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In Memoriam

  • Orrin Luc posted an article
    We remember Mary Broude — a beloved Peace Corps champion who recently passed away. see more

    As a lifelong Volunteer, she served as a steady beacon of Peace Corps ideals. And her commitment to the Peace Corps community and desire to create a positive experience for RPCVs will be remembered as part of her enduring legacy.

     

    By NPCA Staff

     

    With heavy hearts, we announce that Mary Broude, who served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Korea 1969–70, passed away last week on Tuesday, November 8. She devoted decades to supporting returned Volunteers and Peace Corps ideals: as a board member of the NPCA affiliate group Friends of Korea (FoK), as co-founder of the Orange County Peace Corps Association, and as a board of director of National Peace Corps Association — where she served for more than two years and was considered one of the most generous board members by those who had the honor to work closely with her.

     

    “Mary always focused on how board efforts were contributing to the big picture of NPCA's mission” Dan Baker, NPCA Interim President and CEO

    “Mary always focused on how board efforts were contributing to the big picture of NPCA's mission, said NPCAs Interim President and CEO Dan Baker. “Personally, Mary provided a light and empathy during challenging times, and I would not be in my current leadership role of Interim President and CEO without her support and encouragement. While I will miss her dearly, I will always remember and celebrate what she meant to NPCA and our staff.

    She grew up on a North Dakota farm where she learned, at an early age, that world affairs and events can significantly impact whether it’s a “good” or “bad” year on the farm. This exposure fueled her curiosity to learn and experience as much of the world as possible. After gaining her bachelor's from St. Olaf College, her curiosity led her to Peace Corps Korea, where she taught English at Seoul National University. It was soon clear the world was small when two of her students, after finishing their studies with her in Seoul, became students in her Dad’s classroom at North Dakota State University a few months later.

    Upon returning to the U.S., Mary taught high school German in Minneapolis before moving to Southern California. She transitioned her career to roles in Organization Development and Management Training at The Walt Disney Company and later in healthcare organizations. She also consulted for medical device start-up companies. Along the way, she completed a master’s in educational administration at California State University (CSU) in Fullerton and a MBA at the University of California (UC) in Irvine. She was also an adjunct lecturer at CSU Long Beach and the University of Phoenix. 

    Mary's experience as a Volunteer in Korea had a lasting impact on the community she served, and her commitment did not end when she came home. She was the epitome of a global citizen whose passion for friendship and peace could be seen in the organizations and causes she rallied for and supported. In 2012, Mary took on a leadership position as an FoK board member, making tremendous impact at home and abroad, such as helping to staff the 2013 U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers' Revisit to Korea trip — a program hosted by the government of the Republic of Korea and the Korea Foundation — which welcomed 55 RPCVs and their accompanying family members for a week-long experience in Seoul. Along with her fellow FoK board members, she also met Consul General Key Cheol Lee in the summer of 2016 to further enhance cooperation between the Consulate and FoK as well as share FoK activities, which included the Peace Corps Korea 50th Anniversary Exhibit at the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History in Seoul that same year.

    Beyond her FoK efforts, Mary served on the leadership council for UC Irvine's Center for Critical Korean Studies, launched to promote Korean language learning, critical thinking about Korea’s relationship to the Pacific Rim region and throughout the world, and a deeper historical understanding of Korea. Also, she co-founded the Orange County Peace Corps Association, where she was considered the backbone for the local RPCV community, and she was an active supporter of Dining for Women, a women’s giving circle dedicated to ensuring gender equality and ending extreme poverty by investing in women and girls in the developing world.

     

    “A philanthropist who put her values into action, she was one of the most generous board members – both of her money and time. Mary joined the board because of her deep commitment to the values of NPCA and her desire to create a positive experience for RPCVs.” Jeffrey Janis, NPCA Board Member

    As a NPCA board member, Mary served as a steady beacon of Peace Corps ideals and champion of NPCA's mission, participating in a number of NPCA committees from fundraising to governance. “Mary and I joined the NPCA board at the same time – about two and a half years ago,” said NPCA Board Member Jeffrey Janis. “philanthropist who put her values into action, she was one of the most generous board members – both of her money and time. Mary joined the board because of her deep commitment to the values of NPCA and her desire to create a positive experience for RPCVs.”  


    A Remembrance: Voices from the Peace Corps Community

    Mary Broude's enduring legacy deeply touched the Peace Corps community for years, and we would like to use this space below to express our condolences and share fond memories about the life and contributions of this beloved Peace Corps champion.

    John Lee Evans, NPCA Board Chair | Mary was a wonderful colleague on the board. She was very supportive of me in my new role, reaching out on a personal level to say kind words and offer help. She will be missed.

    Dan Baker, NPCA Interim President & CEO Mary was a particularly active member of the NPCA Board of Directors, and very engaged in the governance committee and recent efforts to push through governance improvements to the NPCA governance structure. Recently, she pushed for and facilitated excellent improvements for new board director orientation – empowering NPCA staff to inform and educate the Board about NPCA programs and operations. During a very difficult year for NPCA, full of leadership transitions and challenges, Mary prioritized the needs of NPCA staff. Mary always focused on how board efforts were contributing to the big picture of NPCA's mission. Personally, Mary provided a light and empathy during challenging times, and I would not be in my current leadership role of Interim President and CEO without her support and encouragement. While I will miss her dearly, I will always remember and celebrate what she meant to NPCA and our staff.

    Jeffrey Janis,
     NPCA Board Member | Mary had a strong moral compass and wasn’t afraid to speak her mind and let people know exactly how she felt. I always admired her inner strength and pursuit for what she felt was right. Mary and I joined the NPCA board at the same time – about two and a half years ago. A philanthropist who put her values into action, she was one of the most generous board members – both of her money and time. Mary joined the board because of her deep commitment to the values of NPCA and her desire to create a positive experience for RPCVs. We worked together on countless projects and would speak (or text) at least once a week. Mary was my friend and my confidant. And I will miss her greatly.


    Glenn Blumhorst
     | I have such fond memories of Mary. She graciously hosted me at her home during my trips to the Los Angeles area and helped organize local events for my visits, while also joining us in Washington, D.C., for our Capitol Hill Advocacy Day and Shriver Leadership Summit. Mary embodied Peace Corps ideals of empathy, kindness, and compassion, and was a friend to everyone she met. Her passing is a tremendous loss for the Peace Corps family and the many people whose lives she touched throughout her journey. I will miss Mary — her zeal and passion for friendship and peace having been such an inspiration to me over the years.

    Terri Elders | Since I moved back to Southern California in 2014, I've looked forward to seeing Mary at the third Friday OCPCA Happy Hours, whether they were at a Mexican restaurant in Orange or a pizza place in Irvine. Even when the pandemic kept us separated, Mary arranged for us to Zoom monthly, so we could continue to share our Peace Corps experiences. Because of this, we were able to welcome evacuated PCVs who had been settled in our community. When it was safe enough to travel in vehicles with other passengers again, Mary offered to carpool with me to certain events, since I have limited mobility these days and rely on a walker. Furthermore, she volunteered to accompany me when I needed a designated driver for a medical procedure. A bona fide Volunteer to the end! I miss her terribly already!

    Judy Greenspon | The Los Angeles Korean Consulate has honored Mary with distinction on many occasions. I observed the most beautiful large frame certificate of appreciation from the Korean Consulate sitting on her piano. She was a compassionate philanthropist, feisty political activist and loved to support first generation aspiring college students. Mary gave generously of her time on nonprofit boards and to many causes especially those supporting women, girls, and orphans. She was a dear friend to many RPCVs, and the OCPCA affiliate group has lost our shining star – may her spirit live on in everyone who was blessed to know her.


