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In Memoriam — March 2021

As we mourn the loss of members of the Peace Corps community, we celebrate the lives they led with a commitment to service.

By Jonathan Pearson

 

Our tributes include recognition of Peace Corps’ first Country Director in Pakistan, who was also an international lawyer. A nationally known archeologist and forensic researcher. An international business degree recipient who helped bring greetings and joy to countless people around the world.

We honor the wide range of contributions made by members of the Peace Corps community who recently passed away and commemorate their hard work and dedication to service throughout their careers.

 

F. Kingston “King” Berlew (1930–2021) was a graduate of Wesleyan University and Harvard Law School, where he was an editor for the Harvard Law Review. Following a tour of duty in the U.S. Army, Berlew clerked at the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts and later became an associate at the law firm of Ropes and Gray in Boston. Sixty years ago, when the Peace Corps was launched, Berlew responded to the call. He served as the first Country Director in Pakistan and then served as an associate director in Washington under Sargent Shriver. In 1966, he returned to the private sector, where he worked in international business and continued his practice of law. He founded and was the first President of the World Law Group in 1988. Today, the group is a coordinated network of 21,000 lawyers representing law firms in 89 nations. For more than 30 years, Berlew served on numerous boards and commissions, including serving as a trustee at Wesleyan University, chairman of the International Bar Association Subcommittee on Biotechnology, director and president of the French American Chamber of Commerce of New England, and director of the Japan Society of Boston.

 

Paul Johnson (1941–2021) left the Illinois Institute of Aviation to join one of the early Peace Corps groups, serving in Ghana from 1962 to 1964. Upon his return, he made a switch in his career path, entering the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and earning a master’s degree in forestry. He joined the U.S. Forest Service, but left as he returned to Ghana. He was joined by his wife Pat, and both taught at Ghana’s School of Forestry. After returning to the United States, Johnson and his family moved to Iowa. He was elected to the Iowa State House of Representatives three times in the late 1980s and early 1990s, where he championed legislation advancing conservation and sustainable agriculture. In 1994, President Clinton brought Johnson to Washington to run the U.S. Soil Conservation Service. He would return to direct the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. He retired in 2004 following an unsuccessful run for the U.S. House of Representatives.

 

David E. Bailey (1943–2021) graduated from the University of Denver in 1966 with a degree in business and education. After marrying his first wife, Julie Norton, the couple joined the Peace Corps, serving two years in Costa Rica. Following service, David embarked on a career in banking, eventually becoming President of Northwest Bank and serving as President of Wells Fargo Colorado/Wyoming until his retirement in 2002. He served on numerous boards and commissions. He was Chair of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and Alumni President at the University of Denver. He also served on the boards of the Colorado Symphony, St. Joseph Hospital Foundation, Denver Art Museum, and the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry. Just before retirement, Bailey was honored in a number of ways for his community service. That was especially the case in 2000. The University of Denver named him as the recipient of its Evans Award. That year he also was named the Banking and Financial Executive of the year by the Denver Business Journal. He also received the Denver Chamber Award in 2000 honoring his dedicated work to support small business. That award has now been renamed the David E. Bailey Small Business Award.

 

Susan Corcoran Pigg (1958–2021) graduated with a bachelor of science in biology from Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. As a researcher for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Pigg coauthored numerous articles for medical journals. Her Peace Corps service came four years later, with an assignment in 1984 as a volunteer in Paraguay. She returned to Pennsylvania following service, working at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. She then enrolled at Michigan State University, earning her M.S. in resource development, with a focus on community and economic development, and natural resource management. Pigg was hired by the Michigan Department of Transportation, where she first served as director of community development and housing for Eaton County. She would continue in other roles, including director of economic development for Delta Township, and executive director of the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission. At various times in her career, she served as president, treasurer and head of the Education Committee for the Michigan Economic Development Association. A dedicated volunteer, she served in various community service roles supporting her local high school, church and hospital.

 

Cliff Boyd (1952–2021) was a nationally known archeologist, forensic researcher, and one of the longest tenured professors at Radford University. He was also a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in the 1970s in Colombia. For more than 35 years, Cliff taught in the school’s Department of Anthropological Sciences, winning various awards and authoring three books and over 300 publications on eastern U.S. archaeology. For many of those years, he worked side-by-side with his wife, anthropologist Donna Boyd. Cliff won several awards such as the Professional Archeologist of the Year award from the Archeological Society of Virginia, the Foundation Award for Creative Scholarship from Radford University, the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council for Higher Education of Virginia, and the Ellis R. Kerley Foundation Outstanding Research Award from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Cliff assisted in hundreds of forensic death investigations in Virginia, and trained thousands of law enforcement agents on proper search, excavation, and recovery of remains from covert graves with the Virginia Forensic Science Academy.

