We’ve just launched our new website! Some features may still be in the works – thank you for your patience as we fine-tune your experience.

In Memoriam – February 2019

For many, Peace Corps service becomes a family affair. That was the case with a number of individuals who recently passed away.
Emily Dewhirst (1929-2019) was born in Minneapolis, a descendent of Abraham Clark, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. After graduating with honors from the University of Minnesota at the age of 17, Emily bicycled through Europe on a mission to rebuild youth hostels destroyed during World War II. Emily continued her studies at the University of Paris, the Sorbonne, and  went on to become a trilingual interpreter for Fiat in Italy and then a stewardess for Pan American Airlines to fulfill her desire of extensively exploring the world. Eventually, Emily returned to America to marry and raise a family, receiving her masters from Northwestern University and becoming a French professor. Upon retirement, she and the family moved to a farm in Tennessee and raised sheep for fiber production. At the age of 82 she served in the Peace Corps at posts in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, and Moldova, the oldest volunteer at the time. Before passing, Emily was among those establishing a residential presence in downtown Knoxville and opened a boutique called NOMAD to display and retail her international artifacts.
Dave Durian (1946-2019) was known by many across the greater Baltimore region as “Morning Dave” for nearly a quarter-century. Prior to his long career in radio and television, Dave was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Micronesia. Born in Iowa, Dave earned a degree in journalism from the University of Iowa. His first job was as a weekend anchor for WOI television in Des Moines. He also worked in Rock Island Illinois, Kansas City and Pittsburgh before arriving in Baltimore in 1982. Dave was hired as a lead anchor for WBAL television, would move to Maryland Public Television, and then rejoined WBAL – this time on the radio side – in 1988. He was a radio host for the next 24 years, serving many years as the anchor for WBAL’s morning drive programming. Dave retired from broadcasting in 2012. During his radio years and into retirement he was active in supporting WBAL’s Kids Campaign, which raised funds for activities to provide for the betterment of young, economically deprived children in the Baltimore region.
Christopher Damon Roy (1947-2019) grew up in New York City and graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1965. In 1965-66 he traveled to Paris to study French and art. When his student visa expired he took a ferry to north Africa and hitchhiked from Algeria eastward to Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, and then back to Europe. Chris returned to the U.S. to study art and art history at St. Lawrence University, where he met his future wife, Nora White Leonard. After graduation in 1970, he and Nora began their service as Peace Corps volunteers in Burkina Faso. Chris received his Ph.D in art history from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana in 1979, and began teaching African art history at The University of Iowa in 1978. For more than 40 years at The University of Iowa, his love for teaching art history and working with the Stanley Museum of Art was unquestionable. As a leader in his field, Chris founded the Project for Advanced Study of Art and Life in Africa (PASALA), which provided scholarships for graduate coursework and research in Africa, as well as conferences and publications on African art.
Bernice Penney (1931-2019) was born during the Depression in 1931, which she regarded as an incredible time of unique challenge and opportunity. In 1985, she joined the Peace Corps, serving with her husband Millard in the Solomon Islands. The couple spent the years following their service traveling, eventually reaching all continents but Antarctica. This included spending five winters volunteering at the Hidden Lake Outdoor Education program in Everglades National Park. Upon her retirement in Colorado, Bernice was active in the Fort Collins Women’s Chorus, Newcomers Groups, PEO, First United Methodist Church, and the Master Naturalist Program for the city.
Issac “Ike” Lipowitz (1940-2019) married Andrea London after graduating with a degree in English Literature from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and together they joined the Peace Corps, serving as volunteers in Cameroon. Returning home, Ike continued his education, earning a master’s degree from Syracuse University. He would move from student to teacher, accepting a position as Associate Professor of Urban Planning at the University of the District of Columbia. When he wasn’t teaching, he became an avid sailor. Among surviving members of his family is his sister Harriet, who also served as a Malaysia Peace Corps Volunteer.
Roland “Mac” McEldowney (1940-2019) had a love of nature early on in life, leading him to a career in exploration geology. Through the Peace Corps, Mac traveled to Ghana, working to map ore deposits for the government. During his service, he successfully reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. On his journey home from Africa, Mac met his wife and began a master’s thesis in the Baja peninsula of Mexico where he proved that the area was once under the Pacific Ocean and had been uplifted. Throughout his life, Mac began several mineral exploration companies, designed and minted coins, and redeveloped a gold ore deposit outside Ghana. In retirement, Mac took up a second career as a professional photographer of African and Native American tribes and wildlife.


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



John Joseph Brown (Colombia 1964-66; Honduras Crisis Corps), 1/21/19

Emily Ann (Hartzell) Dewhirst (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Moldova), 2/4/19



Irene C. Ghiz (1962-64), 1/25/18

Jim Warfield (1966-68), 1/14/19



Ellison Lawrence Finney (1977-79), 2/16/19



Christopher Damon Roy (1970-72), 2/10/19



Dorothy D. Aeschliman (staff), 1/29/19



John Joseph Brown (1964-66), 1/21/19

John Aubrey Roberts, 1/26/19

Ricardo Wilson Grau (1963-65), 12/30/18



Marie Furmanski (2000-02), 1/25/19



Roland “Mac” McEldowney (1963-66), 2/3/19



Charles Bianchi (1969-71), 6/22/18

Will King (1978-80), 7/23/17

Robert “Bob” Raymond (1979-80), 3/13/17

Doug Tsitouris (1978-80), 4/17



Olive Santa Scancarella, 2/6/19



Edward “Ted” J. Chisholm, 2/9/19



Stephen D. McRae, 11/24/18



Wade Rucker, posted 2/2/19

Francis Joseph Stokes III (1963-65), 1/31/19



Betty Samphier Herriman (1991-93, 1996-98)



Dave Durian, 1/28/19



Isaac “Ike” Lipowitz (1964-66), 1/27/19

Margaret Shirley (1964-66), 1/25/19



Albert Ely Champney (1962-64), 2/8/19

Alan E. Dieffenbach (1964-66), posted 2/9/19



Susan Schayes, 1/20/19



Patrick B. Barry (1966-68), 6/11/18

Donald E. Haines (1964-66), 11/18/17

Salvatore “Jack” Magri (1963-64), 8/28/18

Robert Michael Pugh (1966-68), 2/3/19

Martin R. Wong (1962-64), 6/18/18



Charles Wayne Thompson (Peru 1964-66), 1/29/19



Dr. Wilfrido “Wil” M. Baylon, 2/3/19



Connie Benson, 2/8/19



Bernice Penney (1985-87), 1/23/19



Henry Victor Baldi, 1/31/19



John Theodore Stott (1992-94), 2/16/19



Bernard LeRoy “Van” Burnham Jr. 2/6/19

Dennis Michael Patrick Hogerty (1967-69), 2/11/19

James C. McDermott, 1/26/19

William Loyal White Sr., 1/30/19


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

Skip to content