Laurence I. Radway, 84, Was Active in Civic Life

Laurence I. Radway, 84, of West Lebanon, N.H., and Chappaquiddick, died Wednesday, May 7, at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

He was born in Staten Island, N.Y., the son of Frederick S. and Dorothy Segal Radway, proprietors of Radway's Central Park Grass Seed. He attended Greenbriar Military School and Staten Island Academy, and graduated from Harvard University in 1940, where he also received his doctorate in political science in 1948. He also received a master's of public administration from the University of Minnesota in 1943.

Mr. Radway was an intern with the National Institute of Public Affairs in Washington, D.C., when Pearl Harbor was attacked. He served in the U.S. Army in the Transportation Corps from 1943 to 1946, and made several Atlantic crossings supervising the transport of troops, tanks and wartime brides of U.S. troops.

In 1949 he married Patricia Headland of Irvington-On-Hudson, N.Y., and shortly thereafter moved to Hanover, N.H., with his wife and young son to teach political science at Dartmouth College. His special areas of interest included the American presidency and U.S. military and foreign policy. He taught in the government department at Dartmouth from 1950 to 1989, serving as chairman on several occasions. He was the director of the Comparative Studies Center at the college from 1963 to 1968, and led a foreign exchange program for Dartmouth students in Hungary, the country from which his father emigrated to the United States. In 1991, he was awarded the Dartmouth Presidential Medal for Outstanding Leadership and Achievement.

Mr. Radway also served as a civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army 1962 to 1970 and as a professor at the National War College from 1962 to 1963. A lifelong Democrat, he was active at all levels of politics from the Hanover, N.H., town democratic committee to the Democratic National Committee. He was a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives from 1968 to 1972, serving one term as assistant minority leader. He made an unsuccessful run for the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate in New Hampshire in 1974, during which time he walked the length of the state from Colebrook to Seabrook in the middle of winter as part of his campaign. He was a state chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, and hosted many Democratic Presidential candidates in his living room or on tours of the state, including John Kennedy, John Glenn, Jimmy Carter, Morris Udall, Bill Clinton and Al Gore.

In 1964, Mr. Radway took his family to Malaysia for a year during a sabbatical. Under contract with the State Department, He delivered lectures on American government and foreign policy across the Asian continent, and had the opportunity to meet with top officials of the Vietnamese government. As a result of this meeting, he returned home convinced that the U.S. was headed down the wrong path in Vietnam.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Mr. Radway's liberal politics and anti-Vietnam war stance made him a target of criticism on the editorial page of the Manchester Union Leader. At the same time, he lent his vocal support to ROTC programs on college campuses, a position not popular among anti-war activists. He was a strong believer in the importance of having an educated, intelligent and liberal perspective within the U.S. armed forces and was strongly opposed to U.S. wars of aggression. In his last months, Mr. Radway was dismayed by the U.S. military intervention in Iraq. He always laced his strong opinions with a good dose of humor, and upon his recent admission to the hospital listed his only allergy as George W. Bush.

An avid tennis player, Mr. Radway played the sport right up until his death, and was a great fan of international competitive tennis. He also enjoyed digging for clams with his wife and grandchildren at his summer home on Martha's Vineyard.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia Headland Radway of Hanover, N.H.; his sons, Robert Radway of Monmouth, Me., and Michael Radway of Portland, Ore.; his daughters, Carol Tobias of Dorchester and Deborah Radway of Montague; his brother, Robert Radway of Providence, R.I., and five grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Howe Library, Hanover, NH 03755 or the Chappaquiddick Community Center, P.O. Box 2966, Edgartown, MA 02539.

A memorial service will be held at Rollins Chapel in Hanover, N.H., on Monday, May 19, at 11 a.m.