1920 - 2009
John P. "Jack" Powelson, of Boulder, died on January 1, 2009. Powelson was Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Colorado, specializing in Economic Development and Economic History. He served on the faculty of the University of Colorado from 1966 to 1991.
Powelson was born on September 3, 1920, in New York City, to Mary S. and John A. Powelson and raised in Syracuse, NY. He attended Phillips Academy at Andover. He received his undergraduate and doctoral degrees from Harvard University and was awarded an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to his tenure at the University of Colorado, he held professorships at the University of Pittsburgh and Johns Hopkins University and taught at Harvard University, the Wharton School and the University of Buffalo. He served as an economic advisor to the governments of Kenya (on behalf of the Ford Foundation) and Bolivia, as a director of the Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos in Mexico City, and as an economist at the International Monetary Fund. He was the author of sixteen books, including The Moral Economy (University of Michigan Press), Centuries of Economic Endeavor (University of Michigan Press), Seeking Truth Together (Horizon Society Publications), and Facing Social Revolution: The Personal Journey of a Quaker Economist (Horizon Society Publications). He was the founder of the online journal, The Quaker Economist (www.quaker.org/tqe).
Powelson's principal interest as an economist lay in why so many in the world were poor and what to do about it. He was a pacifist, a conscientious objector, a Quaker and a longtime member of the Boulder Meeting of Friends. He loved both the Quaker belief in that of God in every person (the Inner Light) and the Quaker style of worship, and he admired the social consciousness of Friends.
He was much loved by his wife Alice "Robin"; his children Cynthia (dec.), Judith, Kenneth, Carolyn and husband Thomas Campbell, Lawrence and wife Wallis Bolz, grandchildren Carl and Abram, brother Stephen (dec.) and wife Esther, sister Louise and husband Robert Dudley, and nieces and nephews Stephen Dudley, Rebecca Allison, Anne Jeziorski, Stephen, Sally Kirby, and John.
In lieu of flowers and remembrances, the family requests that donations be made to the International Rescue Committee, 122 East 42nd Street, New York, NY, 10168, (212) 551-3000, 877-REFUGEE, or www.theirc.org, in the name of John P. Powelson.
A memorial service and reception will be held at the Boulder Meeting of Friends, 1825 Upland Ave, Boulder, Colorado on Saturday, January 17, at 3 p.m.
Published in New York Times from Jan. 8 to Jan. 9, 2009.