I am in the process of collecting recommendations for my PhD.
I was the best-performing student in final exams on three different courses, all given by a single professor. (The results of the exams are anonymized and published for a short period in my university.) These were the courses related to the fields I want to do research in. There is nothing else this professor could have written about me - I didn't do any research in their group.
Sadly, the professor passed away after a short and severe illness last month.
Is there any way I can get a recommendation letter which acknowledges that I was the best student in these courses? Would another professor write that, given the death of the professor in question?