MADISON—Richard Allen “Dick” Askey, of Madison, passed away on Oct. 9, 2019, at age 86. He was born to Philip E. Askey and Bessie May Askey on June 4, 1933, in St. Louis, Mo. Dick devoted his life’s work to mathematics and improving K-12 math education. He joined the University of Wisconsin Mathematics department in 1963 and retired in 2003. Dick was the world’s foremost authority on Special Functions. He traveled the world giving talks on mathematics and teaching the work of the mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. In the 1968/69 academic year, Dick worked in Amsterdam and brought his family. Dick helped many mathematicians around the world with their careers. He was a man of integrity and lived his life to help others and share knowledge.
Dick was a loving husband and father. Dick and Liz’s devotion to one another was an inspiration. During his last years he faithfully cared for Liz through her Alzheimer’s journey. They raised their children with a love of books, curiosity about the world and with great kindness.
Dick is survived by his wife of 61 years, Elizabeth Hill Askey; his son, James R. Zurlo (Kathryn Zurlo); daughter, Suzanne E. Askey (David Foss); his siblings, Ruth Gilmore, Carol Wisler, and Phil Askey; grandchildren Rebecca Zurlo, Ben Hinkel and Sarah Askey-Foss, and great-granddaughter Aisa Hinkel.
A remembrance gathering will be held on Saturday, November 9, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. at OAKWOOD VILLAGE EAST, Tree of Life Chapel, 5565 Tancho Drive, Madison, Wis. 53718.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations made in his name to YWCA Madison or American Players Theatre.
Please share your memories at www.CressFuneralService.com.
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