    Friends of Korea (Facebook Post link) | It is with deep sadness that we announce that Mary Broude (seen on the left with Angie Pak and Brent Burkholder at the FoK 2019 annual meeting) passed away last week. Mary was a returned Peace Corps Korea volunteer (K-7) and indefatigable volunteer. She served on the FoK Board of Directors, the NPCA Board and was active in many other organizations in the Orange County area. She was actively engaged in many philanthropic activities as well. Mary was generous with her time and always willing to take on a challenge. She will be missed.

    • Steven Saum Mary was a woman of integrity, and she was kind and good and persistent — showing that you could and should stick with it when it comes to being kind and honest. That was true when she looked for... see more Mary was a woman of integrity, and she was kind and good and persistent — showing that you could and should stick with it when it comes to being kind and honest. That was true when she looked for ways to bring help and healing at times of national crisis, and it was true when it came to personal and professional relationships with the people she worked with and volunteered with. She made the Peace Corps community richer and better. Lke so many, I will miss her tremendously.
      8 days ago
  • Communications Intern 2 posted an article
    Madeleine Albright was the first woman to serve as secretary of state of the United States. see more

    In her childhood, her family fled tyranny — twice. She went on to become the first woman to serve as secretary of state of the United States. 

     

    By Steven Boyd Saum 

     

    Photo courtesy Madeleine Albright

     

    Madeleine Albright was the first woman to serve as secretary of state of the United States. Appointed by President Bill Clinton in January 1997, she had just served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. She brought experience as a professor and a mother, she noted — both of which she said helped her speak plainly. 

    Before that first year as SECSTATE was complete, she had sworn in 32 Peace Corps Volunteers in Zimbabwe, during a seven-nation tour of Africa. A few months later she was in Kyiv, Ukraine, where I had established an office to direct academic exchanges for the U.S. Embassy. Speaking to Ukrainian exchange alumni, Peace Corps Volunteers, and others, she spoke of the danger of resignation and apathy in democracy. “The political choices you make will make a difference in your lives,” she counseled.

    It so happened that this conversation took place almost exactly 50 years after a communist coup in her native Czechoslovakia. Cast forward three decades, and amid a time democratic institutions were being undermined here, she would publish a book for U.S. audiences, Fascism: A Warning

    She was personally acquainted with the dangers of authoritarianism. Daughter of Czech diplomat Josef Korbel, she was born Marie Jana Korbelová in 1937. She and her family fled Czechoslovakia in response to the Nazi invasion when little Madlenka was not yet two years old. After the 1948 Communist coup, the family took refuge abroad once more. Her parents also kept a secret from their daughter, one that she didn’t learn until many decades later: She was raised Roman Catholic, but her parents had converted from Judaism after the Nazi takeover. Family members — including three of her grandparents — perished in Auschwitz and other camps. She understood personally the importance of not giving even casual anti-Semitism a pass, even amid policy disagreements with Israel.

    As secretary of state, she often spoke of the U.S. as “the indispensable nation.” She became a U.S. citizen at the age of 20 and lauded the generosity of the country — and its responsibilities. She was a staunch advocate for NATO and, as many in the Peace Corps community remember, contributed to the anthology The Great Adventure. For many years she was on the faculty at Georgetown University and taught students the foreign policy toolbox. She died in March at age 84 — one month after she published a piece titled “Putin is Making a Historic Mistake.” 
     

     

    This remembrance appears in the Spring-Summer edition of WorldView magazine.

     


    Steven Boyd Saum is the editor of WorldView.

  • Communications Intern 2 posted an article
    Douglas Kelley holds a special place among those who helped inspire the Peace Corps. see more

    In Memoriam: Douglas Kelley (1929–2022)

     

    By Catherine Gardner

     

    Photo courtesy the family of Douglas Kelley.


    Douglas Kelley holds a special place among those who helped inspire the Peace Corps. As a student at Berea College in Kentucky, he was committed to international cooperation and civil rights. In his senior year in college, in 1951, he began laying the groundwork for the International Development Placement Association, a program to promote humanitarian service by placing people internationally in jobs with indigenous organizations and governments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Within three years the program had sent 18 young Americans abroad and had numerous applicants.

    The proof of concept helped inspire Senator Hubert Humphrey to propose legislation to create a peace corps in 1957. The idea evolved into what became formally known as the Peace Corps, enacted by President Kennedy by executive order in March 1961.

     

    “I really wanted to serve overseas,” he recalled years later, “not as an officer in an air-conditioned office but doing the kind of thing Volunteers were doing. So, off we went to Cameroon.”

     

    Kelley worked as the agency’s first community relations director. “I really wanted to serve overseas,” he recalled years later, “not as an officer in an air-conditioned office but doing the kind of thing Volunteers were doing. So, off we went to Cameroon.” We included his wife, Cynthia Kelley, and their two sons. Kelley served as a Volunteer in Cameroon 1963–65, helping to create a crafts marketing cooperative that doubled the monthly incomes of local artisans as their products were exported to the U.S.

    A commitment to ending discrimination also shaped Kelley’s life. In 1957 he participated in Martin Luther King Jr.’s Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom at the Lincoln Memorial. He was later arrested for participating in a sit-in during the civil rights movement. He went on to direct programs training young people, to transform a decrepit textile mill into an arts center, and to help auto workers retrain. He died in January 2022 at the age of 92. 

     

    This remembrance appears in the Spring-Summer edition of WorldView magazine.

     


    Catherine Gardner is an intern with WorldView. She is a student at Lafayette College.

  • Communications Intern 2 posted an article
    Heyman served as the first woman training officer for the Peace Corps in 1961. see more

    In Memoriam: Juliane Heyman (1925–2022)

     

    By Catherine Gardner

     

    Photo of Juliane Heyman courtesy Alana DeJoseph

     

    Born in the Free City of Danzig, now Gdansk, Poland, Julie Heyman was 12 years old when she fled her home due to increasing Nazi persecution. After months of being disconnected from her parents, she and her family were reunited in Brussels.

    They fled again when the Nazis invaded Belgium. In 1941, Heyman arrived in New York by freighter. She graduated from Barnard College before earning master’s degrees in international relations and library science from U.C. Berkeley.

    In what she calls one of her “most satisfying and exciting experiences,” she served as the first woman training officer for the Peace Corps in 1961. She worked 1961–64 in Washington, D.C. as a library advisor to several countries and international development consultant to Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In 2003 she published From Rucksack to Backpack, recollections of her life and travels from the 1940s to 1960s.

    Heyman was always ready to face any challenge and saw her experiences as testaments to learning how to understand different people and perspectives. She died in April at age 97. 

     

    This remembrance appears in the Spring-Summer edition of WorldView magazine.

     


    Catherine Gardner is an intern with WorldView. She is a student at Lafayette College.

  • Communications Intern 2 posted an article
    Black wrote the definitive book on U.S. interference in post-colonial Brazil. see more

    Jan Knippers Black (1940–2021) wrote the definitive book on U.S. interference in post-colonial Brazil.

