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In Memoriam — July 2020: Honoring Those Who Served

Service comes in many forms. Among those members of our community who recently passed away, we honor those who served our nation not only through Peace Corps, but also in the military, in other federal agencies, through civic organizations, and as leaders of National Peace Corps Association affiliate groups.


Ross Joseph Pritchard (1924 – 2020) joined the Navy at age 17 to fight in World War II. After the war, he enrolled at the University of Arkansas where he played football, ran track, and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science and history. Though he was drafted to play professional football, Pritchard chose instead to attend Tufts University, where he earned a master’s and doctorate in international economics from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Pritchard joined the faculty of Southwestern University in Memphis, where he also coached football. He had to leave the school when he made a run for Congress. He lost, but soon he was recruited to help with the formation of the Peace Corps. He  served in the Peace Corps in Turkey from 1963–65, then was regional director of the Peace Corps in East Asia and the Pacific until 1968. After service and several years of corporate work in Iran, Pritchard returned to academia. He became president of Hood College in Maryland in 1972, Arkansas State University in 1975, and was chancellor at the University of Denver from 1978 to 1984.


Dr. John Brian “Jack” Slattery (1940 – 2020) was a leader of the Peace Corps alumni community. In the early 1960s, Jack earned a football scholarship to Brandeis University. After graduation, Jack and his wife, Alice, joined the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers deployed to India in 1963. After his work as a Volunteer, he served as Peace Corps staff in India, then went to Hawaii to secure a degree in anthropology, and returned to India for two more years serving as Peace Corps staff. He would next serve as Peace Corps training staff in Western Samoa. That would set the stage for a 25-year career with the U.S. Agency for International Development; he worked on the Africa, Eastern Europe, and Middle East desks with multiyear postings in Kenya and Niger. After leaving USAID, Jack volunteered his time to numerous projects: coordinating relief for Hurricane Katrina victims; serving as a professional mentor through University of North Carolina at Wilmington’s Cameron School of Business Executive Network; president of the Friends of India Peace Corps alumni group; and board member for several non-profits.


John Philip Ward (1941 – 2020) grew up on his parents’ farm in the Finger Lakes region of New York. After receiving an engineering degree from the State University at Morrisville, John was an early applicant to the Peace Corps, serving in India as an agriculture volunteer 1963–65. This assignment led to John’s employment with a Massachusetts-based international poultry company. His work in the poultry industry would take him to positions in Libya, Spain, Italy, and Greece. By this time, John was an employed by a Connecticut-based company, Arbor Acres. He returned stateside to serve as the company’s Vice President of Sales, a position that still required overseas travel as much as one-third of the year. John was active with the local Rotary Club until his retirement. He then moved to the mountains of West Virginia where he purchased a farm and became an active member of the West Virginia Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. He served as group treasurer and traveled great distances to congregate with his Peace Corps friends.


Faith Ann Stephenson (1923 – 2020) grew up in New York state during the depression. She worked with her mother at a bomb-making factory during World War II. After the war, she attended Fordham University, earning a nursing degree. Her work as a nurse would last over 50 years. This included a period of working at U.S. Army hospitals in Germany. Faith continued her lifelong quest for knowledge, earning a B.S. from the University of South Carolina in 1979. In 1992, at the age of 69, Faith accepted an assignment to serve with the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone. She wrote two books about her Peace Corps experience. Upon retirement in Columbia, South Carolina, Faith continued to take classes at University of South Carolina well into her 80s. After having visited every continent and the North and South Poles, Faith took to the sky. In 2012, she celebrated her 89th birthday by going skydiving.


William Maxfield Alexander (1925 – 2020) was raised on a family farm in Oregon, where he was active in both 4-H and the Boy Scouts. He first served his country in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Following the war, William embarked on a long academic career. He attained a degree in agriculture and a master’s in agriculture education at Oregon State University. That was followed by a master’s degree in political science from Pennsylvania State University and a doctorate in political science from the University of Oregon. In 1958, William began a 30-year teaching assignment at California Polytechnic University. A Fulbright Grant in 1964 allowed him to teach at Aligarh Muslim University in India. He and his wife, Anna, served as Peace Corps Volunteers in Kenya starting in 1979. His global experiences led to a new curriculum at Cal Poly, as William introduced a field of coursework under the heading of World Food Politics. After retirement his concern about over-consumption of resources led to an examination on the survival of future generations. Sixteen years of study led him to the southwest Indian province of Kerala, where he credited – in part – the region’s matriarchal society as a reason for the region’s ability to have a high quality of life with low resource consumption.


