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Francis Lambiase; unlocked the mysteries of mathematics

Francis J. Lambiase was a Bridgewater State College professor who knew how to make daunting mathematics courses more accessible to non-math majors. In his 38 years at the school, he developed a curriculum that became a staple for management students, teaching them the math behind business operations.

''He was the kind of professor that always went the extra mile to make sure the student succeeded," said Carolyn Anderson, who worked with him as department secretary.

Mr. Lambiase died Tuesday at his home in Hingham after a yearlong struggle with pancreatic cancer. He was 62.

A course called ''Quantitative Methods" can sound terrifying to students who struggle with math, and many management students put it off until the end of their academic career, colleagues said. But Mr. Lambiase, they said, brought an energy to the subject that put students at ease.

In that course, he taught students how to use numbers and mathematics to work through inventory problems, decision-making, and ''optimizing business solutions," said Richard Quindley, who chairs the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.

Mr. Lambiase also taught general calculus and statistics courses, and when he wasn't teaching, he was often offering career advice to those who sought his counsel.

''He was a very chatty person," Quindley said. ''Everybody at the college has their favorite Frank Lambiase story."

The Randolph native earned his bachelor's degree from Stonehill College and a master's degree from Clarkson University. He started working at Bridgewater State College in 1967.

He quickly became known for his gregarious personality -- and for his encyclopedic knowledge of restaurants in the area, colleagues said.

''If you mentioned to him that you were going to a restaurant, he would say 'Oh, you've got to try this dish,' " Anderson said.

He was very active in his department, eager to help with recruiting new faculty members and to conduct peer evaluations.

In 2004, Mr. Lambiase was presented with an award by Stonehill College, where he also taught, for his 20 years of service. He also taught courses at Northeastern University.

''He was extremely intelligent and could talk on just about any topic," Anderson said. ''He knew a little bit about a lot of things and he had a fascination with drawing people out to learn more about them."

And he always had a good story to tell.

''You saw him coming and you knew you were going to laugh," Anderson said.

Mr. Lambiase leaves his former wife, Judy (Anderson) Lambiase; his sons, James F. of Chicago and Michael J. of South Boston; and a sister, Marie Foster of Schuylerville N.Y.

A funeral Mass will be said tomorrow in St. Paul's Church in Hingham.

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