     

    By Catherine Gardner

     

    Photo by Elëna Zhukova

     

    Professor emerita, world traveler, beloved role model and mentor to thousands of students, singer and songwriter, advocate and ally: These are just some of the many terms one could use to describe Jan Knippers Black, a prominent scholar and human rights activist. She wrote the definitive book on U.S. interference in post-colonial Brazil — some years after she was invited to play piano in Elvis Presley’s band. She was well known for her expertise on political dynamics within Latin America, specifically about the intersection of U.S. affairs in the region and the relationships between the U.S. and several of the Latin American countries. 

    Black’s first degree was a B.A. in art and Spanish from the University of Tennessee. Then, she said, “When I heard about the Peace Corps in 1961, I said ‘That’s it! That’s where I’ll find myself.’” She was among the first group of Volunteers in Chile. She returned and earned a Ph.D. from American University and later joined the faculty of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. She understood the importance of first-hand experience and led trips for students to Cuba, Iran, Bhutan, Chile, and the Balkans. 

    She was elected to the Amnesty International USA Board of Directors and spoke out on behalf of arrested activists. Upon her retirement in 2018, she launched the Jan Knippers Black Fund for Human Rights Protection to support student workers and speakers in the field. She died in August 2021 at age 81. 

     

    This remembrance appears in the Spring-Summer edition of WorldView magazine.

     


    Catherine Gardner is an intern with WorldView. She is a student at Lafayette College.

  • Communications Intern 2 posted an article
    He was the first Black American to serve as an aide to a Virginia governor. see more

    William Robertson (1933–2021) was the first Black American to serve as an aide to a Virginia governor. He went on to serve five U.S. presidents and lead Peace Corps posts.

     

    By Catherine Gardner

     

    Photo of William Robertson courtesy University of Virginia Press

     

    The first Black American to serve as an aide to a Virginia governor, William Robertson sought ways to enact change and transform systems. After earning degrees in education at Bluefield State College in West Virginia, he helped integrate a white school in Roanoke as a teacher, and was the first African American member of the Roanoke Jaycees civic organization. 

    When Linwood Holton, a Republican, was running for governor, he convinced Robertson, a well-known civic leader — and Democrat — to run for the House of Delegates. Holton’s goal, as The Roanoke Times recounted, was “take down the segregationist Byrd machine.” Holton won, Robertson lost. Then Holton called and asked Robertson to be part of his administration. 

    From state government, Robertson went on to serve five U.S. presidents in a variety of positions, from presidential committees to director of the Peace Corps in Kenya and the Seychelles. He also served as deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs. When he retired, he returned to teaching in Tampa, Florida, at an inner-city school. “You’ve done all these things, you’ve traveled all these places,” he said, “why not share it?”

    He was at work on a memoir, Lifting Every Voice: My Journey from Segregated Roanoke to the Corridors of Power, when he died in June 2021 at age 88. It recounts challenges and hard-won victories over a lifetime. University of Virginia Press published the memoir earlier this year. 

     

    This remembrance appears in the Spring-Summer edition of WorldView magazine.

     


    Catherine Gardner is an intern with WorldView. She is a student at Lafayette College.

  • Communications Intern 2 posted an article
    Bipartisanship is a ‘state of being,’ said Senator Johnny Isakson. see more

    Bipartisanship is “a state of being,” said Johnny Isakson 

     

    By Catherine Gardner

     

    Photo courtesy office of Johnny Isakson

     

    “The dedicated men and women of the U.S. Peace Corps work hard to help communities and foster goodwill around the world,” U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson said in 2018. The occasion was important but not exactly celebratory: Isakson was co-sponsoring introduction of the Nick Castle Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act — bipartisan legislation named in honor of a Volunteer from Brentwood, California, who lost his life at age 23 due to inadequate health care while serving in China in 2013.

    Isakson, a Republican from Georgia first elected to the Senate in 2004, had long been a champion for Volunteers. He served as a sponsor for the 2011 Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act, named in honor of a Volunteer who was murdered in Benin; the law instituted reforms that included a comprehensive sexual assault policy with risk-reduction and response training. Isakson’s support of the Peace Corps extended to advocating for robust funding for the agency and serving as Republican lead on the annual Peace Corps funding “Dear Colleague” letter. For his advocacy on behalf of the Peace Corps community, in 2013 National Peace Corps Association presented him with the Peace Corps Congressional Leadership Award.

    As a legislator, Isakson earned a reputation for promoting civility and honesty in the realm of politics. He called bipartisanship “a state of being.” He was a strong force on the education committee, advocating for President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind legislation. 

    He arrived in Washington having served in the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate. He was appointed to the U.S. House of Representatives to fill Newt Gingrich’s seat after Gingrich stepped down. He had served in the Georgia Air National Guard before beginning work for Northside Realty, where he climbed the ranks until he became president of the company and served in that capacity for over 20 years. 

    Several years ago he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease but continued to serve in the Senate. He resigned in 2019, during his third term, citing health concerns. He was born in 1944 and died in December 2021 at age 76. 

     

    This remembrance appears in the Spring-Summer edition of WorldView magazine.

     


    Catherine Gardner is an intern with WorldView. She is a student at Lafayette College.

  • Communications Intern 2 posted an article
    He founded Partners in Health and dedicated decades to focus on healing the poorest and the sickest. see more

    He founded Partners in Health and dedicated decades to focus on healing the poorest and the sickest in a dozen countries.

     

    By Catherine Gardner

     

    Sharing a commitment to helping the poor and a hug: Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Paul Farmer. Photo courtesy Skoll Foundation

     
    Paul Farmer’s life was one dedicated to health, human rights, and ameliorating the consequences of social inequality. He was someone known personally by many in the Peace Corps community, and he has inspired countless more. Tracy Kidder, in his biography of Farmer, Mountains Beyond Mountains, described him as “a man who would cure the world.”

    As a college student, Farmer worked with a migrant camp in North Carolina and got to know several Haitian migrants and their stories. A year after graduating from college he traveled to Haiti and was inspired to build a clinic in the village of Cange to aid struggling health practitioners. He studied medicine at Harvard and at the same time continued treating the poor and sick in Haiti. In 1987 he co-founded Partners in Health, an organization dedicated to providing care and strengthening public health systems with a focus on healing the poorest and sickest in communities in a dozen countries. He partnered with corporations and foundations and called PIH “the house of yes,” with a goal of meeting the needs for both short- and long-term care.

    Farmer continued to work in the realm of public health for decades, addressing HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, maternal and child health, mental health, and more. He assisted West Africa with the Ebola epidemic in 2014 and implemented contact-tracing methods to combat COVID-19 in 2020. He died in February at age 62.

     

    This remembrance appears in the Spring-Summer edition of WorldView magazine.


    Catherine Gardner is an intern with WorldView. She is a student at Lafayette College.

  • Communications Intern posted an article
    We remember those within our Peace Corps community who recently passed away. see more

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

     

    By Catherine Gardner and Molly O’Brien
     

    Our tributes include Joyce M. Bowden (pictured), an early Peace Corps Volunteer who helped treat leprosy in Bolivia and authored over 600 endnotes about four generations of her mother’s family in South Carolina. We remember William Chris Jeffers, co-founder of the Science Teaching Enrichment Programme that has boosted science education in Nepal. We also recognize a committed elementary school teacher with 30 years of experience teaching and advocating for the education of young children everywhere.

    We honor the wide range of contributions made by members of the Peace Corps community who recently passed away.

