Henry J. Bruton, 91WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Henry Jackson Bruton, 91, of 300 Syndicate Road died Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, in Williamstown after a long illness.
He was the John J. Gibson Professor of Economics Emeritus and former chair of the Center for Development Economics and chairman of the department of economics at Williams College.
Born in Dallas, Texas, on Aug. 30, 1921, a son of Gus and Mary Clark Bruton, he attended schools in Dallas County and, in 1943, received his bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Texas, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received his master's in economics from Indiana University in 1947 and his doctorate in economics from Harvard University in 1952.
An Army veteran of World War II, he served from 1943 to 1946, including in Europe.
Professor Bruton taught at Princeton, Harvard, Yale and the University of Bombay before coming to Williams in 1962. He retired from teaching 2004. He taught some of the central courses annually in the CDE program along with a variety of undergraduate courses. He also served on college committees, including chairing the one that planned the college's Oakley Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences.
After retirement from teaching, he led frequent discussions among Fellows of the CDE and wrote a column in its newsletter for alumni. He also taught briefly as a visitor at Bennington (Vt.) College. He was well known in many parts of the world for his work in economic development, serving as an adviser to the World Bank, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and to various economic agencies in Pakistan, Iran, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines and Egypt.
Across five decades at Williams, professor Bruton played a pivotal role in the lives of many students by asking questions that spurred them to think deeply about the well-being of others. Williams President Adam Falk noted that "through his fieldwork and the influence of his many students in positions of authority around the world, Henry's stature far exceeded his frail frame."
He was a member of St. John's Episcopal Church.
He leaves his wife, the former Mary Frances Barnes, whom he married in Iran in 1959; a nephew, Dr. Stephen Green and his wife, Fran, of Winterville, N.C., and a niece, Marcia Martin of Dallas.
Two sisters, Mary Virginia Bruton and Louise Green, predeceased him.
FUNERAL NOTICE — Burial will be in the Williams College Cemetery at 2:30 on Sunday, Feb. 10. A memorial service for professor Bruton will be held Sunday at 3 at the Center for Development Economics at Williams College.
There will be no calling hours. Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home for Funerals, Central Chapels, 74 Marshall St., North Adams, is in charge of arrangements.