David Lewis Hewitt

HewittDavid Lewis Hewitt, 97, on August 25, 2020, peacefully in his sleep at Kendal at Longwood, a continuing care retirement community in Kennett Square, Pa. He was in the company of his sons. Dave was born in New York City, N.Y., on March 18, 1923, to Harry Kruskal and Julia Lewis Herwitz. Dave’s birth name was David Isaiah Herwitz. He changed his name to David Lewis Hewitt at age 12 when he and his brother “Americanized” their names. The family moved to Yonkers, N.Y., where Dave attended Roosevelt High School. He spent his senior year in Bethesda, Md. Dave developed an interest in writing and worked on school newspapers in high school and college.

Dave entered Swarthmore College in 1940. He was drafted into the military in 1943 and was trained in radar repair in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. He served in New Guinea and the Philippines. After the war he returned to Swarthmore, where he studied economics and mathematics. While at Swarthmore, Dave met Rosemary “Coke” Accola. After graduating in 1947, Dave and Coke married and moved to New York City. Dave studied economics and mathematical statistics at Columbia University. He wrote his master’s thesis on future world grain supplies under renowned economist Carl Shoup. He also studied with William Vickrey, a Quaker who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1996. (Later, Dave’s son Daniel also studied economics at Columbia under Vickrey, and his granddaughter Julia graduated in economics from Columbia.)

Dave’s first job was with Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Company in Philadelphia, Pa., where he developed an interest in actuarial issues. He moved to Huggins & Company, also in Philadelphia, where he became a vice president and worked for 35 years specializing in designing and calculating employee pension plans. He was president of the Conference of Actuaries in Public Practice in 1989 (this was the centennial celebration of actuaries in North America, and he was chosen for this year because among actuaries, Dave was considered an outstanding speaker) and served on the profession’s first national ethics board. Dave retained his interest in research and writing. He believed that complicated ideas can be expressed clearly, and published analyses of pension law and pension plan accounting principles. Later Dave became interested in continuing care retirement communities (CCRC), serving on the board and committees of the Kendal Corporation from 1973 to 1999. Beginning in the late 1970s, Dave published several research papers on the finances of life care communities. Some of his suggestions have become pillars of sound CCCR financial practices.

Dave was an active member of the Religious Society of Friends and served on committees of Media (Pa.) Meeting and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, where he was co-clerk of the Race Relations Committee. Dave loved classical music and frequently attended concerts at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. He sang with the Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia. He also sang Gilbert and Sullivan operas with the Rose Valley Chorus in Media. He became a member of the Union League of Philadelphia when it decided to accept Democrats and later participated in its decision to admit women. Dave and Coke were avid travelers.

Dave and Coke lived in Moylan, Pa., for 37 years. In 1995 they moved to Kendal at Longwood, where they lived among friends from Media Meeting, Swarthmore College, and Moylan. Dave was active on resident committees and at the Kendal Meeting. Dave and Coke celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary before Coke died in 2007.

Dave is survived by three children, Peter Hewitt (Margaret), Daniel Hewitt (Olivia), and Kruska Hewitt; five grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

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