Fr. ROBERT A. BAGNATO, S.J. 87, of Bronx, N.Y. died on December 15th,2019. He was born on June 23, 1932 to Anthony F Bagnato and Ida Bagnato in Yonkers, N.Y. Armed with degrees in civil engineering from Manhattan College and the University of Illinois, Robert entered the Society of Jesus in the mid-50’s,and he served in the Society for a number of years. While still a student for the priesthood, he began graduate study in mathematics as a National Science Foundation Fellow at Yeshiva University, where he earned a PhD in 1963. His dissertation on partial differential equations was described as a truly impressive piece of work.
In 1968, after his ordination to the priesthood and a stay abroad, Robert Bagnato joined the Fordham mathematics department, where he quickly became one of its most sought-after teachers. One can only conjecture how many hours he devoted to the production of hundreds of pages of finely crafted notes, which he distributed to students to supplement the dense phrase of mathematics textbooks. Meticulous in his preparation of lectures, and generous to a fault-with his time and energy outside the classroom he inspired feelings of admiration in his students, and feelings of guilt in his colleagues.
Although his research area is in pure mathematics, Fr. Bagnato strongly defends the position that mathematics should be related to real world concerns. This conviction led him to study and to offer courses in applied areas such as probability, statistics, and optimization theory, while his broad extra mathematical interests resulted in articles, both scholarly and popular, in the fields of theology and education. These writings have appeared in such diverse publications as the American Anthropologist and the Anglican Theological Review. He is survived by his beloved sister Joan Bagnato of Valhalla N.Y, enduring care providers, Valerie Meeks, Celia Prawn, Verrel Meeks, and Marion Appleton.
Reposing, Hawthorne Funeral Home on Friday December 27th at 21 W Stevens Ave Hawthorne, NY 10532 from 10:00am - 11:00am. Funeral Mass, Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, N.Y. at 11:30am. Interment to follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Fr. Robert A. Bagnato Charitable Foundation to continue the legacy of Fr. Bagnato’s dedication to education.
HAWTHORNE FUNERAL HOME
21 West Stevens Ave
Hawthorne, New York 10532
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