     

    Joyce M. Bowden (1938–2022), an early Volunteer of the Peace Corps, graduated from Florida State University before joining the service in 1963. She served in Bolivia 1963–66 at a leprosarium. Since there was no effective treatment for leprosy until the 1940s and more effective drugs were only discovered in the 1960s, people were still very afraid of the disease. Though scared at first and with little idea of what leprosy truly was, Bowden retained a positive attitude through training and helped leprosy patients in Bolivia rejoin their families and their normal lives. She emphasized that complex situations such as Peace Corps service were not something to be afraid of, rather they should be viewed as a way to learn more about the world and one’s own self. “I think you don’t know your capability, your real capability, until you’re faced with very difficult circumstances … and it’s a great thing to learn that you’re far, far more than you thought, than you have ever imagined.” After her time in the Peace Corps, Bowden went on to earn a master’s degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She then served as a Central American field representative for a League of Women Voters education project, a women-led political grassroots network with a dedication to empowering voters and encouraging people of any political opinion to exercise their freedom to vote. Her dedication to helping better the lives of others remained apparent throughout her life.

     

    Adam D. Goldberg Cohen (1992–2022)often described by friends and family as “many people’s favorite person,” graduated from Tulane University in Louisiana with a degree in anthropology. After college, he joined the Peace Corps and served in Togo 2014–16. While there, he worked with farmers, women’s groups, and youth organizations to implement sustainable farming practices. He also founded Cadeau de la Terre, an agribusiness that helped local coffee farmers to package and retail their coffee beans. Additionally, he worked in food preservation and security, and toured surrounding villages to help train other Volunteers and Togolese partners. Cohen made consistently positive impressions on those he met, especially in regard to his determination. While in Togo, he made the rare effort to learn Akebu, the local language spoken in his host village of Kougnohou. This served as testament not only to his respect for the local culture, but also his linguistic ability, being conversant in at least five languages. He was adored by the local Togolese community, often serving to bridge the gap between Togolese and Peace Corps Volunteers through his warmth and humorous nature. After returning from service, Cohen earned a master’s at Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He then moved to Washington, D.C., where he published articles in Smithsonian magazine while working as a writer for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He moved to Tel Aviv in 2021 where he worked as a content writer for Wix.com.

     

    William Chris” Jeffers (1941–2022), renowned for his positive spirit and ability to connect with people of all backgrounds, grew up in Long Island before graduating from the University of Colorado in 1964. After graduating, Jeffers joined the Peace Corps, serving in Nepal 1964–67. Though he graduated with a degree in chemistry and music, he always held interest in travel and children’s education. His Peace Corps service in Nepal allowed him to combine these two interests with his science background. While in Nepal, he rewrote the country’s middle school science curriculum alongside a local Nepali science specialist. The method of science teaching they developed was novel in Nepal and was dubbed the Science Teaching Enrichment Programme (STEP). Scientific principles and processes had previously been taught by rote, but with the new model scientific theory was taught by experiment and discovery. STEP was a quick success in Nepal, encouraging curiosity in students and increasing the level of science education in the country. It is still largely in use in Nepal to this day. In 1968, Jeffers moved to Washington, D.C., where he served on the Peace Corps Headquarters Staff for two years and helped train and prepare many groups for their Peace Corps service in Nepal. Jeffers was a man of many interests and talents, and he loved to make music wherever he went. His many areas of expertise allowed him to inspire the many lives he touched.


    John G. Kovac (1938–2022)
    renowned for his hardworking nature and love for music, graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University and Seton Hall University School of Law in New Jersey. During the intense Blizzard of 1977 that hit upstate New York, he read the entire Whole Earth Catalog. This sparked his interest in the Peace Corps, which he joined that same year. He served in Colombia 1977–79. Kovac continued his career in law after his service, working for Blue Ridge Legal Services until 1991. It was at this point he made a career switch, choosing to do what he called “[giving] up the practice of law for the practice of music.” He made a legacy for himself as an avid harpist, having instruments in all seven continents of the world. Kovac became a music teacher, lectured at the Library of Congress, and recorded with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra while traveling in Cyprus. He was also a harp-maker, founding John Kovac Harps. He was a beloved mentor to many harpists who respected him not only for his ability, but also for his kindness and humility.


    Joan (Ward) Shaffer Swee (1924–2022), a
     strong proponent of the saying “Peace Corps is the toughest job you will ever love,” was an advocate for education, especially at the elementary level. She graduated from Bowling Green State University in Ohio with a degree in elementary education in 1945. She taught first grade for 30 years, in schools from the Birmingham School in Alabama to Brownhelm Elementary School in Ohio. She retired from teaching in 1980 and spent the time traveling, visiting Israel, Australia, and Greece. At the age of 64, she joined the Peace Corps, serving in Liberia 1988–89. While there, she continued to demonstrate her dedication to education, monitoring schools supported with funding from the World Bank. Upon returning stateside, Swee continued to live a life committed to service and education betterment. She volunteered at Meals on Wheels, United Way, the Oregon History Museum, and the Children’s Museum. She also consistently donated to charities, especially the Trinity Lutheran Church of Vermilion, Ohio, and Doctors Without Borders. Her life was full of advocacy and adventure, and she is fondly remembered for the impact she made on her students.


    Thomas Warren (1933–2022), a
     natural born leader, graduated from David Lipscomb College in Nashville with a degree in accounting before going on to Peabody Vanderbilt with the intent to earn a master’s degree. While enrolled, he was recruited as business manager for Peabody’s AID project in Korea. The focus of this project was rebuilding the Korean education system in the aftermath of the Korean War. This project sparked new interest, inspiring him to return to Peabody Vanderbilt to earn a Doctor of Education degree. This fascination and dedication to the betterment of education continued throughout his life, opening a junior high and high school in Maryland. After the opening of Wootton High School in 1970, he took a leave of absence to serve as director of Peace Corps Micronesia for two years. As country director, Warren was responsible for the management and direction of Peace Corps activity and Volunteers in Micronesia. After returning from service, Warren supervised major renovations of schools, served as principal for a school in Singapore, and opened a second high school. His dedication to education was not something only lauded by his friends and family, and in 1992 he was awarded the Distinguished Educational Leadership Award by the Washington Post. 

     

    PEACE CORPS STAFF

    Theodore Aranda, Ph.D. (Country Director, Belize), 7/10/22

    Joseph G. Bodensteiner (U.S. Staff), 6/29/22

    Joan T. Edgren (U.S. Staff — Recruiter),  8/1/22

    Jay D. Gaines (Staff, Liberia), 6/12/22

    William “Chris” Jeffers (U.S. Staff), 6/27/22

    Peter Jenkins (U.S. Staff — Recruiter), 7/17/22

    Burce T. MacDonald (U.S. Staff), 6/1/22

    Anita J. Parks (U.S. Staff — Recruiter), 8/1/22

    Barbara L. Schlindwein (U.S. Staff), 7/23/22

    Russell J. Tershy (Deputy Director, Bolivia), 6/29/22

    Thomas E. Warren (Country Director, Micronesia), 6/23/22

     

    MULTIPLE COUNTRIES OF SERVICE

    Susan A. Colburn (Liberia  1983–86, Jamaica 1988–90), 7/24/22

    Bonnie (Ness) Hall (Tunisia 1962–64, Venezuela 1970–72), 6/10/22

     

    AFGHANISTAN

    Gary L. Fair (1971–73), 7/14/22

    David “Michael” Hicks (1968–69), 6/6/22

    Jon A. Wicklund (1963–64), 8/4/22

     

    ARMENIA

    George Michael Constantino (2012–14), 6/6/22

     

    BELIZE

    Ruth Ann Baltz (1985–87), 6/5/22

     

