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David Sills

David Sills Notice
Sills, David L.
David Lawrence Sills, a sociologist and social science editor, died on Monday, July 20, 2015. He was a resident of Evergreen Woods, a retirement community in North Branford, Connecticut.
Dr. Sills was born on August 24, 1920 in New York City, New York. He was the second of three sons of R. Malcolm Sills and Charlotte Noyes Babcock Sills. He is survived by his wife, Yole Granata Sills, also of North Branford, Connecticut, their son and daughter-in-law Gregory Lawrence and Kitty Sills, of Bowling Green, Kentucky, his three granddaughters, Melissa Farlow of Carterville, Illinois, Monica Sills of Bowling Green, Kentucky, Autumn Sills of Ashton, North Carolina, one grandson Stephen Burch of Union, Missouri, four step-granddaughters, Jennifer Noble, Amanda Noble and Erica Hager of Bowling Green, Kentucky, Pamela Noble of Louisville, Kentucky and eight great grandchildren. His youngest brother, Norman D. Sills of Salisbury, Connecticut, three nieces Margaret Huckel, Virginia Filkins, and Eugenie Sills and two nephews Jeffrey Sills and Mark Sills also survive him. Preceding him in death were his parents, oldest brother, Richard M. Sills of Niskayuna, New York, two sister-in-laws, Janet Sharts Sills and Nancy Grupe Sills, and granddaughter, Jennifer Sills.
Dr. Sills graduated from Dartmouth College in 1942 and entered the U.S. Army, where he served as an infantryman in the 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment (the "ski troops") both in Colorado and in the Aleutians. He then graduated as a Second Lieutenant from the Infantry Officers Training School in Fort Benning, Georgia, and was assigned as a prison officer at the U.S. Army's Delta Disciplinary Training Center, a military prison located near Aix-en-Provence, France. He returned to the United States and was honorably discharged from the Army in 1946.
Immediately after his discharge from the Army he earned a Master's degree in sociology from Yale University, with a master's essay on military desertion. He then went to Japan, where he served as a sociologist and public opinion analyst for three years with the American Occupation of Japan. He returned to the United States in 1951 and earned a Ph. D. in sociology from Columbia University in 1956, with a doctoral dissertation on voluntary associations. During and after his graduate studies at Columbia he served both as a sociologist with the Columbia University Bureau of Applied Social Research and as a demographer with the United Nations in Bombay, India. Upon returning from India in 1963, he served as the editor of the 17-volume International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (Macmillan & Free Press, 1968). He was appointed director of the Demographic Division of the Population Council in New York, where he served from 1968 to 1972. He was appointed as the executive associate of the Social Science Research Council in New York in 1972 and retired as its executive associate emeritus in 1988.
He was a fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, California in 1967-68 and of the Russell Sage Foundation in 1972-73. In 1989, the American Sociological Association presented him with its Distinguished Career Award for the Practice of Sociology.
Dr. Sills was married to Yole Granata, a fellow civilian employee of the Japan Occupation, in Yokohama, Japan in February 1948 (she had gone to Japan in 1946, as a press relations interpreter). Dr. Sills and Yole both served under General Douglas MacArthur. The Sills moved to Evergreen Woods, a retirement community in North Branford, Connecticut; from their home in Rowayton, Connecticut in May 2004.
Funeral Services and burial will be held privately at the convenience of the family. Arrangements in care of the Guilford Funeral Home, 115 Church St, Guilford, CT. To share a memory or leave a message of condolence, please visit www.GuilfordFuneralHome.com
Published in Stamford Advocate from July 22 to July 31, 2015
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