By News-Register staff • 

Levi Carlile, former Linfield prof, dies at 87

Levi Carlile
Levi Carlile

Linfield accounting professor Rich Emery recalled Carlile saying people self-select Linfield. In an interview for Linfield Magazine, he said Carlile felt a certain type of person would attend Linfield, be happy with the education he or she received and remain happy with it over ensuing years.

That was also true for Carlile. The Texas native joined Linfield’s small economics department in 1964, after falling in love with the Pacific Northwest during a summer visit in 1961.

“When I pulled into the drive of the college, I thought there is no way this is real,” said Carlile as he retired from Linfield. “This school looks like it should be in Virginia or back east somewhere. I think it was the beauty and style of the archicture that struck me.”

He was a one-person economics department until he was joined in 1968 by Forrest Blodgett. Then-President Gordon C. Bjork asked the business and economic departments to merge in 1969.

In addition to teaching economics, Carlile served as a faculty representative on the college’s board of directors. In that role, he worked to ensure Linfield’s sustainability throughout the 1970s.

“There has been a great deal of just simply warm voluntary colleague support when it was sorely needed,” he said when he retired. “At times, I’ve had experiences with people at Linfield that I’ve disagreed with, but whom I have come to admire very much.”

Linfield President Thomas Hellie said he continued to help build the Economics and Business Department until his retirement in 1993.

He was born Levi James Carlile on July 21, 1928, in Kerrville, Texas.

After graduating from Somerset High School in 1946, he enlisted in the Navy.

Specializing in amphibious warfare, he earned a spot on the Navy’s Underwater Demolition Team, predecessor to its present-day SEALs unit. He went on to attend officer candidate school.

He was assigned as boat group commander on the USS Mathews, where he served for two years during the Korean War before mustering out as a lieutenant.

During shore leave in Long Beach, California, he met Janice Beverly Johnson, a teacher from Minnesota. They married on Sept. 16, 1955, at the Wayfarers Chapel in Palos Verdes, California.

After completing his Navy service, Carlile earned a master’s degree in economics and government at Texas A&I. Along the way, he served as student body president.

He went on to teach economics at San Antonio College, then took a corporate post with the Douglas Aircraft Company in Santa Monica, California. He worked on analysis and contract bidding for the Thor-Delta rocket program and other projects.

Moonlighting at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, California, rekindled his interest in teaching.

Survivors include his wife, sons Ben and Paul, daughter Carrie and four grandchildren. A memorial service and reception will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, Aug. 17, in the Great Room at McMinnville Cooperative Ministries, 544 N.E. Second St.

The family requests any gifts in his name be directed to the Give a Little Foundation, a nonprofit McMinnville-based group that helps people in need throughout Yamhill County. Additional information may be obtained by visiting or calling 503-857-2964.



I will Remember him fondly and give my condolences to his family.
The effort and time he put into the Boy Scouts is well remembered by many of us from Columbus grade school

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