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In Memoriam – August 2020

We mourn the recent deaths of a number of amazing leaders of our Peace Corps community.

Whether working around the world, in local cities and towns, or within the network of those who served in the Peace Corps, RPCVs and former staff are leaders.



Walter C. Carrington (1930 – 2020) was an early Country Director, serving Peace Corps in that position in Tunisia, Senegal, and Sierra Leone between 1961 and 1969. He would then serve as Peace Corps’ Regional Director for Africa from 1969-71. But that was just one component of his very illustrious career. He graduated from Harvard College (in 1952) Harvard Law School (in 1955). He founded Harvard’s first chapter of the NAACP. After service in the U.S. Army, Carrington became the youngest-ever member of the Massachusetts  Commission Against Discrimination. His commission work in the late 1950’s included leading an investigation into the racist practices of the Boston Red Sox baseball team which became the last team in the major leagues to break the color barrier on its roster. Not long after this work, Carrington began his work in Africa with Peace Corps.


Nigerian leaders praised Carrington for his contributions leading to that country’s return to democratic rule.


Years later he would return to serve as U.S. ambassador to Senegal under President Carter, and ambassador to Nigeria under President Clinton. His service in Nigeria came at a critical time. Carrington spoke for human rights and democracy and against the dictatorial rule of Sani Abacha. He stood down a confrontation when armed police interrupted a reception near the end of his appointment. Nigerian leaders praised Carrington for his contributions leading to that country’s return to democratic rule. He would teach at many institutions of higher learning, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Simmons University, Marquette University and Howard University, where he directed the international affairs department.


Walter Charles Howe Jr. (1934-2020) graduated from Olympia (Washington) High School in 1952 and would later be inducted in the school Hall of Fame. He graduated from the University of Washington, served in the U.S. Air Force, returned to the University of Washington to earn a law degree and began his practice. Howe became a Legal Assistant to Washington Governor Dan Evans and served as State Budget Director 1967–72. In the early 1970s he was appointed by President Nixon as Deputy Director and Acting Director of ACTION, the federal agency at the time responsible for overseeing volunteer programs including Peace Corps.


He was appointed by President Nixon as Deputy Director and Acting Director of ACTION, the federal agency at the time responsible for overseeing volunteer programs including Peace Corps.


During his two years in this position he visited Peace Corps Volunteers in Belize, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Nepal and Thailand. In 1974, Howe returned to the Northwest to become President of the Weyerhaeuser Company. In the 1990s, he became President of the Washington Roundtable and later became Counsel of the Gallitan group public relations firm. Howe served on many boards and commissions. He was Chair of Council for Higher Education, the Public Affairs Council and the Association of Washington Business. He was also appointed to the Washington Commission for National and Community Service, as was proud of his twenty year membership with the Rotary Club of Seattle.


Gregory D. Jones (1944-2020) was a tremendous leader and friend of the Peace Corps community. Greg served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nigeria 1966–68. For more than ten years, Greg was president and web designer for the Friends of Nigeria (FON), an NPCA affiliate group. He continued his work with FON up until a week before his death. If that were not enough, there are numerous other testaments that cover the width of Greg’s life. Greg was a scholar athlete, earning a degree from Yale while playing football and lacrosse. Moving to Stow, Massachusetts in 1972, Greg served nine years on the town’s Board of Selectmen. He also served on the town’s Master Plan Committee, School Building Committee and other boards. He helped establish the Stow Housing Authority and served as treasurer for more than 15 years. He also held leadership positions within the First Parish Church of Stow, including Parish Chair, Finance Committee and treasurer.


Susan R. Kuder (1943-2020) was a dedicated community leader. Susan earned a degree in Foreign Languages at Penn State University, a Masters in Linguistics from the University of Michigan and an MBA in Accounting from Babson College in Massachusetts. In 1974, after teaching French and Spanish at Randolph High School for more than a decade, Susan joined the Peace Corps, teaching English and Linguistics at the Universite de Lome in Togo. Her connections with the Peace Corps remained after service. Susan joined the Boston Area RPCVs and served for a period as the group’s President. Susan also served numerous terms on the Parish Committee of First Parish Watertown, Unitarian Universalist Church. She also chaired the church’s social action committee. Her varied commitments to social action also included serving as Chair of World in Watertown, founder and primary organizer of an annual Martin Luther King Day Unity Breakfast, and leader of the Belmont-Watertown Chapter of Amnesty International. She was also an active member of Watertown Welcomes Immigrants and Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment.


