Deceased March 4, 2013
Ken came to Amherst after serving in the merchant marine during World War II. He left Amherst High School as a junior and received a third mate’s license from the Maine Maritime Academy.
He is the only classmate I can think of who spent his junior year abroad. It was in Sweden, where he found time to establish the first laundromat in Scandinavia. Following Amherst and membership in Phi Alpha Psi, Ken was a Navy officer during the Korean War.
Afterwards he earned a master’s in economics from George Washington University and a doctorate in the same field from the University of Southern California. While in California, he worked for Miocene Drilling Co. for three years, ending up as acting CEO. He also was assistant dean for administration at USC.
Then Ken decided to go into teaching. He spent 21 years as a full professor and chairman of the economics department at John Carroll University in Cleveland, from which he retired. His specialty was corporate economic systems, and he wrote, lectured and traveled extensively. In fact, he estimated he visited over 80 countries in his lifetime. Earlier he was chairman of the economics department at Northern Michigan University and an assistant professor at Western New Mexico University in Silver City.
After John Carroll, he went back to Silver City, where he retired following a one-year teaching assignment at Western New Mexico. Ken took up oil and acrylic painting, mostly abstract. He had numerous area exhibits.
He died at age 86 in 2013. Ken is survived by three children—Robert Alexander ’72, Marilyn McNamara and Andrew Parkhurst—and 11 grandchildren, plus 15 great-grandchildren and a sister, Elizabeth May Obes.
John W. Priesing ’50