Nils “Don” Ylvisaker
Nils Donald Ylvisaker passed away peacefully at Serenity House on March 20, 2022 surrounded by his wife Anna and friends.
Don was born to the late Nils and Ida Ylvisaker in Minneapolis, MN. He attended Concordia College, University of Nebraska, and Stanford where he earned his Ph.D in Statistics. He was a professor at New York University, University of Washington and UCLA where he was instrumental in establishing the Department of Statistics in 1998.
Upon his retirement from UCLA, Don did editorial work for several statistics journals. In addition, he was a long-term advisor to state lotteries and the National Census Bureau. He worked on projects counting the homeless population and did consulting work in the sensible use of DNA evidence in the criminal justice system.
Don loved to follow sports, especially the UCLA Bruins, his beloved Clippers, and for years loved horse racing. He had a passion for family genealogy, reading, movies, and music. His craftiness with words, enjoyment of games and puzzles were opportunities for friendly competition with the knowledge he would most likely end up on top. Family, friends and students alike were blessed by Don’s
gifts of compassion and wry humor until the end.
Don is preceded in death by his son Peter, and sisters Mary and Sylvia. He is survived by his loving wife Anna (Ricci), sisters Elisabeth and Shirley, as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.
A memorial service will be held later this summer in Minnesota.
The family would like donations in Don’s memory to be made to VNA Health at 509 E. Montecito Street, Suite 200, Santa Barbara, CA 93103, or by visiting the website at www.vna.health. Donations can also be made to the American Cancer Society.