Leo James Alex died peacefully at home on Oct. 28, 2021, following a long illness. He was 78.
Leo was born on Dec. 3, 1942, in Rochester, Minn., the son of James and Gladys (Torkelson) Alex. His father was a proud Greek-American immigrant who believed in the American dream. James came to the United States in the 1920s and his last name, Alexakis, was shortened to Alex when he arrived.
Leo graduated cum laude from the University of Minnesota in 1964 with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics. He completed a Ph.D. in Mathematics with a minor in Statistics at the University of Minnesota in 1970.
He moved to Oneonta, NY, in 1970 for a position as Assistant Professor of Mathematics at SUNY Oneonta, and never left. His career in the SUNY Oneonta Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics spanned 43 years. During that time, Leo spent one year as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia and earned the ranks of Associate Professor and Professor at SUNY Oneonta. He was elected department chair in 1988, a position he held until 2012.