David Levintow, 89, of Lyme died Feb. 18, 2016, at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center of complications from a bone marrow disease.
He was born in Philadelphia, Pa., on June 15, 1926, son of Benjamin and Dora (Melnicoff). He married Arsenia Gonzalez in 1951, who predeceased him in 2003. He served during World War II in the Army Air Corps from 1944-45, graduated from Antioch College in 1950 with a B.A. in Government, and earned his M.A. in Development Economics from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1970.
From 1958 to 1984 he served with the U.S. Agency for International Development as a Foreign Service Officer, retiring as a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Counselor. He and Arsenia raised their four children in his various overseas postings including the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Iran, Turkey, Vietnam, Liberia, Afghanistan and Ghana. His Washington, DC tours included serving as Director for the Pakistan and Nepal Office, and in the Bureau for Private Enterprise. He also served on the US delegation to the Asian Development Bank and helped to establish the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.
After his Foreign Service career, he worked in Washington, DC for the Institute for Public-Private Partnerships, the Center for Financial Engineering in Development, and the Center for Privatization. In this effort, he served as a development economist advising government officials in over 30 countries on public sector reform strategies that involved public-private partnerships. He conducted capacity-building workshops and seminars on project design, procurement, contract monitoring, and regulatory governance. This included a broad range of projects including extending public services to former black townships in South Africa, advising Indonesia on facilitating foreign direct investment, advising the governorates of Alexandria and Cairo in Egypt on solutions for solid waste management, and many other public sector reform and anti-poverty initiatives.
After his wife Arsenia died, he relocated to Lyme where he enjoyed a long and active ‘On Golden Pond’ phase, which included biking, kayaking, canoeing and the pleasures of stoking his wood stove with logs he had stacked himself. He was raised in the Jewish tradition, but after moving to Lyme he joined the Lyme Congregational Church where he served on the Outreach Committee and on the Board. He was also an active member of “Those Guys,” a men’s service organization in Lyme.
He is survived by his daughter Alexandra Howell (and her husband Peter Tenney) of Lyme; and his three sons Nicholas (and his wife Katharina), Christopher, and Anthony; and his grandchildren Cameron, Nathan, and Caroline Howell; and Sara, David, and Christopher Levintow. His brother Leon predeceased him in 2014.
He had many favorite sayings, but often said that his life’s goal could be summed up in the famous quotation from the American educator Horace Mann: “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”*