    BOLIVIA

    Joyce M. Bowden (1963–66), 6/12/22

    Roger K. Mitchell (1962), 7/14/22

    Robert Rosenbloom (1967–69), 6/21/22

     

    BRAZIL

    John H. Goddard (1967–69), 6/28/22

     

    COLOMBIA

    Richard A. Bartlett (1969–70), 7/23/22

    John G. Kovac (1977–79), 7/6/22

    Mark C. Lindsay (1965–68), 7/17/22

    Richard W. Saiser (1962–64), 5/26/22

     

    CÔTE D'IVOIRE

    Daniel A. Olson (1973–75), 8/9/22

     

    DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

    Richard M. Cabrera (1962–64), 5/28/22

    Harold “Casey” C. Case (1964–66), 7/22

    Joan T. Edgren (1985–87), 8/1/22

     

    EASTERN CARIBBEAN 

    Neil B. Mann (St. Kitts, 1985–89), 7/25/22

     

    ECUADOR 

    Robert “Fred” G. Loose (1981–83), 10/20/21

     

    EL SALVADOR

    Mary A. (McNichol) Dick (1962–64), 7/8/22

     

    ESTONIA

    Hilvie E. Ostrow (1995–96), 7/27/22

     

    ESWATINI

    James F. Browne (1970–75), 8/11/20

    Michael F. Mazzone (1985–87), 6/17/22

     

    ETHIOPIA

    Richard E. Heft (1965–67), 6/3/22

    David W. Moore (1967–69), 7/1/22

    Sylvia Rochester (1964–66), 7/25/22

     

    GHANA

    Sylvia C. Goins (2002), 7/20/22

     

    GUATEMALA

    James D. Bourcy (1985–87), 5/19/22

     

    HONDURAS

    Beverly (Hovendick) Tisdell (1962–64), 6/12/22

     

    INDIA

    Robert C. Holmes (1963–65), 8/7/22

    John R. Long (1968–70), 7/9/22

     

    IRAN

    Patricia A. McKissick (1966–68), 7/1/22

     

    JAMAICA

    Kathleen N. Carson (1971–73), 7/4/22

    Patricia K. Seiler (1988–90), 6/9/22

     

    KENYA

    Charles G. Burney (1971–73), 6/3/22

    Barbara C. Deshler (1969–71), 5/23/22

    Joseph G. Wcislo (1964–66), 6/30/22

     

    KIRIBATI

    Carol S. (Hagar) Ramsey (1995–95), 6/1/22

     

    LIBERIA

    Margaret D. (Holt) Sammons (1971–74), 8/3/22

    Joan (Ward) Shaffer Swee (1988–89), 6/12/22

     

    MALAWI

    M. Margaret Castro (1966–68), 6/8/22

     

    MALAYSIA

    Lowell “Sam” D. Duval (1962–64), 6/26/22

    Ingrid J. (Schindler) Lemarie (1966–67), 6/27/22

     

    MICRONESIA

    Janet M. Bennett (1968–70), 1/27/22

     

    NEPAL

    Daniel M. Bowler (1988–90), 5/21/22

    Bernard “Buck” B. Trawicky (1968–70), 6/6/22

    William “Chris” Jeffers (Nepal 1964–67), 6/27/22

     

    NIGERIA

    Michael C. Tighe (1964–66), 11/20/21

     

    PANAMA

    Leonard A. Hoge (1964–65), 5/23/22

    Natalie M. Murray (2013–16), 5/14/22

     

    PAPUA NEW GUINEA

    Ursula H. Osborne (1996–98), 2/28/22

     

    PARAGUAY

    Brenton E. O'Neill (1994–96), 11/27/21

    Susan C. Schulz (1993–95), 8/3/22

     

    PERU

    James L. Firth, Ph.D. (1964–66), 8/1/22

    Peter G. Moller (1965–67), 5/29/22

     

    THE PHILIPPINES 

    Marthlu Bledsoe (1961–63), 5/19/22

    Edith A. Sihvonen (1967–69), 6/7/22

    Marcia L. Weinhold (1968–72), 8/3/22

     

    POLAND

    Teresa “TJ” C. Johnson (1997–98), 7/1/22

    Ann W. Newman (1990–92), 5/23/22

     

    SAMOA

    Elena Serrano (Herbst) Karr (1972–74), 6/14/22

    Charles H. Morris (1985–87), 6/22/22

    Eugene Wesolowski (1969–71), 8/8/22

     

    SENEGAL

    Christopher L. Keefe (1967–69), 12/21/21

     

    SIERRA LEONE

    Paul E. Holmes (1974–77), 6/12/22

    Anita J. Parks (1965–67), 8/1/22

     

    SOLOMON ISLANDS

    Richard M. Carmean (1997–99), 5/23/22

     

    SOUTH KOREA

    Dennis G. Kerfien (1971–73), 7/9/22

     

    TANZANIA

    Eugene C. Canepa (1966–67), 6/7/22

     

    THAILAND

    Deborah S. Hammond (1973–76), 6/16/22

    Rev. Jennifer Haynes Stiefel, Ph.D. (1966–69), 6/9/22

    Winston J. Kavanaugh (1965–67), 7/2/22

    John A. Nania (1981–83), 5/30/22

     

    THE GAMBIA

    Thomas H. Post (1967–69), 5/18/22

     

    TOGO

    Fr. Lawrence W. Flynn, M.M. (1962–64), 7/9/22

    Adam D. Goldberg Cohen (2014–16), 6/14/22

     

    TUNISIA

    Abigail Arnold (1966–68), 5/26/22

    Francis “Sarge” S. Cheever, Jr. (1966–68), 7/23/22

    Bruce P. Isaacson (1981–82), 6/26/22

    Paul W. McVey (1973–76), 7/27/22

    Elizabeth J. Platt (1964–66), 8/2/22

     

    VENEZUELA

    Thomas DeCoursey (1968–69), 7/29/22

    Don C. Rosick (1963–65), 6/23/22

     

    COUNTRY OF SERVICE NOT SPECIFIED

    Della “Eileen” (Shively) Ambos, 6/28/22

    Jeannie L. Farman, 7/4/22

    Elbert C. Ulshoeffer, Jr., 5/30/22

     

     

     

     

     

    If you have information you would like to share for our monthly In Memoriam post, please reach out to us at obituary@peacecorpsconnect.org

  • Molly O'Brien posted an article
    We remember those within our Peace Corps community who recently passed away. see more

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

     

    By Molly O’Brien and Tiffany James
     

    Our tributes include Elizabeth M. Giles (pictured), a two-time Peace Corps Volunteer, public transit advocate, and committed teacher who taught English and writing both domestically and abroad. We remember Stephen Reid, a former associate director of Peace Corps Senegal who chose to stay and assist those most affected by the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti instead of evacuating. And we recognize a professor with 50 years of experience teaching and conducting research on topics ranging from public policy analysis to public administration.

    We honor the wide range of contributions made by members of the Peace Corps community who recently passed away.

     

    Stephen Reid (1955–2022) — born in Concord, New Hampshire — earned a degree in English from the University of Notre Dame with highest honors. Afterwards, Reid received full scholarships to several law schools. Instead of attending law school, he joined the Peace Corps, embarking on a career in public service. Reid served overseas in Niger 1979–81, where he taught English in the town of Madaoua. After returning to the United States in 1982, he worked as liaison to several West African countries at Peace Corps headquarters before being promoted to associate director of Peace Corps Senegal. In that leadership role, Reid led numerous projects on issues including reforestation, water supply, community development, and intercultural language training. After his Peace Corps service, Reid earned a master’s degree in public administration from Syracuse University before joining USAID, where he was assigned to work with a local NGO dedicated to addressing climate change and food security issues in West Africa.