 

Jody (Moser) May (1972–2021) attended the University of Wisconsin–LaCrosse, earning a degree in Business and Spanish. Soon after graduation, May joined the Peace Corps, serving two years in El Salvador. She returned to Wisconsin following her service, attending the University of Wisconsin–Madison, receiving the coveted Nielson Scholarship, and earning a graduate degree in International Business. She moved to Kansas City, where she worked for Hallmark Cards in its Spanish language cards division. Despite her longstanding battle with Huntington’s Disease, May was an avid runner. She completed a marathon in 2012 during the early stages of her disease. She regularly participated in the annual HDSA 5K fundraiser in Kansas City and the annual Re-Prom in Madison. She volunteered as a parent helper at her son’s school. She was an active member of the Grace Episcopal Church.

 

PEACE CORPS STAFF

F. Kingston Berlew (1961–66), 2/21/21

Allen W. Rothenberg  (Philippines/US 1966–71), 3/11/21

 

MULTIPLE COUNTRIES

David C. (Nee: VanVleck) Lightwine (Colombia 1963–65; Nicaragua staff 1970–72), 1/16/21

 

AFGHANISTAN

Michael Rieger (1971–74), 2/23/21

 

BOLIVIA

Patricia Hargadon (1962–64), 2/11/21

 

BOTSWANA

Robert C. Rokos Jr. (1972–74), 2/25/21

 

BRAZIL

William F. Robinson (1968–71), 3/6/21

 

CHILE

John P. Dooley (1967–69), 2/28/21

William Fallon (1964–66), 2/18/21

Eugene Fioravanti, 3/1/21

Chris Weedy (1978–81), 3/10/21

 

COLOMBIA

Cliff Boyd, posted 3/12/21

William Rodgers (staff 1963–66), 2/20/21

Albert Lavenson Wahrhaftig (1961–63), 1/15/21

 

COSTA RICA

David E. Bailey (1966–68), 2/26/21

Robert C. Simons (1976–78), posted 3/10/21

 

ECUADOR

William John Heurich (1963–65), 2/22/21

 

EL SALVADOR

Jody (Moser) May (1995–97), 2/17/21

 

ESWATINI

Eliot Luhlanga (staff 2003–19), posted 3/21

 

ETHIOPIA

Sally Bushong Davidson (1964–66), 3/2/21

 

FIJI

Page Hutchinson (1977–80), 2/2/21

Richard M. “Rick” Schlauder Jr. (1979–81), 3/2/21

 

GHANA

Paul Johnson (1962–64), 2/15/21

 

GUATEMALA

Gail Marie (Olsen) Harder (1979), 2/28/21

 

KENYA

Richard Otis (1967–69), 2/28/21

 

LIBERIA

Shirley Hinnant Bell (1963–65), 3/11/21

 

MALAWI

Glade William Roberts (1988–90), 2/17/21

 

MALAYSIA

Nancy Kleppe (1965), 2/19/21

 

MOROCCO

Amy Harrington (1989–91), 3/3/21

 

NEPAL

C. Michael Farmer (1963–65), 2/26/21

 

NIGERIA

John Egan (1965–67), 2/20/21

Robert Hanson Graham (1963–65), 2/21/21

David Radmore (1962–64), 1/18/21

 

PANAMA

Dr. John Dennis Baker M.D. (medical staff 1967–69), 1/26/21

Janet Lucile Donohew (1962–64), 2/23/21

 

PARAGUAY

Susan Corcoran Pigg (1985–88), 2/21/21

 

PHILIPPINES

Farrar Atkinson (1962–64), 1/15/21

Zena Michelle Lyons (formerly Margaret “Peggy” Ponton) (1982–83), 2/25/21

Judy Rae Brooks McGinn (1967–69), 3/8/21

Francis Charles “Frank” Murphy (1966–68), 1/21/21

John Langdon Timmons (1968–70), 2/16/21

 

SIERRA LEONE

Thomas Brooks (1962–64), 3/9/21

David Pilkington (1985–87), 2/7/21

Nancy Jo Shelker (1972–74), 2/7/21

John Tuck (1990–92), 2/18/21

 

SURINAME

William H. Mauk Jr. (2010–12), 1/22/21

 

THAILAND

Norman Edwin Fite (1969–72), 2/22/21

Gerald Hendin (1966–68), 2/13/21

Robert Stephens (1965–67), 2/23/21

 

TOGO

Andrew J. Franklin (1977–79), 3/9/21

 

TUNISIA

Thomas George Bast (1965–67), 2/11/21

 

UKRAINE

Thomas Easthope (1996–98), 2/26/21

Daniel Wayne Hayden (2012–14), 2/27/21

 

UZBEKISTAN

Aja D. Kniep Pelster Ph.D. MPH (2004–05), 3/11/21

 

COUNTRY OF SERVICE NOT SPECIFIED

Jimmy H. Carpenter, 3/13/21

Mary Driskell, 3/3/21

Mildred R. Greisamer, 2/20/21

Benay Joy Rosenthal (Africa), 3/4/21

Virginia Marie Wessing, 2/25/21

 


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