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In Memoriam – September 2019

As we honor the 58th anniversary of the signing of the Peace Corps Act, we remember the accomplishments of those who recently passed away with the distinction of being known as Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.


Carol Chuckrow Guernsey died just two months after celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary with her husband Sherwood, with whom she had served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Panama. The meaningful relationships they developed in Panama informed them in ways that served them the rest of their lives; they became avid supporters and advocates of immigrants. Later in life, Carol and Sherwood returned to Panama to start computer learning centers that are still operating today. They also traveled throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, many European countries, and Guernsey Island. Carol earned a B.A. from Mt. Holyoke College, a degree in nursing from Russell Sage College, and a master’s degree in nurse midwifery from the Frontier School of Nursing. Carol and Sherwood have been very generous supporters of NPCA over the years.


Dr. Thomas Andrew Boyd (1942-2019) served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia before beginning his distinguished international teaching career. Dr. Boyd studied at Wabash College; The Institute of Social Studies, The Netherlands; and earned his Doctorate at Cambridge University. He was published extensively. Dr. Boyd’s diverse assignments included teaching at West Virginia Wesleyan College, Wolfson College, The Hague, Netherlands; and University of Cape Coast, Ghana, West Africa. He was a visiting professor of sociology at Zhongshan University in the People’s Republic of China; a participant with Habitat for Humanity International in Peru; a consultant, Rural Development Planner/Trainer with United Nations Food and Agriculture mission to Zambia; a research assistant with the Institute of Social Studies, The Netherlands; and a workshop leader for Economic Development in Puerto Rico. For 29 years before his retirement, Dr. Boyd taught at Berea College and served as Chair of the Department of Sociology.


Kathy Lynn Radimer (1951-2019) was a nutritionist researcher and scholar. She served in the Peace Corps in Upper Volta/Burkina Faso in 1975-1978 and went on to work with USAID in Cameroon in 1979-1982. Through these experiences, she developed a love of Africa. She completed her B.A. and M.Ed. at the University of Massachusetts, and her Ph.D. in nutrition at Cornell University. Her doctoral thesis work resulted in the Radimer-Cornell Hunger Scale, which was further developed and used as a measure of hunger/food insecurity on a global scale. In Australia in the late 1980s, she worked as a Research Fellow for the National Health and Medical Research Council at the University of Queensland. When she returned to the U.S. in the late 1990s, Kathy became a Fellow with the National Cancer Institute. She then worked for the Centers for Disease Control as an epidemiologist.


Westcott “Wes” Burlingame III (1946-2019) served in Peace Corps Thailand and worked in public health abroad before starting his own business, Laurel Springs Nursery, and leading tree-planting projects back in the U.S. Wes earned a B.A. in political science from Ohio Wesleyan University. After his Peace Corps service, primarily in malaria eradication, Wes received a master’s degree in public health from the University of Michigan. Wes worked in refugee relief with USAID in Laos and farmed in Fiji before serving for two years with UNICEF-Kathmandu in maternal-child health programs. He spoke Thai fluently and returned annually to enjoy Thai culture, friends, and cuisine. Wes pursued his love of horticulture, working at the Biltmore Estate vineyards and the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station in Mills River.


James S. Wilson’s (1947-2019) 72 years were filled working with his hands and enjoying the outdoors. After graduation from the University of Minnesota, he joined the Peace Corps and taught in a school in Fiji. As an RPCV, Jim spent a month traversing Glacier Park in Montana. He emigrated from the U.S. to Canada and taught in Deadwood Alberta, while living in a tee-pee he sewed himself. While in Canada, he worked in oil fields, built a log building, climbed peaks of the Canadian Rockies, and built and flew an ultralight plane. Jim got his pilot’s license and bought a biplane, the Wichawk; other planes followed, including a Jenny replica and the Zenair CH701, which he loaded with camping gear and took on many a trip around the Pacific Northwest and California. He bought a kit to build an RV12, got his floatplane certification, and his airframe and powerplant ticket so he could be the mechanic on his own planes. Jim learned about the “stitch and glue” technique of building small watercraft and he went all in, buying plans and kits by the dozen. One of his hopes was to participate in the Race to Alaska in a small boat of his own design. Friends said Jim lived with “enthusiasm, curiosity, integrity and optimism.”


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



Shirley Ann Haase, 9/6/19



Chester L. Davis II, 9/19/19

Lynda Witcher Peddy (1966-1967), 8/4/19



Kathy Radimer (1975-1978), 9/5/19



Sterling Edwin “Ned” Zimmerman Jr., 9/8/19



Thomas A. Boyd (1964-1966), 8/20/19

Barbara Muchisky (1965-1966), 4/29/19

Martha Louise Cooch Ramsey, 9/15/19



Robert Bowden Law (1962-1964), 9/1/19



Robert Joseph “Bob” Fey, 9/15/19



Anne Marie Bussey (1967-1969), 8/21/19



James S. Wilson, 8/21/19



John Vincent Mascolo Jr. (1963-1965), 9/7/19



Landon Karr (2006-2008), 9/13/19



Richard Arthur “Dick” Cozine (1991-1993), 8/16/19



Emily Anne Distler CHA/PA, 8/1/19



William Kevin “Bill” Savage Jr. (1977-1979), 8/31/19



Elaine deProsse (1967-1968), 9/14/19



Stephanie Joyce Kimball (1986-1987), 9/8/19



Daniel Paul Conroy (1967-1969), 8/27/19

Michael A. (Hryhoryszyn) Gregory, 9/5/19

Millard Hayes Jr. (1966-1968), 9/15/19

Carol (Martin) Schneckloth (1963-1965), 7/19



Carol Guernsey (1969-1971), 9/1/19



Eliot Levinson (1964-1966), 9/5/19



Preston Hayes, 8/19/19

Carl Castleman Smith, 9/4/19

Stanley J. Szalak (1971-1974), 9/19/19

Marie Ward (1965-1967), 4/25/19



Roger Alan Harding (1986-1988), 8/17/19

Kristin Anne Regan, 9/15/19



Amanda De Fiebre (2007-2009), 8/30/19

Stephen T. Oblock (1971-1975), 8/31/19



Joel William “Bill” Chapman (1964-1965), 9/12/19

Jacob Podsialdo, 9/8/19



Westcott “Wes” Burlingame III (1968-1970), 9/24/19



Deanna Mary Sterett, 7/27/19



Robert G. Black (1964-1966), 8/30/19



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

Thanks to Betty Pyle for her assistance in preparing this month’s In Memoriam page.

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