Our classmate Alan Dankner died on Dec. 1, 2015 from complications of acute myeloid leukemia. The obituary from the Boston Globe is below, or you can read it on the Legacy.com site to see comments from friends and colleagues:
DANKNER, Alan 69, of Watertown, Massachusetts died on December 1, 2015 at Massachusetts General Hospital from complications from Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Mr. Dankner was born on December 12, 1945 in Brookline, Massachusetts to Norman and Anita (Parad) Dankner. The Dankner family moved to Belmont when Mr. Dankner was young and he graduated from Belmont High School in 1963.
Mr. Dankner was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts and went on to study mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley where he received his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Mr. Dankner’s PhD thesis, “On Smale’s Axiom A Dynamical Systems,” surpassed the usual PhD standard of “significant original contribution to knowledge” and earned him an invitation to do postdoctoral work at the prestigious Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, New Jersey. Mr. Dankner was a math professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.
In 1983, Mr. Dankner moved to Jersey City, New Jersey to begin the study of law at New York University in New York, New York. He received his J.D. (Order of the Coif ) from NYU in 1986 and moved to Hingham, Massachusetts. Mr. Dankner was an attorney with Goodwin Procter in Boston until he retired in 2013. Even though Mr. Dankner changed career paths, his interest in mathematics remained. He continued to follow advances in math, especially in topology, his field of expertise, and enjoyed communicating with fellow mathematicians.
Mr. Dankner had long been planning to take his children to Berkeley to show them where he had studied mathematics and received his PhD. Fortuitously, they planned this trip right before he was diagnosed with cancer and they were able to enjoy this long awaited journey in August of this year.
Mr. Dankner is survived by his wife, Natalie Kanellis of Geneva, New York; his son, Jacob Kanellis Dankner of Brooklyn, New York; his daughter, Sally Kanellis Dankner of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and his sister, Elinor Dankner of Barnstable, Massachusetts. He was preceded in death by his parents. Mr. Dankner had recently moved from Hingham to Watertown when he was diagnosed with blood cancer. Although he was no stranger to sickness or hospital stays, having suffered from Crohn’s disease since he was a young adult, the diagnosis of blood cancer was unexpected and the rapid escalation to Acute Myeloid Leukemia was a surprise. A bone marrow transplant had been scheduled for December and his sister was matched as the donor, but his disease escalated too quickly to permit the transplant to go forward.
A graveside service was held at Sharon Memorial Park in Sharon, Massachusetts on December 6, 2015. Family and friends who wish to and are able to are encouraged to donate blood and to sign up with the bone marrow registry.