Howard E. Tolley, 91, an economist who retired in the late 1970s after more than three decades with the World Bank, died April 28 at a senior living facility in Newville, Pa.

He had heart ailments, said his daughter, Ann Kulp.

Mr. Tolley joined the fledgling World Bank in Washington in 1947. He spent much of his career working on lending programs for Asian and African nations and traveled extensively for his assignments. At his retirement, he was the bank’s assistant vice president for East Africa.

Howard Elmer Tolley was a D.C. native and a graduate of Western High School. He served in the Army Air Forces in Europe during World War II and received decorations including the Distinguished Flying Cross and four Air Medals.

In 1946, he received a bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration from the University of California at Berkeley.

Mr. Tolley was a longtime Bethesda resident before retiring to South Carolina. He lived near Myrtle Beach in Briarcliffe Acres — where he served as mayor in the 1980s, his daughter said — and in Hilton Head before moving to Pennsylvania in 2005.

His son, Howard M. Tolley, died in 1988. Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Margaret Brown Tolley of Newville; his daughter, Ann Kulp of Harrisburg, Pa.; and a brother.

— Emily Langer