    Dr. William N. Dunn (1939–2022) enlisted in the U.S. Army after high school and earned a diploma in Russian language from the Defense Language Institute in Monterey. Afterwards, he joined the Peace Corps and received a certificate in African Studies and French from the Peace Corps Training Program at the University of Massachusetts. Dunn continued his studies by obtaining a bachelor’s from University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as a master’s and doctorate from Claremont Graduate School. In 1969, he started working as a professor at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA). Throughout his 50 years at GSPIA, Dunn taught, conducted research on topics ranging from public policy analysis to public administration, supervised more than sixty doctoral theses, and attained the position of Associate Dean and Director of the Doctoral Studies program. Though retiring in 2020, Dunn continued to offer his wisdom and serve his community. As a life-long soccer enthusiast, Dunn coached youth teams for decades and was the biggest fan of watching and cheering on his grandchildren from the sidelines as they played soccer.



    Elizabeth M. "Betsy" Giles (1964–2022), grew up in Buffalo, New York, and graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelor’s in communications. After a brief two-year stint in Boston, Giles returned to Buffalo and worked at Travelers Insurance Co before joining the Peace Corps, where she taught English to high school students in Poland. Following her Peace Corps service, she earned a master’s in teaching English for speakers of other languages at the University of Buffalo before working at the university’s Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions. She returned to the Peace Corps and Poland in 1995 to teach writing at the Teachers College for Foreign Languages in Cieszyn. While there, Giles secured grant funding to purchase computers for the school. Giles moved back to Buffalo, where she leveraged earlier real estate investments to become a stay-at-home mom and look after her children. During this period of her life, Giles’ interest in public transportation skyrocketed, motivating her to join the Citizens for Regional Transit (CRT) advocacy group and later Citizens Advisory Committee for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. She advocated for public transit by developing the CRT brochure to help advocate for a light rail extension to the airport and helping to secure a fellowship to conduct studies for the route.



    Jim Goering (1935–2022) grew up on his family’s farm near Pretty Prairie, Kansas. After high school, he earned a bachelor’s from Kansas State University in 1957 before receiving both a master’s and doctorate from Michigan State University. Goering’s graduate studies in international economics helped him land job opportunities that sent him, his wife, and children to locations across the globe — focusing on global poverty and income inequality. For more than a decade, he took on roles as an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, an Administrator for the Peace Corps Guatemala 1963–65, a Staff Economist in the Executive Office of the US President, and an Agricultural Policy Advisor at the Harvard University Development Advisory Service in both Malaysia and Ethiopia. For more than a decade, Goering joined the World Bank, where he served in various positions in Washington, DC, Beijing, and Addis Ababa. His last job was as the Director of International Programs for World Vision Relief and Development. Retiring in 1999, Goering turned his attention towards advocating for environmental projects in his home of North Newton, Kansas.



    Charles Stroth (1943–2022) embarked on a long and fulfilling teaching career after earning his bachelor’s from Northern State University as well as two master’s from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. At first, he stayed in the States and taught in both Colorado and Wisconsin. Then, he decided to volunteer with the Peace Corps in Kabul, Afghanistan, where he taught English as a foreign language. Following his return to the States, Stroth became a visiting professor at Northern Michigan University, an Assistant Professor at Roanoke College, an Associate Professor at Coe College, a Professor at and Head of Kansas State University’s Art Department, and a Professor at and Head of Western Michigan University’s Department of Art. In spirit of his earlier Peace Corps experience, he traveled to India twice to teach art. While there, he conducted research for the American Institute of Indian Studies and the Smithsonian Institution, while also becoming a Fulbright Visiting Lecturer to India. Aside from education, Stroth had a distinguished career as an artist, with his work from photography to oil paintings displayed in the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Roanoke Museum of Art, and the DeVos Art Museum. After retirement in 2007, he continued his passion for art at the Yavapai Community College print studio in Prescott, Arizona.


    Mary Jane “M.J.” Lucas (1939–2022) lived an extraordinary life, devoted to helping and caring for others. She began her career as a licensed practice nurse, serving in the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps, the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, and the Wyoming Army National Guard. After her service, she worked at various hospitals in hospice care all while raising four children. This great care for others at the end of their lives informed and influenced her decision to join the Peace Corps at age 60, serving as a four-time Peace Corps Volunteer. During her first term of service in Malawi, Lucas proved that her age didn’t matter and surprised her village by doing more than previous, younger volunteers ever did. She took on many projects in Malawi from creating a mobile clinic to bring healthcare to remote villages to starting rural Malawi’s first hospice program. She created a rural home-based care model for use anywhere in the world and presented at the 5th Annual International Conference for Home Community Care for Persons Living with HIV/AIDS, in Chiang Mai, Thailand. After finishing her service in 2001, Lucas entered Crisis Corps/Peace Corps Response in Tanzania 2002–03. Two years later, she worked with the American Refugee Committee in South Sudan, providing care amidst a civil war. Later, she continued her Peace Corps service in Uganda and Ghana with her unfailing optimism and inspiring spirit. Lucas specialized in developing simple but effective techniques for rural HIV/AIDS awareness, wound care, hospice, and community outreach. The magnitude of Lucas’ spirit not only touched the lives of the communities she lived in, but those of other Volunteers. She is remembered as an incredible mentor and friend, helping her cohorts navigate through the highs and lows of service. Lucas lived her life by the motto: “If you can’t make someone feel better, make them feel special.” According to her family and friends, she did all of that and more.

     

    PEACE CORPS STAFF

    Mary W. Abbott (U.S. Staff), 5/23/22

    Theodore "Jim" J.  Goering (Guatemala, 1963–65), 4/13/22

     

    MULTIPLE COUNTRIES OF SERVICE

    Mary J. (Tolland) Lucas (Malawi 1999–01, Tanzania 2002–03, Uganda 2009–11, Ghana 2013–15), 5/17/22

    Michael A. Meshak (Guatemala 1988–91, Ecuador 1995), 5/18/22

    Stephen L. Reid (Niger 1979–81, U.S. Staff, Associate Director of PC Senegal), 4/18/22

     

    AFGHANISTAN

    Pamela J. (Wright) Procella (1970–73), 4/24/22

    Charles L. Stroh (1969–71), 5/7/22

     

    CHAD

    Claire S. Dyckman (1967–69), 4/28/22

     

    COLOMBIA

    Hermina E. Sikkema (1966–67), 5/6/22

     

    CÔTE D'IVOIRE

    Daniel R. Ayala (1963–64), 4/11/22

    Juliana K. Dulmage (1970–75), 5/29/22

     

    EASTERN CARIBBEAN 

    Bruce A. Hogel (Barbados,  1975–76), 4/16/22

     

    ECUADOR 

    Rebecca M. Harrison (Unspecified), 5/1/22

     

    GABON

    Alexandra P. Kincannon (1991), 5/16/22

     

    GHANA

    Robert J. Marshall (2002–04), 4/19/22

     

    INDIA

    Charlotte J. Lefebvre (1966–68), 5/16/22

     

    INDONESIA

    A. Jordan Safine (1963–65), 5/8/22

     

    JAMAICA

    Melvin D. Lee (1970–72), 5/11/22

     

