COLUMBIA — Michael Taksar was not afraid to be romantic when it came to showing his wife that he loved her.
"Today I received flowers from Michael," his wife, Tanya Taksar, said. "The note on the roses said, 'to my eternal valentine.'"
Dr. Michael Taksar of Columbia died of a heart attack Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012. He was 62 years old.
The pre-ordered flowers weren't the first surprise Dr. Taksar had given his wife.
"He once surprised me with a trip to Venice for our 10th anniversary," she said.
Dr. Taksar arranged for them to stay in the same resort they had stayed in on a previous trip, in the heart of Venice. They woke up to boats every morning, his wife said.
One evening on the trip, Dr. Taksar set up a table on a bridge overlooking the water for a romantic dinner.
Dr. Taksar was born Sept. 9, 1949, in Moscow to Joshua and Tamara (Vitold) Taksar. He graduated from Moscow University in 1971 with a degree in mathematics and mechanics. In 1977, he immigrated to the United States.
He went back to school to get his doctoral degree in mathematics from Cornell University in 1979. Dr. Taksar taught at Stanford, Florida State and Stony Brook Universities before joining the MU Math Department in 2002.
"He was a well-established professor," Allanus Tsoi, professor in the MU Math Department, said. "He had a hard-working personality."
Tsoi and Dr. Taksar did research studies together in actuarial science and mathematical finance.
Tsoi met Dr. Taksar in 2001 while working in Hong Kong. Dr. Taksar would often visit the Chinese University of Hong Kong where Tsoi was working.
Dr. Taksar was teaching two math courses this spring semester at MU. As for what will happen for his classes, no instructions have been sent out as of Tuesday night, Tsoi said.
Dr. Taksar is survived by his wife, Tanya Taksar, and son, Serge Taksar.
Visitation will be at 5 p.m. Friday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. Memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Funeral Home.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Michael Taksar Scholarship Fund in the MU Mathematics Department. Checks should be made to University of Missouri and sent to Kimberly Dostoglou, Department of Mathematics, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.
Condolences can be posted at memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com.