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In Memoriam…Arlo Woolery

April 1, 2002

It is with great sadness that we announce that Arlo Woolery passed away on February 28, 2002, at his home in Sun City West, Arizona.

Arlo brought zest, courtesy and unfailing curiosity to all of his endeavors over 82 years. Even before graduation from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, in 1943, he turned his gift for public speaking to early success as a radio broadcaster. He provided play-by-play radio descriptions of baseball games, complete with sound effects for hits and cheering crowds, guided only by wire service score reports. Later he held several executive positions in radio and television, dealing both with broadcasting, equipment manufacturing and the first development of cable television networks.

He became an expert on public utility regulation and valuation, earning the Certified Assessment Evaluator (CAE) designation from the International Association of Assessing Officers and serving as chairman of its education committee. He was an expert witness in numerous utility valuation cases and taught in the annual Wichita State University program on railroad and utility valuation for many years. The Supreme Court of Utah reflected the respect with which he was regarded when it described him as a “well-educated, long experienced and highly qualified appraiser.” From 1967 to 1976 he served as director of the Property Tax Program for the state of Arizona, dealing with issues of valuation and tax administration and taking the lead in the development of computer-assisted mass appraisal.

Arlo was the first executive director of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, from 1974 to 1986, and upon retirement was named the Archibald M. Woodruff Fellow. He led the Institute’s move to Cambridge and its establishment as a center for education on land use and land-related tax issues. He organized and participated in numerous international symposiums on property taxation, land policy and computer-assisted valuation. He assisted in the development of the International Center for Land Policy Studies and Training (formerly the Land Reform Training Institute) in Taiwan and served on its Board of Directors from 1975 to 2000. He also wrote and edited many books, including The Art of Valuation (1978); Introduction to Computer Assisted Valuation (1985); Property Tax Principles and Practice (1989); and Valuation of Railroad and Utility Property (1992).

“Arlo’s legacy to the Lincoln Institute is its solid academic underpinnings,” notes Kathryn J. Lincoln, Chairman of the Board. “Even after his official retirement, Arlo remained involved with the Lincoln Foundation, and his continuing leadership and teaching at the International Center for Land Policy Studies and Training were instrumental in the development of that Lincoln program. We shall miss his wisdom and guidance.”