    LIBERIA

    Peter J. Hughes (1963–65), 5/12/22

    Carol E. (Weeks) Smith (1962–64), 4/23/22

     

    MAURITANIA

    Ernest Mora (1983–85), 4/12/22

     

    MICRONESIA

    Gerald Cleveland (1968–69), 5/17/22

     

    NIGERIA

    Max H. Brandt (1963–65), 5/10/22

    Donald K. Ross (1965–67), 5/14/22

     

    PHILIPPINES

    Marthlu Bledsoe (1961–63), 5/19/22

    Mary "Cathee" C. Marston (Unspecified), 5/13/22

    Robert G. Yuille (1965–67), 5/15/22

     

    POLAND

    Elizabeth "Betsy" M. Giles (1991–93, 1995–97), 4/29/22

     

    SENEGAL

    William N. Dunn, Ph.D. (1963), 5/16/22

     

    SIERRA LEONE

    David R. Barker (1965–66), 5/13/22

    Timothy R. Elmer (1967–69), 5/3/22

    Martha A. Eshleman (1976), 5/25/22

    Joseph D. Hammons (1971–73), 5/10/22

    Robert W. Hopkins II (1962–63), 5/21/22

     

    SRI LANKA

    Sara A. Officer (1962–64), 5/9/22

     

    TANZANIA

    Alan M. Bertaina (1964–66), 1/10/22

     

    TONGA

    Jacqueline D. Yakovleff (1977–82), 4/21/22

     

    UGANDA 

    Donald J. Quillan (1968–71), 5/10/22

     

    VANUATU

    Brian R. Hare (1995–96), 5/29/22

     

    VENEZUELA

    Glendon J. Williams (1967–69), 5/14/22

     

    COUNTRY OF SERVICE NOT SPECIFIED

    Allen L. Carver, 4/29/22

     

     

     

     

    If you have information you would like to share for our monthly In Memoriam post, please reach out to us at obituary@peacecorpsconnect.org

  • Molly O'Brien posted an article
    We remember those within our Peace Corps community who recently passed away. see more

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

     

    By Molly O'Brien

    Photo: Ronald M. Bloch (1944–2021)

     

    Our tributes include a volunteer dedicated to helping RPCVs develop rewarding careers. A chemist, professor, and writer. A civil servant who served at the state and international levels. A caring social worker who devoted her career to helping others and sharing her knowledge with students at the university level. A Fulbright scholar in Nigeria dedicated to advancing marketing practices.

    We honor the wide range of contributions made by members of the Peace Corps community who recently passed away.

     

    Ronald M. Bloch (1944–2021) was a tireless supporter of Peace Corps and returned Volunteers, helping thousands reach their career goals. Bloch grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and graduated from St. Louis University in 1966. Following graduation, he joined Peace Corps and served in Venezuela 1966–67. His service to his country did not end there, as Bloch was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War. Afterwards, Bloch started a long career in human resources. He greatly enjoyed helping people find the right jobs, and helping companies find the right people. In retirement, he volunteered his time to conduct over 4,000 resumé reviews for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. His contribution to the Peace Corps community was remarkable, his passion extraordinary, and his memory will live on with all of those whose lives he touched. He shared some of his story in the special 60th-anniversary edition of WorldView magazine.

     

    Sonja K. Goodwin (1933–2021) was born in Switzerland in 1933. When she was a child, her parents fled Nazi Germany and moved to New York where they opened a German bookstore. Goodwin entered school in the States without knowing how to speak any English; however, she learned it quickly and thrived academically. She was among the first group of girls to be admitted to the Bronx High School of Science, and she went on to earn a B.S. in chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1957. Goodwin served as an early Volunteer in Peace Corps Nigeria, 1964–66. Her experience inspired her to write two books, published in 2021. After her return from service, Goodwin taught at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for 37 years before retiring in 2004. Her impact on her students will not soon be forgotten and her Peace Corps experience will live on through her recent works. 

     

    Jack Kennedy (1934–2022) grew up in Los Angeles before studying at Harvard University on a full scholarship. After graduating, he earned his master’s degree in economics from the University of California, Berkeley. Kennedy moved to Sacramento in 1962, where he met Fran, his wife of 57 years. Together, they joined the Peace Corps, serving in India 1966–68. Later, Kennedy continued his career in public service, working for California State Departments of Personnel, Finance, and Education. He worked with USAID in Lesotho, South Africa, Mongolia, Pakistan, and Ethiopia. His career spanned over 35 years, and his impact was felt by the many friends he made all over the world. Even after retirement, Kennedy continued to give back and spent many hours volunteering with local nonprofits, political causes, and organizations, such as the United Nations and Peace Action.

     

    Carol Posey (1941–2021) spent her life advocating for the marginalized and disadvantaged as a social worker. At a young age, Posey demonstrated a passion for helping others which continued throughout her time as a student at Millsaps College and St. Louis University, where she earned her master’s in social work. She joined the Peace Corps in 1964 and served in Iran for two years. Upon her return to the U.S., Posey moved to Florida and began working as a psychotherapist in several different practices. Wanting to pass on her knowledge to others, she became a professor in the social work department at the University of West Florida, mentoring many students over the years. Posey and her wife, Gayle Privette, advocated for HIV/AIDS sufferers through Escambia Aids Services & Education, and they assisted first responders with the Red Cross after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Her impact in her community will long be remembered.

     

    David “Skip” K. Smith (1946–2021) attended Middlebury College and graduated in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in U.S. and African history. After graduation, Smith joined the Peace Corps, serving in Sierra Leone 1968–70. His Peace Corps experience led to a lifelong commitment to working in West Africa. Smith became a Fulbright scholar in Nigeria and taught as a visiting professor of marketing at Lagos Business School for over 20 years. Smith earned his MBA from Dartmouth College and Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Minnesota in 1985. His career led him to work for various colleges and universities including the University of Wisconsin-Superior, Michigan State University, and Southeast Missouri State University. His impact was wide ranging during his years as chair of the marketing department, professor, and eventually dean of the School of Business and Entrepreneurship at American University Nigeria. Not only will he be remembered by his many students, but through his many publications. Smith wrote the book Marketing Toolkit for Nigeria, published over 24 peer-reviewed case studies, and edited the Global Journal of Business Pedagogy. He was dedicated to passing on his love of world affairs and education to all.  

