In Memoriam – June 2012
By Jonathan Pearson on Saturday, June 30th, 2012
Harry Stevens (1935-2012)
Harry Stevens was very active in public service and politics throughout his life and had a passion for environmental protection and social justice. In the late ’50s he worked as a US Air Force officer programming computers at the Pentagon. From 1965-1968, he served in the Massachusetts State Legislature. Stevens taught economic development in Ukraine where he served as a Peace Corps volunteer from 1999-2001. After returning home he organized exchange programs for students and international press. He later became a Minnesota delegate to the Democratic National Convention and volunteered for the Katrina Crisis Corps. He spent his last years of life advocating for wind power and inspired those around him.
Dr. William Bicknell (1937-2012)
Dr. Bicknell was a motivational health practitioner who advocated the importance of improving the lives of disadvantaged communities in more than 60 countries. He joined the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps in 1963 and was named senior physician for the Peace Corps in Ethiopia. During his career, Dr. Bicknell held posts as the first medical director of the U.S. Job Corps, Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health, acting director of the Neighborhood Health Center Program for the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity, and medical director of health and retirement funds for the United Mine Workers of America. Apart from assisting his local community, Dr. Bicknell established the Department of International Health, later expanded to the Center for Global Health and Development, and worked to strengthen the medical system in the South Africa through the Lesotho-Boston Health Alliance.
Wendy Wayne ( 1948-2012)
Wendy Wayne served in the Peace Corps from 1969-1970 in Kenya. She then worked for the Peace Corps recruitment office in Westwood, California from 1970-1975. Years later she moved to Bakersfield where she started a new career with the Kern County Superintendent of School’s office as an advocate for early childhood education. She assisted community leaders to create the Community Connection for Childcare. She later became the executive director of Kern County’s First Five organization. Wayne and her family traveled to India, Nigeria, Sudan and Uganda to volunteer with different projects. She would also revisit Kenya and teach biology. Her goal was to make the world a better place for families and children and did so through her volunteer work across the world.
Dale K. Miller ( 1922-2012)
After serving for five years in the US Army Air Force and achieving the rank of Master Sergeant, Dale K. Miller dedicated most of his life as a teacher, coach and mentor for many students. As a science teacher, Miller designed and constructed the Alternative Energy Center at The George School. The center was hand built by faulty, students and volunteers from the community. It included a greenhouse, a windmill, and a special program for renewable food and energy. Dusty, as he was known, was invited by the Peace Corps to go to Lesotho and Sierra Leone to share his expertise. His Alternative Energy Center is now well recognized as a prototype for third world countries and as an educational resource.
Margot Haves (1926-2012)
Margot Haves served the Peace Corps with her husband in 1976. Both were very instrumental in the beginnings of volunteer work in Togo, Africa. Margot was a Holocaust survivor, a civil rights activist and focused on child education. After her service in Africa, she founded a school in which children would learn through hands-on experience rather than lectures. Her goal was to create an environment in which children would learn from a young age to become morally conscious individuals. In her own words, ”I once had a dream that all people would live free from oppression, free to express themselves, free to exercise control over their own destiny, and free to live in peace. After many years of activism and contributing to society, so that this dream could become a reality, I realized that it could only happen when children would learn at an early age to function in such a society. My wish is that children will be equipped to move mountains and to become leaders for a better world.” (LATimes)
Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV) use the expertise and knowledge they gain in third world countries to continue spreading peace and education across the United States. Listed above are only a few of the RPCVs that were valuable assets to their communities throughout their lives. Their legacy will continue to inspire current and new volunteers all around the world to give back to their community a piece of what they learned and encourage others to make an impact in other people’s lives.