Jessie Alice Jeanette Jacobs (1938 – 2020) was born and raised in Colorado, graduating from the University of Colorado. She then headed west, earning two master’s of fine arts degrees from UCLA. After a teaching stint at the University of Vermont, Jessie returned to Los Angeles where she opened an art gallery in the 1960s. It was in the 1970s that she moved to San Jose, California, teaching at San Jose State University and the San Francisco Art Institute. During this period Jessie founded WordWorks, where she curated works by up-and-coming artists, spawning offshoots like the Works gallery. In the 1980s, WordWorks was reopened as the San Jose Museum of Contemporary Art. Some of her sculptures are still on display at public venues. It was also in the 1980’s that she joined the Peace Corps, serving for two years in The Gambia. Following her service, Jessie returned to Colorado, managing several family properties in Greeley.
Below is our In Memoriam list for members of the Peace Corps community who recently passed away:



Joy H. Brown, 7/1/20

Ross Pritchard (1963-68), 7/8/20

Jess J. Quintero, 7/9/20



John David Bethea (Botswana 1987-89; Saint Lucia 1997-99), 5/6/20

Willard “Woody” Linzy Jr. (Liberia/Botswana), 7/9/20

Victoria Velasco (Guatemala/Ecuador), 7/2/20



Robert Wieluns (2004-06), 7/7/20



Terrence Timmerman (1976-80), 6/8/20

Thomas Ventre (1964-67), 7/10/20



Peter Arnot Mumford (1969-71), 7/5/20

Diane Elizabeth Sharp (2012-13), 7/7/20



Nancy Laws, 7/6/20



Michael Merenda, 7/17/20



Vernon Glenn Guilliams (early 1960’s), 7/14/20

Louis Luini (1964-66), 5/31/20



Deryl Alan Frey (1988-90), 7/5/20



Julia Marie Guilfoyle (1964-66), 6/23/20



Jimm Crowder (early 1970’s), 1/29/20



Renee Ann Wood (1980-82), 7/6/20



Jessie Jacobs (mid 1980’s), 6/2/20



Levi Reginald “Reggie” Moore, 6/29/20

Elizabeth Virginia “Ginny” Moran (1963-65), 7/3/20



Claire Margaret Hansen, 5/10/20



Dr. John Brian “Jack” Slattery (1963-66; staff 1966-68), 6/21/20

John Philip Ward (1963-65), 5/2/2020



Ruth M. Oliver (1989-91), 6/9/20



William Maxfield Alexander (1979-81), 6/27/20

Frank Raymond Freiler (1972-74), 6/8/20

Alan Hurwitz, 6/6/20

Louise M. Prelewicz (1971-74), 6/20/20



Dr. Wilbert C. Larson, 6/20/20



David Pierce Johnson, 6/16/20

Lawrence Spencer Pratt (1964-66), 6/27/20



Barbara Kukura (1974-76), 5/15/20

Marcia Rosentstein (1970-72), 6/21/20



Broderick James “Brody” Lee (2006-08), 3/6/20



Lawrence (David) Davis (1968-70), 7/11/20



Marion “Mimi” Ewens (1962-64), 7/2/20



Michael Meighan, posted 7/12/20



Richard Elliot Piazza (1961-63), 2/24/20



Albert Ray Ambrosio, 6/28/20



William James Buckley Jr. (1964-66), 7/1/20



David J. Pierson (1961-62), 6/30/20



James Hubert “Jim” Cason (1990-92), 6/29/20



Regina Diane Leary (1967-69), 5/22/20



Dane Michael Ward, 7/5/20



Darla Jean Checketts, 6/23/20

Sandra Clark (1965-67), 7/14/20

Faith Ann Stephenson (1992-94), 6/18/20



Dolores Welzant Billings (1979-81), 6/27/20



Grover Davis, 6/19/20



Neil Baldwin Lang (1962-64), 6/9/20

Kathryn Rose Thorn, 6/18/20



Joyce Marie Davis, 7/4/20



Lucille Messina, 7/12/20



Jackson Lee Allen Jr., 6/25/20

Susan Raymond Andrew (Central America early 2000’s), 6/20/20

H. J. “Jan” Bower (Africa), 6/12/20

Doreen L. Piatt, 7/12/20

Dennis J. Rearden, 7/15/20

Brian R. Rubano, 7/4/20

Thomas Frederick Schuessler (1970), 6/23/20

Beverly Ann Scott, 6/14/20

Leon H. Wilber (served in 1960’s), 7/12/20




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

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