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Don Cell
June 21, 2013

Donald Croft Cell, 81, died Wednesday, June 12, 2013, at Cottage Grove Place, Cedar Rapids. Memorial services will be held at Cornell College, Mount Vernon, at a later date. Arrangements are with Morgan Funeral Choices, Mount Vernon.

Don became a teacher because he loved to learn. He was interested in anything and everything and satisfied his curiosity through conversation, study and deep thinking. He was a professor of economics at Cornell College from 1962 to 2000. A micro-economist, he pursued a special interest in environmental economics, always aware of the political pressures that impede rational choices.

Much of his writing focused on solid waste. He consulted with local communities about recycling and methods to encourage it. Mount Vernon's waste reduction program was featured on the EPA's website.

Don had a genuine interest in others' interests, experiences and points of view. He was a true humanist and talked to most everyone he encountered. Many have read his numerous articles and letters to the editors in local and state publications. Don was an active member of the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Rotary Club. Post retirement, he delivered Meals on Wheels to Lisbon residents.

After graduating high school in Merrimac, Mass., and then from the University of Illinois in 1954, Don became a Navy pilot on the Franklin Delano Roosevelt aircraft carrier. After his service, he earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He married Suki in New York City in 1961.

Don had an active professional life. He was the secretary/treasurer of the American Association of University Professors and chair of Committee Z on the economic health of the profession. He was a member and Chair of many faculty committees at Cornell.

Don had a visceral relationship with Fenway Park and the Boston Garden. He followed many sports.

Don's stimulating conversation and earnest interest in discourse will be missed by family, friends and colleagues. Every day.

He is survived by his wife, Suki Harris Cell; daughter, Jennifer Cook; son, Benjamin, and his wife, Teresa; and grandchildren, Leah Chang, Emilia Nadiva, and Alceu Nadav.

Remembrance donations may be made sent to Cornell College or any of Don's favorite charities, including Doctors Without Borders, CARE, and the International Rescue Fund.

Online condolences may be posted at

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