Vladimir Guy Treml

Dr. Vladimir Guy Treml, 89, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, passed away on Nov. 4, 2018. 


Dr. Treml, a dedicated professor of the economics department at Duke University from 1967 to 1999, was loved by his family, countless friends, students and colleagues. His students described him as having a profound impact on their lives and careers, and he remained a great mentor and friend to them.


Vladimir was born in Kharkov in the Soviet Union. During the Second World War, he and his family escaped to Prague. A year later, they left for Austria and eventually settled in Munich. In 1950, he immigrated to the United States, where he later became a U.S. citizen. In 1952, he married his wife, Emma, in New York, where they formed lifelong friendships within the Russian community. He served in the Marine Corps from 1951 to 1953.  


A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brooklyn College, he held an M.A. from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He began his teaching career at Franklin and Marshall College (1961-1967). In 1967, Vladimir and his family moved to Chapel Hill, and he began his career at Duke University. He served as a visiting professor at a number of schools, including the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Hokkaido in Japan and Moscow State University, where he taught under a Fulbright Fellowship.


In addition to being a renowned scholar and because of his expertise in Soviet economics, Vladimir served as a consultant for many private and governmental agencies including: the Stanford Research Institute, the RAND Corporation, the International Trade Administration, the International Monetary Fund, the Commerce Department, and the National Academy of Sciences. In 1986, he was invited with three other economists to consult with President Ronald Reagan, Vice President Bush and several cabinet members on matters related to the Soviet economy.


The author and editor of many books and scores of articles, he was named director of the Undergraduate Center for the Study of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, established at Duke in 1991. In 1994, he received the Richard Stites Senior Scholar Award.


While his career was filled with many accomplishments that took him around the world, his true passion was his family. With his wife Emma by his side, they opened their home to scholars, students, friends and beyond. From ski trips to the beaches of North Carolina, he cultivated a love of travel in his family. He cherished his time with his four granddaughters, always ready to teach and entertain them with his stories and jokes. He took pride in his woodwork, creating dollhouses, playhouses and treehouses that brought them years of fun.


Vladimir is survived by his wife of 66 years, Emma Treml, of Chapel Hill; his three children, Irene Treml Cagney and husband Bill Cagney, of Chapel Hill, Tania Treml of Chapel Hill, and Alex Treml of Chapel Hill; and four granddaughters, Colleen Cagney Connolly and husband Bill Connolly of Santa Monica, California, Maggie Cagney of Denver, Colorado, Emmie Cagney of Chicago, Illinois, and Lydia Treml of Chapel Hill.


Vladimir was a member of the Holy Transfiguration Church.


A funeral is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 12, at Walker’s Funeral Home in Chapel Hill, followed by the burial at Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery.


Donations are welcome to the Holy Transfiguration Church, 3491 Pleasant Grove Church Rd., Morrisville, NC, 27560, or a charity of the donor’s choice.