Please Remember Richard Goblirsch in Your Prayers

Faculty portrait from the 1975 Aquinas Yearbook.

Faculty portrait from the 1975 Aquinas Yearbook.

Please remember in your prayers Richard Goblirsch '51, longtime St. Thomas professor who died Jan. 6. He was 87.

He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin and was professor of mathematics at the University of St. Thomas from 1964 to 1995. He served as acting dean of the College of St. Thomas from 1977 to 1981.

In 1974, at the behest of then president of St. Thomas Monsignor Terrence Murphy, Goblirsch studied the feasibility of the college becoming co-educational.

A 1947 graduate of St. Thomas Academy, Goblirsch was the only senior in his class to earn an Eagle Award all four years as a cadet. The award was granted to cadets who maintained a grade point average of 3.9 or higher. The 1947 Kaydet yearbook underscored the remarkableness of his feat: "Any cadet who is fortunate and longsuffering enough to win an Eagle Award for one year realizes what an achievement and distinction this is. But for anyone to win this coveted award for four years straight is like Ted Williams batting over 500 for the season – a feat which no big leaguer has ever accomplished."

Dr. John Kemper, one of Goblirsch's Math Department colleagues whom Goblirsch hired in 1976, remembered the many times he observed his "devotion to the college, to his colleagues, to his students and to the discipline of mathematics.

"As a topologist," Kemper said, "Goblirsch worked in a different mathematical subfield than mine, but his general interests in mathematics (and many other things) ranged far and wide. Along with his impeccable professionalism, Dick displayed a mild manner and a wry and well informed sense of humor that he used effectively to tone down a faculty debate or point to a solution for whatever the current dilemma might be. He will be deeply missed by his colleagues."

Goblirsch was preceded in death by his parents, a brother Gerald, brothers-in-law Maurice Foy, James Koehler, Henry Williams. Survived by his wife Linda Thain; his former wife Marilyn LaBounta and their children Carl, Paula, Kurt (Katja); sisters Helen Foy, Josephine Ann Williams, Rose Marie Koehler; sister-in-law Kathie Goblirsch; grandchildren Sarah Ronquist (Roger), Paul Goblirsch, Anna Goblirsch; five great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Memorials preferred to the University of St. Thomas. Visitation was held Wednesday, Jan. 11, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at O'Halloran and Murphy. 575 Snelling Ave. S., St Paul.

Read his obituary online.