We regret to announce that our colleague Gaston Hernandez, Associate Professor of Mathematics, passed away on June 13, 2015 at Windham Community Memorial Hospital, after a long and courageous battle with brain cancer. He was the beloved husband of Eliana D. Rojas, father of Alejandra and Hector Hernandez, father-in-law of Jennifer Munz and Jeremy Olen, and grandfather of Isabel Olen. Born in Curicó, Chile, in 1951, he was the son of the late Paula Diaz Marquez and late Erasmo Hernandez Diaz, and beloved brother of Ramón, Elba, Erasmo, Gloria, Silvia, and the late Jorge Hernández. In 1979, following the Chile coup d’état, Gastón fled to the U.S, where he completed his PhD in mathematics at the University of Minnesota.
He was an Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut, and before that, held visiting positions at the Universidad Católica and Universidad Federico Santa Maria in Chile, Princeton University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Iowa. He was an active advocate of brain tumor research and awareness, nationally and internationally, and touched the lives of many through his great optimism and jovial spirit. A true Renaissance man, he graciously shared his vast knowledge of the sciences, literature, history, and the arts. He greatly enjoyed poetry, unraveling a Rubik’s cube in seconds, and challenging audiences with contentious sociopolitical statements, particularly if accompanied with a good glass of Chilean wine. He also leaves behind a large family in Chile and in France, and many friends around the world, all who loved him profoundly.
Services will be held on June 27, 2015 at 11:00am at the Storrs Congregational Church in Storrs, CT. In lieu of flowers, please honor Gaston’s memory by making donations to the American Brain Tumor Association.