Arleen Regina Polite (1962-2020) demonstrated her artistic abilities as a child. After high school in north Florida, Arleen attended St. John Community College. After attending a party with artists, she was accepted into the college’s Florida School of the Arts. After a two-year course, she was accepted and earned a B.F.A. in 1984 from the Atlanta College of Art. Arleen moved to Austin, Texas and found a home among the city’s art community. Her art was featured across Texas, including the Austin Museum of Art, the Dallas Visual Art Center and the San Marcos Art Center. Arleen joined the Peace Corps, serving in the Philippines 1989–90. Beyond her art and Peace Corps service, Arleen became a home health nurse, earning her LPN from First Coast Technical College in St. Augustine College in 2009.


Betty R. Nethaway (1920-2020) fell less than four months short of celebrating her 100th birthday with her son. Betty overcame scarlet fever, the Great Depression, breast cancer and macular degeneration. After a first marriage and the birth of her son, Betty became a reporter and copy editor at the Terrell Texas Tribune. Marrying a fellow journalist, she traveled to numerous cities, ended in Kansas City, Missouri, and participated in school and civic activities. After attending photography school and taking courses at the Kansas City Art Institute, Betty opened and ran Nethaway Studio, where she specialized in studio photography, especially using heavy oils over studio portraits. Soon after her second husband died in 1957, Betty joined the Peace Corps, becoming one of the older volunteers in the early wave of the agency. During her service, she worked with native artists in Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. Following her service, Betty moved to Colorado to study pottery and stained glass.


Below is our In Memoriam list for members of the Peace Corps community who recently passed away:



Nancy Dudley Benson, 5/26/20

Walter C. Carrington (1961-71), 8/11/20

Walter Charles Howe Jr. (1971-73), 8/10/20

Stephen Joseph Loftin, 7/31/20

Richard McCormack (Puerto Rico Training staff, 1970-72), 7/25/20

Vivian Ritter (1980’s), 8/8/20



Rose Franke Koch (Nigeria/Ethiopia 1965-67), 7/3/20

Bronny Julio Paletta (Senegal/Ecuador mid 1970s), 7/14/20



Nancy McLeroy (1969-71), 7/18/20



Johanna Kennedy Major (early 1960s), 7/12/20



Martin Ronan (1961-63), 7/30/20



Alex Joseph “AJ” Belshe, 7/16/20



David Belina (mid 1960s), 8/14/20

Bethany R. Nethaway (early 1960s), 8/10/20



Julia Ann Villalobos (1990s), posted 8/2/20



William “Bill” Cinquini (1968-70), 8/5/20

Dennis “Denny” Shaw (late 1960s), 7/14/20



Sarah Barnhardt (1968-70), 7/24/20

James Henry “Jim” Lind, 8/4/20

Mary Louise Wood (1962-64), 7/16/20



Douglas Carlyle Nilson (1966-68), posted 7/26/20



Edward L. Duffy (1966-68), 7/22/20



Jay William Becker, 7/9/20



Kathleen Jaqueth-Watson (1988-90), 7/23/20



Dallas S. Lankford IV (1964-66), 6/29/20



Jerome Dean Heltz (1965-69), 7/22/20



Carter Hart III, 5/2/20



Emilie Barnett (2000-02), 7/26/20



Bill Barraclough (1965-66), 4/22/19

Robert “Bob” Mark Monroe, 7/30/20



Donald J. Krogstad, M.D. (Medical Staff 1973-75), 8/14/20



Francis Clark, 8/5/20

Doreen Volz Dalman (1978-80), 8/1/20



Steven “Buck” Million (1970-72), 7/12/20



Thomas Gulick, 7/29/20



Gregory D. Jones (1966-68), 8/9/20



Sheila Steckler, 7/29/20



David Vernon Barnstable (1962-64), 7/22/20

Kathrin Kudner (1973-75),  7/17/20

Arleen Regina Polite (1989-90), 7/24/20



William Austin (2001-04), 8/2/20

Donald Laverentz, 8/16/20



(Richard) Owen Baldwin (1967-69), 7/4/20



Roberta Kaplan (1961-63), 7/10/20

Josie Kornegay (early 1970s), 8/17/20



Donna Kay Inness (1967-69), 7/27/20



Susan R. Kuder (1974-76), 7/22/20



Thomas Joseph Zwettler, 7/20/20



Gina Ord (2011-13), 7/27/20



Robert E. Fleury (1965), 8/3/20

William Haible (1960s), 6/20/20

Allen “TC” Edward Jackson, 7/24/20

Julia Larsen, posted 8/5/20

John Reigle (early 1970s), 7/20/20

Juanita “Nita” Creed Thomas, 8/2/20




If you have information you would like to share for our monthly In Memoriam post, contact [email protected].