In Memoriam

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Leonore Marianne Courant Berkowitz ’50

The daughter of eminent mathematician Richard Courant, Lori transferred to Reed from Swarthmore and earned a BA in literature. Her thesis, advised by Prof. Donald MacRae [English 1944–73], was on the art and life view of poet Robert Frost. Music was the great love of Lori’s life, and she went on to earn a BA and MA from the Berklee School of Music, to teach at the Manhattan School of Music, and to be principal violist for the American Symphony Orchestra. She cofounded Loon Lake Live! and was an instructor at the Children’s Orchestra Society and at Princeton Chamber Music Play Week. She also coached viola and played chamber music. We learned of Lori’s death from Annice Mills Alt ’51, who recalled that her husband, Franz Alt, played string quartets informally with Lori. “Because there is so much in the repertoire, you can never play too often,” Annice wrote. The couple also hiked with Lori for a number of years. Hiking, berry picking, and stargazing were just a few of the pleasures Lori took from her time in the outdoors. Lori and mathematician Jerome Berkowitz were married in 1954; they had a son and daughter. Following his death, she married widower Peter Lax, who received the Abel Prize for mathematics. Lori’s husband and children survive her, as do two grandchildren. “She was an original and a welcoming, gentle soul, who loved her family.”

Appeared in Reed magazine: December 2015

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