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Roy Fisher Doolan ’58

August 1, 2021, in Berkeley, California, of vascular dementia.

Born in Manila, the Philippines, as a youngster Roy swam with the turtles in the Pacific Ocean. This idyllic life came to an abrupt halt with the bombing of Pearl Harbor when he was five years old. His life of privilege was suddenly transformed when he and his parents were taken to Santo Tomas Internment Camp, a prison camp run by the Japanese military. Roy and his mother survived for two years in a large classroom packed with other women and children before being allowed to relocate to a scrap-wood shanty his father built, where the family lived for the remaining year of internment. The camp was liberated by General Douglas MacArthur’s troops on February 3, 1945, a day Roy’s family always celebrated as Liberation Day.

Those three years of internment, from ages five to eight, were the subject of Roy’s memoir, My Life in a Japanese Prison Camp During World War II, written after he retired. An active member of the Civilian Ex-Prisoners of War organization, he cherished long-term friendships with his fellow internees and returned to the Philippines several times, including in 2015 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of his liberation.

When they returned to the United States, Roy and his parents settled in Healdsburg, California, where he graduated from high school. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Reed and wrote his thesis, “Inter- and Intra-Industry Effects of Credit Controls on Housing,” with Prof. Arthur Leigh [economics 1945–88]. He earned an MBA from Cornell University, a law degree from Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley; completed a fellowship at Stanford University; and earned a master’s of tax law from Golden Gate University.

Roy worked as a CPA and as an attorney with a focus on estate and gift tax. For much of his career, he arbitrated cases for the appeals division of the IRS, taught classes in tax law, and was a union representative for the National Treasury Employees Union. He finished his career practicing law for Sideman & Bancroft in San Francisco.

Roy met Pamela Martin when they were both students at UC Berkeley. They married in 1963, participated in antiwar protests, traveled extensively, and raised four children. She survives him, as do their four sons, Scot, Daniel, Stephen, and Lark.

Appeared in Reed magazine: December 2021

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