David G. Davies

David G. Davies

IRVINGTON—David G. Davies, economic advisor for the Ford Foundation to the governments of Nigeria and Kenya, and economic advisor in education for the World Bank to Africa, Russia and Asia, died March 23 in Irvington. He was 89. The cause was cancer.

Enlisting in the Air Force at age 17, after graduating from Nanticoke High School in Nanticoke, Pa., Davies served as an aircraft engineer and mechanic at Rhine-Main AFB during the Berlin Airlift. Upon return to the U.S., he attended Oberlin College on the G.I. Bill. It was at Oberlin where he met the love of his life, Mary Kathryn Ellis (Mary Kay). They married 10 months later at the Oberlin Theological Seminary chapel.

Following graduation from Oberlin with a bachelor’s in history, Davies and family moved to Greensboro, N.C., where he taught at University of North Carolina, Greensboro and Duke University while working towards his doctorate in economics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

After receiving his Ph.D., Davies joined the Ford Foundation and moved with his wife and three daughters to Northern Nigeria to advise on economic development to the Nigerian government, and then to Kenya as an advisor to the Kenya government.

Davies and family moved back to the U.S., first to Massachusetts where he taught economics at Harvard University for two years, and then settled in Northern Virginia, where he was principal economist in the Studies and Training Division of the World Bank’s Economic Development Institute for Africa, Russia and Asia. He retired from the World Bank after two decades.

Davies was a brilliant and passionate debater on all matters. He loved his family fiercely and was a loyal friend to many. 

Survivors include his wife of 67 years, Mary Kay; his daughters, Karen, Diana (John), and Lisa (Timothy); his grandchildren, Christopher, Diana and Julia; brothers, Homer and Syd; nieces, nephews and a host of longtime friends.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Rappahannock Westminster Canterbury, 231 Lancaster Drive, Irvington, VA 22480.