Richard J. Parvis, professor emeritus at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work and leader in the area of international social development, died Sunday, Feb. 24. He was 92.
Parvis dedicated his life to humanitarian activities. He believed social work could correct some underlying causes of societal and economic problems.
Parvis earned a master’s degree from Wayne State University. His fieldwork took him to settlement houses in Bridgeport, Conn., and Detroit. He ran a settlement house in Kansas City, Mo., directed a social service agency in Minneapolis and taught at the University of Minnesota before embarking on his international career.
In the 1960s, Parvis spent two and a half years in India teaching in Lucknow and Madras, followed by two years in Lusaka, Zambia, where he helped establish that nation’s Oppenheimer School of Social Work.
He returned to the United States and joined the faculty at the Brown School, where he spearheaded efforts to develop an international community development program.
In the 1970s, Parvis helped found the International Consortium for Social Development, a multidisciplinary network that even today expands community resources worldwide. By the early 1980s, Parvis was assisting Egypt with its community development programs.
Parvis is survived by his wife, Kaye; sons John and Jim; daughter-in-law, Barbara; son-in-law, Peter; and grandchildren Corinne, Todd, Jannina and Semhar. His daughter, Laurie, predeceased him in 2007.
A memorial service is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. April 26 in Brown Hall Lounge.