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Reed Moyer

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Reed Moyer

Reed Moyer, an economist whose interests spanned the fields of  U.S. business, international trade, and marketing, died at the age of 90 on February 5, 2014.  He died of congestive heart failure.

Dr. Moyer was born and brought up in Akron, OH, and graduated from Harvard University.  While a sophomore at Harvard, he met the love of his life, Susan Belle Lazo (Sue), climbing clandestinely through a first floor window with a friend to attend a freshman-only mixer in her dormitory. He was taken with her at first sight, and they were married by a justice of the peace on September 7, 1944, in Fayetteville, N.C., near Fort Bragg, hours before his deployment to the French theatre.  He served in France from 1944-46 in the 100th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army, and was awarded a Bronze Star.  He returned briefly to Cambridge to finish his studies at Harvard, and then moved with Sue to Madison, WI, where he obtained a Master's degree in economics.

He and Sue moved to Indianapolis, IN in 1947, where he worked as an executive in a coal-mining company and where his three daughters were born.  An enquiring mind and a passion for education led him and his family to Berkeley, CA in 1958, where he obtained his PhD in economics in 1962.  His thesis became the basis for his first book, published by Harvard University Press, an analysis of competitive factors in the Midwestern bituminous coal industry. 

He went on to teach and write for the rest of his career, first at Michigan State University, and later at University of Florida, the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University.  He published or edited three books and numerous articles. Along the way, an interest in the legal process led him to obtain a J.D., which he used in his retirement years as an arbiter in business disputes.

A fondness for California led Dr. Moyer and his wife to settle permanently in Palo Alto in 1978, and he retired from university life in 1987. In addition to doing mediation and arbitration while in retirement, he also volunteered teaching English as a second language, preparing meals at St. Anthony's of Padua Dining Room, and providing reading and driving services to the blind.  Additionally, he had more time to enjoy lifelong passions for reading widely, gardening, and golfing, all of which he pursued until several months before his death.

He was pre-deceased by his daughter Jennifer, who died of breast cancer in 2001.  He is sorely missed by his remaining family, including his wife Sue, daughters Patricia of Lexington, MA, and Ellen of Oakland, CA, 7 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.  We remember his penetrating mind, his passion for excellence in thinking and writing, and his belief in making advanced education available to all who could benefit from it, He is also remembered for his enjoyment of a good game of any sort, especially if he won, which he often did. 

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Feb. 13, 2014
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