"R. Lyle Webster, an East-West Center and government official, died Monday in Honolulu. He was 92. Webster came to Honolulu in 1970 to direct a new communications institute at the East-West Center. For seven years, he had served as a Ford Foundation consultant to the government of India. Earlier, he was a director of information at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. Webster, born on a farm near Webster, N.D., graduated from the University of North Dakota and worked on newspapers at Minot and Walhalla in his home state. He later earned a master's degree from Columbia University School of Journalism. In 1958, he earned a Ph.D. in communications in public administration from American University in Washington, D.C. During World War II, he was assistant to the secretary of agriculture, becoming department information director later. He also served in foreign assignments in Japan, Europe and Latin America. In 1960, he led an exchange mission to the Soviet Union. In 1963, he was deputy secretary-general of the World Food Congress hosted by President Kennedy. He received a Distinguished Service Award from the Department of Agriculture, a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of North Dakota and was named to the 50th Anniversary Honors List of the Columbia University School of Journalism in 1963. 'He was a man of great integrity, a man of principle, not afraid to stand up for what he considered to be right,' is how Godwin Chu of the East-West Center described him. 'He was the first director of the East-West Communication Institute, and he started a tradition at the East-West Center which was to last.' After retirement here, Webster served on the first Makiki Neighborhood Board, was active in Common Cause, Honolulu Community Media Council, Hawaii's Thousand Friends, the Memorial Society of Hawaii and the Unitarian Church. He is survived by wife Edith; sons Col. Robert L. Webster Jr. and Dr. Thomas M. Webster; daughter Martha A. Benedict; stepdaughter Dr. Suzanne Repetto; and nine grandchildren."
Source: The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 23 May 1996