posted June 5, 2012

Mathematics Professor Emeritus Frank Sherburne Dies

Frank C. Sherburne Jr. of Holland, who had taught mathematics at Hope College for 35 years before retiring in 1994, has died.  He was 83.

Sherburne, who died on Monday, June 4, 2012, joined the college’s faculty in February 1959 as an instructor of mathematics, and was promoted to assistant professor in 1962, to associate professor in 1976 and to professor in 1993.  Across his career he had taught several courses in the department, including “Calculus I, II and III,” “Survey of Calculus,” “Finite Mathematics” and “History of Mathematics.”  He had developed the course sequence “Mathematics for Elementary Teachers I and II.”

He served the college in a variety of ways through the years in addition to teaching, including as secretary of the faculty; as ticket manager for football and basketball; as his department’s liaison to the college’s library; and as a member of the Distinguished Alumni Award Committee.  Among other activities, he had portrayed Professor Willard in Hope Summer Repertory Theatre’s 1989 production of Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town.”

In past service to the community, Sherburne had been a member of the Herrick District Library board for 14 years, including as president, and had also been on the Computer Services Committee of the City of Holland for five years.  He was a member of Hope Church in Holland, where his involvement had included terms as an elder.

He was a member of several professional associations, including the Mathematical Association of America, the American Mathematical Society and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.  In 1991, he received the Longevity Award from the Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Sherburne was born in Indianapolis, Ind., on Nov. 13, 1928, and attended elementary and secondary school in Indiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio.  He graduated from the University of Toledo in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics.  He completed a Master of Science degree in mathematics at Michigan State University in 1956.

He was a veteran of the U.S. Army, in which he served from 1952 to 1954.  Prior to joining the Hope faculty, he was a graduate assistant at Michigan State University.

Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Dorothy; their children, Marie and Randy Mercier of Tustin, and Richard Sherburne of Ann Arbor; grandchildren, Will Sherburne, Ashley Sherburne, and Janice and Kevin Walker; nieces; and a cousin.

Visitation will be on Thursday, June 7, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Mulder Chapel--Dykstra Funeral Homes, 188 W. 32nd St. in Holland.  The funeral service will be on Friday, June 8, at 11 a.m. at Hope Church, 77 W. 11th St. in Holland.