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Article Published April 28, 2020

Idrian N. Resnick


Idrian Navarre Resnick died peacefully on April 3 at Connecticut Hospice in Branford after a short illness. Idrian was born on April 24, 1936, in Wichita, Kansas, to Herbert and Virginia (Goldsmith) Resnick.

The family moved to Idrian’s beloved New York City when he was seven years old and he grew up on the upper west side of Manhattan. He graduated from Bronx Science High School and then from Clark University in 1958; he obtained a master’s degree and a PhD both in economics from Boston University (BU), the latter in 1966 with an emphasis on economics in Africa.

Idrian was the beloved husband of Louise LaMontagne of Branford; and is also survived by son Michael (Nancy) Resnick of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; son David (Lynne) Resnick of Prospect; stepson Taylor (BlakeLee) Greene of Newburyport, Massachusetts; stepdaughter Amy (Jim) Doherty of Arlington, Virginia; and stepdaughters Katie Forman of Chicago and Janice Forman of Vancouver, British Columbia. Also surviving him are grandchildren Sarah (Charlie) Cofer of Atlanta, Georgia; Savannah (Jonathan) Meadows and Riley Resnick of Myrtle Beach; Haleigh, Paige, and Logan Resnick of Prospect; Ben Greene of Boston, Massachusetts; Peter and Thomas Greene of Newburyport, Massachusetts; Tallula and Gillian Doherty of Arlington; and Mollie Weiland and Maizie Ebers-Forman.

In addition, Idrian is survived by great-grandchildren Nathan Meadows and Juniper Cofer, and special grand-nieces Rachel and Jessica Shapiro of Quincy, Massachusetts. He is also survived by his brother-in-law Art (Sandy) LaMontagne of Killington, Vermont. He was predeceased by sisters Sondra Shapiro and Charmion Fleischmann. Idrian is also survived by a host of cousins, and friends from every period, location, and phase of interest in his life.

After being awarded his PhD from BU, Idrian commenced a career in university teaching at the University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania (1964 to 1967), then was senior economist, Ministry of Planning for Tanzania, 1970 to 1972. Idrian held many other positions in academia, including at Columbia, Cornell, Princeton, Howard University, and Boston University.

Idrian worked in international affairs for many years, notably as founder and executive director of the Economic Development Bureau, which provided technical assistance, training, and consulting to groups and governments mostly in the global south; executive director, Association on American Indian Affairs; and executive director, Action for Corporate Accountability (organization leading the world-wide boycott against Nestle because of its abuses in promoting and selling infant formula to the poor). Finally, Idrian taught English as a second language at the New Haven Adult Education Center.

Idrian was a man of large and generous mind, exceeded only by his large and generous heart. His interests and enthusiasms were wide-ranging, including classical music; ballet (most often the New York City Ballet); art (often at the Yale Center for British Art, where Louise was a docent); travel (he and Louise traveled the world together and he had been in 53 countries); sports, from spectator, baseball, football, and tennis to participant, tennis and golf (his best golf year ever was 2019). Idrian was also a valued member, for many years, of 12-step programs engaged in recovery. In his retirement, Idrian developed his long-held talent as a writer, with three novels and many short stories and life stories available on his website www.IdrianN.com. Although Idrian had always written for professional reasons, his commencement of fiction writing 25 years ago gave him special pleasure and satisfaction and garnered him many devoted and avid readers.

The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to one’s preferred charity. There will be a celebration during the summer to memorialize Idrian Resnick’s remarkable life.