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Obituary: Henry Alan “Hank” Krieger

Longtime Harvey Mudd math professor, award-winning tennis coach, volunteer

Henry Alan “Hank” Krieger of Claremont has died at the age of 86.

Born to Benjamin and Anne Krieger in Denver Colorado in 1936, Hank attended Denver’s North High School and then Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, graduating with a degree in aeronautical engineering in 1957. Immediately after graduation, he married Rita Kerber of Rockaway Beach, New York.

He then served in the U.S. Navy, first while commissioned in Manchester, England as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Manchester, then at the Naval Submarine Base New London, Connecticut for three years, rising to the rank of lieutenant. He then obtained a Ph.D. in applied mathematics at Brown University.

In 1964, the couple moved with their children, Elaine and Jeff, to Southern California, spending four years in Altadena as he worked as a post-doctorate researcher and instructor at California Institute of Technology. They spent the next 52 years in Claremont, where he was a professor of mathematics at Harvey Mudd College until his retirement in 2005. During his tenure at Harvey Mudd, he chaired both the math department and the HMC faculty. The couple spent numerous sabbaticals outside of California, as he served as a visiting professor at three different universities in Israel and two in Australia, as well as at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

He loved nearly all sports, but his particular passion in that realm was tennis. He played varsity tennis both in high school and college. In 1975, he became the head coach of men’s tennis at Claremont Mudd Scripps colleges, in addition to his full-time job as a math professor. He led the CMS program until 2000, winning a Division III national team title in 1981, coaching four national champions in singles and three national championship doubles teams. He also earned two national coach-of-the-year awards while also serving on numerous national and regional collegiate tennis committees.

Finding time to be active in the community, he served as president of both Temple Beth Israel and the Jewish Federation of Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys, and on many other community and educational boards. As of his passing, he was serving as the volunteer chief financial officer of Claremont After-School Programs while also tutoring elementary school students through the nonprofit.

“Hank has been a mentor and role model not only to his family, but also to his math students and tennis players, as well as others in the community who benefitted from his humility, wisdom and genuine interest in helping those around him be the best version of themselves,” his family shared.

He is survived by his wife, Rita; children, Elaine Greenwald (David) and Jeffrey Krieger (Wendy); grandchildren, Deborah Krieger, Louie Greenwald, Benjamin Krieger and Hannah Greenwald; and brother, Ronald Krieger.

Funeral services will take place at 10:45 a.m. EST Monday, July 11 at New Cedar Park Cemetery in Paramus, New Jersey.

A memorial gathering for the local community will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday July 20 at Temple Beth Israel, 3033 N. Towne Ave., Pomona.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to www.clasp4kids.org.

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