Feb. 18, 1936 — April 1, 2014
Tapan Munroe of Davis, and a long-time resident of Moraga, died peacefully on April 1, 2014, surrounded by family, from complications of Parkinson’s disease.
Tapan was born on Feb. 18, 1936, in Calcutta, India, and raised in Allahabad. He attended the University of Allahabad, majoring in chemistry and physics.
While visiting the U.S. in his early 20s, he met his wife, Astrid, a schoolteacher in San Francisco and they eventually wed in India. In 1960, they returned to the U.S., where Tapan worked as a scientist first for Xerox in Syracuse, New York and then for General Electric in Rochester. After reconsidering his interests, Tapan decided to pursue a masters degree in economics at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, and a Ph.D. at the University of Colorado in Boulder where he studied under his mentor Kenneth Boulding.
In 1970, Dr. Munroe returned to California where he became professor and chair of the economics department at the University of the Pacific in Stockton. During two sabbatical years he was a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and later a fellow at the University of Augsburg in West Germany. In 1981, Tapan left academia and joined PG&E, where he was later asked to be their chief economist in San Francisco.
He was a sought-after speaker in the Bay Area and for 20 years wrote a twice-monthly business and economics column for the Contra Costa Times. He also authored three books about Silicon Valley, a book titled “Closing America’s Job Gap” with coauthors Mary Walshok and Henry Devries, and his latest book with Dr. Raul Deju, “Planet in Conflict: Balancing Energy Needs, Economic Growth, and Environmental Quality.”
Tapan and Astrid enjoyed a vibrant social life as well as gardening and playing tennis in the Moraga area for 32 years. His artistic talent was fostered by his mother who taught him how to paint as a young boy. He continued to paint throughout his life resulting in many excellent landscape paintings.
Tapan enjoyed people immensely and befriended them easily. He had a passion for interesting conversation and exploring new ideas. Tapan served as an elder at the Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church, a community he grew to know and love. He will be missed by many whose lives he touched.
He is survived by his loving, devoted wife of 55 years, Astrid Munroe, his daughter Leslie Baroody and her husband Malek of Davis, his son Peter Munroe and his wife Leticia of Monument, Colo.; his brother Milan Mukerjee of Allahabad, India; his sister Lekha Banerjee of Calcutta, India; and grandchildren Joel Baroody, Jordan Baroody and Claire Munroe.
Tapan’s life will be celebrated on May 8th, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. at the Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church (LOPC) at 49 Knox Drive, Lafayette. A reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to LOPC.