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Walter R. Cuskey, an educator, author, and entrepreneur, dies at 86

During his career, Mr. Cuskey was an instructor at Temple University’s School of Medicine and taught at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and School of Social Work.

Walter Raymond Cuskey Jr.
Walter Raymond Cuskey Jr.Read moreCourtesy of the Cuskey family

Walter Raymond Cuskey Sr., 86, educator, author, and entrepreneur, died Monday, May 10, at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Md., from complications after a fall.

A former resident of Havertown, Mr. Cuskey was a lifetime learner who through a professional life that included teaching, social work, research, and operating his own business always sought to improve the lot of others, his family said.

“Dad was always on the forefront of everything he did. He was a trailblazer,” said daughter Lauren Cuskey. “My father had such a keen perception and understanding of what lie ahead. He was a cutting-edge kind of guy.”

Born in South Boston, he was one of three children of Walter and Doris Cuskey. After graduation from the English High School in Boston, he joined the Air Force.

After military service, he got a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Boston College and a master’s from the college’s School of Social Work. He later earned a doctorate in social work from Brandeis University.

During his career, he was an instructor at Temple University’s School of Medicine and also taught at Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, School of Social Work, and department of community medicine.

Drug addiction and substance use were areas of study that interested Mr. Cuskey. He wrote and published several books, including Drug-Trip Abroad: American Drug Refugees in Amsterdam and London in 1972.

Also an entrepreneur, Mr. Cuskey was founder and president of Cuskey, Ipsen & McCall Consultants, a Havertown-based company that specialized in the development and implementation of information systems in the private and public sectors. Mr. Cuskey led the company for 46 years. It was sold in 2018, his daughter said.

Sports were always an important part of Mr. Cuskey’s life. In high school, he played basketball and football and ran on the track and field teams. In college, he played football for the Boston College Eagles. Through his adult life, he was passionate about fitness, running several miles a day and pursing weight training.

He was also a fan of the sports teams in the cities where he lived, and he followed professional boxing.

An avid reader of everything from newspapers to novels, he loved to travel, and he and wife Carole Long visited many countries over the years, relishing the opportunity to experience new cultures and get to know new people.

“He was very interested and devoted to mankind — to everybody. He wanted to help everybody,” his daughter said. “He would try and make anyone he would come across a better person, just try to find their inner strengths and make the most of them. My father was special in that way. He really took an interest in people.”

In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Cuskey is survived by his son, Jonathan F. Cuskey; daughter Lynn Cuskey; eight grandchildren; and other relatives. His former wife, Harriet F. Cuskey; sons Walter R. Cuskey Jr. and John “Jack” Cuskey; parents; brother; and sister died earlier.

A funeral for Mr. Cuskey was held Saturday, June 19.

Donations in Mr. Cuskey’s memory may be made to the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), 100 N. Second St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19106 or online at or to Feeding America, 161 N. Clark St., Suite 700, Chicago, Il. 60601 or online at