Loving, devoted, compassionate, and adventurous, Paul Richard Deuster was guided by a strong moral compass to do what was good and right in the world. On November 20th, at the age of 76, he peacefully passed away in his favorite room at home. He will be deeply missed by his family –his true love of 50 years and their two daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren, as well as his sister, brother and brother-in-law.
Paul’s journey began in Oklahoma where he was born and in Racine where he was raised. He was on the debate team at his high school, St. Catherine, then graduated with a BA in Chemistry and Mathematics from Dominican College (1965). He earned both his MA in Economics (1968) and his PhD (1971) from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Paul received a Ford Fellowship that took him on his first trip to Indonesia to conduct research for his dissertation “The Rural Consequences of Indonesian Inflation: Case Study of the Yogyakarta Region.” This trip not only launched his career as a development economist, he also met his wife. They were married in 1970 in Madison, WI.
That same year, Paul joined the faculty at Ohio University, which was one of three federally funded Language and Area Centers for Southeast Asia in the US. At Ohio University, Paul taught Principles, Intermediate Macro and Microeconomics, Economic Development, and International Trade; he developed a course on the Economics of South East Asia and served a term as Southeast Asian Studies Program Director.
Paul left Ohio University to join USAID in 1984. During his more than 20 years with USAID, Paul headed economic growth teams or offices in the Philippines, Egypt, Indonesia and Washington. He loved his work and poured both his intellect and heart into it. In his development career, Paul also worked with the World Bank, UNDP, The Asia Foundation and other consulting firms. He spent 30 years overseas.
Paul loved the discovery of travel (always doing it with respect for other cultures and an open mind to learn more), the challenge of bridge (whether playing with others or simply enjoying books on strategy), Disney films and science fiction (both as imaginary worlds to jump into) and, of course, the Green Bay Packers.
His gentle spirit and positive approach to life will be missed.