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Nigel Kalton

Bromley, London Borough of Bromley, Greater London, England
Death 31 Aug 2010 (aged 64)
Columbia, Boone County, Missouri, USA
Burial Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown
Memorial ID 59004599 · View Source
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Obituary, The Columbia Daily Tribune, September 5, 2010:

Nigel Kalton, 64, passed away peacefully at University Hospital on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010, after suffering a stroke.

The family held a private cremation and there will be a celebration of his life on Friday, Oct. 1, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Reynolds Alumni Center on the University of Missouri campus.

Nigel was born on June 20, 1946, to Gordon and Stella Kalton in Bromley, England. As a young boy it was clear Nigel was gifted in math. Nigel earned a doctorate in mathematics from Cambridge University in 1970, and received the Rayleigh Prize for excellence for a doctoral thesis. While at Cambridge, Nigel met his wife, Jennifer. They were married in 1969 and have two children, Neil and Helen.

After leaving Cambridge, he held positions at Lehigh University, Warwick University, University College of Swansea, the University of Illinois and Michigan State University before coming to the mathematics department at the University of Missouri in 1979. He was instrumental in building the math department at MU into an internationally recognized department. He consistently provided leadership within the department and across the campus. In 1984, he was appointed the Luther Marion Defoe Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, and in 1985 he was appointed to the Houchins Chair of Mathematics.

In 1995, he received the highest recognition bestowed by MU by being appointed a curators' professor. Nigel won the Chancellors Award for outstanding research in 1984 and the Weldon Springs Presidential Award for outstanding research in 1987.

In 2005, he received the highest honor in his field, The Banach Medal from the Polish Academy of Sciences that recognizes the person who has made the most significant contributions to Banach space theory. Nigel was at the top of his field in productivity, creativity, depth and breadth of knowledge, as well as research support, invited addresses, citations and the view of his peers. There are a number of fundamental results in mathematics that carry his name. Nigel was incredibly broad in his research, having worked in a dozen different areas of mathematics. He had written more than 270 research articles and books and was on the editorial board of six prestigious mathematics journals.

In 2006, Miami University of Ohio held a weeklong conference to honor Nigel's 60th birthday. Mathematicians from all over the world came to pay tribute to him, and the conference resulted in a volume of nearly 500 pages dedicated to his work. Those who knew him as a friend will always remember him for his kind, genuine and humble nature that offered no clue to his remarkable achievements.

Nigel had many interests outside of the math world including travel, chess, history and racquetball. He was famous for his competitive streak, and his grandchildren knew full well that he would never let them win at anything. He also had a playful side and the serious mathematician could turn into the biggest kid in the house. His grandchildren loved to play marathon games of "hide and seek" and listen to his silly voices.

Survivors include his wife, Jennifer Kalton of Columbia; a son, Neil Kalton and wife Carrie Kalton of St. Louis; a daughter, Helen Kurtz and husband Richard Kurtz of Orinda, Calif.; four grandchildren, Kaile and Drew Kalton and Natalie and Grant Kurtz; and a brother, Graham Kalton and wife Francis Kalton of Silver Spring, Md.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Gordon and Stella Kalton; and a sister, Pamela Kalton.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Nigel Kalton Fellowship Endowment to support graduate students in the field of mathematics or another charity of the donor's choice. Checks can be made payable to the University of Missouri for the Nigel Kalton Fellowship Fund and sent to the Department of Mathematics, University of Missouri, c/o Kimberly Dostoglou, Mathematical Sciences Building, Columbia, Mo., 65211.

Tributes can be left online at


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  • Created by: Kathy Margrave
  • Added: 21 Sep 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 59004599
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Nigel Kalton (20 Jun 1946–31 Aug 2010), Find A Grave Memorial no. 59004599, ; Maintained by Kathy Margrave (contributor 46545595) Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown.