhaps most passionate about matters of justice and being a good father, Andrea Feshbach said.
"He was incredibly dedicated to his children," she said.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Rachel, of New York City; a son, David, of Eden Prairie; and a brother, Theodore, of Hopedale, Mass.
Services will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday at Shir Tikvah, 5000 Girard Av. S., Minneapolis. Shiva will be at 7 p.m. Sunday at Shir Tikvah and at 7 p.m. Monday at the family's home.
Memorials are preferred to American Jewish World Service, the American Civil Liberties Union or Shir Tikvah.
Allie Shah • 612-673-4488