Cris Thomas Roosenraad

Cris Thomas Roosenraad

  • Funeral Date: 11/19/16
  • Funeral Time: 2:00 pm
  • Date of Birth: 7/28/41
  • Date of Death: 10/24/16
  • Funeral Location: Carleton Chapel

Cris Thomas Roosenraad died Monday morning, October 24, 2016, at his home in Northfield. He was 75.

Cris was born in Lansing, Michigan on July 28, 1941 to Christian & Olive Roosenraad. Older brother to Jon, Cris grew up in Lansing, graduating from JW Sexton High School in 1959. In 1962, Cris graduated with a bachelors degree in mathematics from the University of Michigan, followed by a masters degree in 1964, also from Michigan.

Cris married Susan Scheffel in August of 1964, and they moved to Madison
Wisconsin where Cris earned his PhD in mathematics in 1969. That
summer, they moved to Williamstown, MA where Cris joined the faculty of
Williams College. Cris taught at Williams for 14 years, serving in the Deans
office in addition to teaching in the mathematics department. Their son
Christopher was born in Williamstown in 1973.

In 1983, Cris, Susan, and Christopher moved to Northfield, where Cris
became the dean of students at Carleton College, a role he held for 10
years. During this time, Cris also served as the director of the Carleton
career center, and continued to teach in the math department. In 1993,
Cris returned full-time to teaching in the math department, as well as
chairing the Carleton pre-medical program. Beginning in the mid-90s, Cris
joined Carleton’s Summer Teaching Institute, where he originated the
course for training new teachers of AP calculus. He retired as an Emeritus
professor in 2007.

Cris’s colleagues remember him as always willing to jump in to help
wherever it was needed. When he realized that the Math department didn’t
have anyone to teach the Teaching Methods course, Cris built upon his
summer programs and covered those courses superbly for many years.
He cared deeply about students’ lives and the life of the College long past
his retirement.

Cris’s love of the arts began at an early age. He attended Interlochen Arts
Camp as a child on an art scholarship. As a young man, he was an avid
performer on the electric organ. He and Susan maintained a membership
of the Minnesota orchestra since the 1990s, attending concerts and events
regularly. Cris’s love for movies was also well known, and he would often
seek out theatres playing lesser known films and productions.

Cris’s colleagues at Carleton remarked about Cris being a major part of the
“social glue” of the Math department. He was unfailingly cheerful and
friendly, always looking for common ground with others. He would drop
into people’s offices to discuss the most recent news story or the movie he
had just seen (usually as soon as it was released).

Cris is survived by his wife, Susan, their son Chris, daughter-in-law Jodi,
and granddaughter Evelyn. A memorial service will be held at the Carleton
Chapel on Saturday, November 19th, at 2pm. A reception will follow in
Great Hall.


  1. Bob Wilson

    When Cris and I were graduate students together, in Madison, Cris and Sue and my wife Elsie shared many interests in addition to mathematics. We loaned each other records, we made trips to Chicago to visit record and “HiFi” stores, and in general formed friendships that lasted well into real life (i.e. beyond grad school). In recent years I only met Cris face to face at mathematics meetings, where among other things we discussed American mathematics teaching, but we still occasionally swapped email. Cris was one of the most “clear headed” thinkers I have ever met.

  2. Susan,

    I am so sorry for your loss. It has not been that long since I saw Cris at McDonalds. He will be missed by many.

    Let me know if I can help. You have my sympathy.