Ibrahim (Ibosh) Poroy was born in Istanbul in interesting times and was brought up by his father, Ihsan Namik Poroy, a key player in deposing the Sultan in the revolution that ended a 623-year monarchy. As a Young Turk and close companion to Ataturk, his father helped form the Republic and make Turkey a modern secular state. Ibrahim was schooled at Galatasary in French and managed top grades in spite of constantly ditching school, and spent all his summers swimming and boating on the Bosphorus with his gang of friends. They were all clever and audacious and often barely escaped getting in trouble because they were hanging with “Ihsan Bey’s” son.
Only 18 when his father died, he had to make a new life. He was offered both a Fulbright and Rockefeller grant and used the Fulbright to study economics at U.C. Berkeley. Initially at a loss, underprepared and with weak English, he first panicked and then threw himself into it with intensity and quickly turned things around. He loved Berkeley, loved economics and took up reading voraciously on a range of subjects, reveling in the freedom of expression in this society. When he got his Ph.D. he worked first at the U.N. in Geneva, then U.B.C., San Diego State University (where he was tenured) and then at U.C. Berkeley. He taught on the U.S.S. Hancock during the Vietnam War, and became a U.S. citizen in 1975. He was always grateful to this country for the opportunities he received. He loved classical music, backgammon, literature, art, the sea, chocolate and all animals.
He could be a bit grandiose and he missed teaching so would lecture at the drop of a hat. Many who knew his history have died as have most of his old friends and his beloved sister. Over the last few years he enjoyed retirement in Monterey. He loved his cats and his rescue dog never left his side. He came to enjoy the colorful cottage, and little flower-filled garden. He enjoyed watching waves at Del Monte Beach and the geese at El Estero with a Peet’s coffee at hand. When he couldn’t travel, this man who’d covered the globe enjoyed remembering those days while sipping tea in his garden. He told everyone he had a wonderful life.
He is survived by his wife, local painter Maria Poroy; his son, Denis; grandson, Alexander; his daughter, Leyla Shields; her daughters, Hayleigh and Sydney. He is greatly missed by all including his constant companions, Wolfie and Kalinda.
When we have recovered a bit, we hope to have an informal gathering, knowing Ibosh would be the first to laugh at many of the stories we could share.