     

    PEACE CORPS STAFF

    Kenneth  Noboru  Fukamizu (U.S. Staff), 12/19/21

    Bonnie “Lynn” M. (Wemple) Hash (Staff in Nepal), 12/1/21

    Catherine Pomerans (Staff in South America), 12/20/21

    Eduardo Reveiz, M.D. (Doctor in Colombia), 12/21/21

    Donovan W. Russell (Country Director in Lesotho and Nepal), 12/9/21

     

    AFGHANISTAN

    William L. Shelton (1965–67), 12/15/21

     

    ALBANIA

    Nan Wilder (199697), 12/9/21

     

    BOTSWANA

    Jeffery W. Dailey (199092), 1/3/22

     

    BRAZIL

    Linda L. (Lewis) Laghetto (196466), 12/15/21

     

    COLOMBIA

    John M. Joseph (1963), 12/10/21

     

    DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

    Mary “Molly” E.  Lunsford (198286), 11/26/21

     

    EASTERN CARIBBEAN

    William “Doc” C. Carter (196769), 11/21/21

    Ellen L. Hill (196971), 11/21/21

     

    ECUADOR

    Robert J. Condon (196365), 12/31/21

    Jeffrey B.  Hovermale (199495), 12/29/21

     

    ETHIOPIA

    Rita D. (Donnelly)  Brandhorst (196466), 11/11/21

    Russell  Deihl (197476), 12/23/21

     

    FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA

    Arthur R.C. Mergist (196770), 10/5/21

     

    FIJI

    Louise C.  Bellas (198688), 1/1/22

     

    GHANA

    Thomas P. Mentzer (1981), 11/21/21

    Edward M.  Mialky (196870), 1/5/22

    Penelope M. Roach, Ph.D. (196163), 12/3/21

     

    INDIA

    Jack Kennedy (196668), 1/3/22

     

    INDONESIA

    Nancy L. Null (196365), 11/28/21

     

    IRAN

    Edith “Carol” C. Posey (196466), 12/13/21

     

    JAMAICA

    Dolly S. Klee (198586), 12/5/21

     

    LESOTHO

    Jeanette F. Samter (198084), 12/31/21

     

    LIBERIA

    Susan J. (Miller) Gordon (196264), 12/21/21

    Philip S. Salisbury (196264), 12/21/21

     

    LIBYA

    Edward B. Quinlan (196869), 12/2/21

     

    MOROCCO

    Elizabeth “Betty” J. Douglas (198990), 12/13/21

     

    NIGERIA

    Sonja (Krause) Goodwin (196466), 12/1/21

     

    PARAGUAY

    George F. Scherer (198890), 1/1/22

     

    PHILIPPINES

    Joseph R. Connors (1971), 12/20/21 

    Joseph “Jerry” G. Sheehan (196467), 12/30/21

     

    SIERRA LEONE

    Gabriel “Jack” E. Ashburn III (196567), 10/31/21

    Melinda S. Hutchings (198991), 12/10/21

    David “Skip” K. Smith (196870), 11/23/21

     

    THAILAND

    Julie A. Davis (1976), 12/12/21

    John H. Koehler (196769), 12/13/21

     

    TOGO

    Patricia B. Neu (197172), 12/14/21

     

    TUNISIA

    Brian R. Phillips (197476), 9/10/21

    Evans Shaw (198385), 1/8/22

     

    TURKEY

    Terri L. (Tronstein) Jerry (196869), 12/8/21

     

    UGANDA

    Joan E. (Thomas) (Sanick) Brady (199294), 12/11/21

     

    VENEZUELA

    Ronald M. Bloch (196667), 12/28/21

     

    COUNTRY OF SERVICE NOT SPECIFIED 

    Margaret “Peggy” (Galdston) Frank (Unspecified),  1/3/22

    John M. Hope (Unspecified), 12/1/21

     

     

     

    If you have information you would like to share for our monthly In Memoriam post, please reach out to us at obituary@peacecorpsconnect.org

  • Communications Intern posted an article
    Bill Josephson reflects on two key members of the Peace Corps see more

    Kindred spirits who they helped shape the early years of the Peace Corps

     

    By Bill Josephson

     

    Pictured: Dr. Mahmud Hussain, vice chancellor of Dacca University — one of the host institutions for Peace Corps Volunteers serving in East Pakistan since October 1961 — chats with Peace Corps Representative to Pakistan F. Kingston Berlew of Washington, DC. Photo courtesy Peace Corps

     

    F. Kingston Berlew, a distinguished lawyer, walked into my Peace Corps General Counsel’s office unannounced in 1961 and said that he wanted to join the Peace Corps. He had a wife and children; service as a Volunteer was out.

    King sailed through the talent search with flying colors and went to Pakistan — East and West at that time — as the first Peace Corps director there. We were kindred spirits, and at his request, I conducted the close of service conferences for Pakistan I in both Dhaka and Lahore.

    King then became associate Peace Corps director in charge of selection, training, and overseas support. He later led a career in international business and law and founded the World Law Group, today a network of 21,000 lawyers representing firms in 89 nations. He died in February 2021 at age 90. His brother, David Berlew, was the third Peace Corps director in Ethiopia.

     

    Murray Frank was also a kindred spirit. In the early days of the Peace Corps, the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted full-field investigations of all staff, domestic and foreign. Sarge decided that the Peace Corps should not have an identifiable security office. The task of reviewing investigations that raised issues fell to the general counsel’s office, as did liaison with other intelligence and law enforcement agencies. In Murray’s field, the identified “red flags” were numerous, generally unintended and inconsequential.

    Murray began serving as a field associate Peace Corps director beginning with Nigeria I and was there for three years. He often said it was the most exciting time of his life. He distinguished himself by his concern for and rapport with the Volunteers.

    He was born in 1927 and served in the Pacific during World War II; he went to New York University on the GI Bill. In 1965 he joined the Selma to Montgomery march for voting rights. His long and distinguished career included serving as dean of the College of Public and Community Service and as a fellow of the McCormack Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. We remained close throughout his life, talking on the telephone just a few weeks before he died in January at age 93.

     

    This story appears in the 60th-anniversary edition of WorldView magazine. 
    Story updated January 17, 2022.


    Bill Josephson is the Founding Counsel for the Peace Corps and is co-author of the memorandum “The Towering Task,” which laid out the architecture of the Peace Corps. Read his conversation with Bill Moyers, Joe Kennedy III, and Marieme Foote about the establishment of the Peace Corps in the 60th-anniversary edition of WorldView magazine as well.

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    He served as a U.S. consul in Iran, and in Isfahan witnessed a revolution unfold. see more

    With the Peace Corps, he and his wife helped set up the first high school for girls in the town of Farah. As a diplomat in Iran, he helped evacuate hundreds of U.S. citizens.

     

    Photo courtesy the family of David McGaffey

     

    By NPCA Staff

     

    Born on a farm in Michigan, David McGaffey was 15 years old when he enrolled at the University of Detroit. He studied theater, folklore, psychology, and math, and met his future wife, Elizabeth. They wed and applied to serve as Peace Corps Volunteers in Chile.

    “The Peace Corps looked at my application and said here is somebody who likes mountains,” he recounted, “and called me up and said, ‘How would you like to go to Afghanistan?’”

    The couple served 1964–66 in Baluchistan, setting up a science lab and the first high school for girls in the town of Farah.

    He joined the foreign service and went to Manila. He returned to Afghanistan as an economic officer and saw firsthand the battle for influence between the U.S. and USSR. He served as a U.S. consul in Iran, and in Isfahan witnessed a revolution unfold. He organized evacuations of thousands of Americans.

    He was nearly killed himself while trying to defuse the aftermath of a knife-turned-shooting argument over a shady business deal between a U.S. employee of Bell Helicopter and an Iranian taxi driver. The hotel where they were ensconced was surrounded by a mob of thousands ready to burn the place down, and police refused to intervene. McGaffey enlisted help from mullahs and got them and the American into a car to escape. “But I didn’t get in and was seized by the mob, shot, stabbed, hanged, and had both of my kneecaps broken.”

    McGaffey received an award for heroism.

     

    Operation Assured Response, 1996: David McGaffey, left, was working with the U.S. Embassy in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Here he talks with U.S. Air Force Major Bryan Holt and a reporter while awaiting the arrival of evacuees from Monrovia, Liberia. Photo courtesy Department of State

     

    McGaffey served some months in Tehran with the embassy before departing in fall 1979; 40 days later the embassy was stormed. He served as deputy chief of mission in Guyana and as U.S. representative to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

    He wrote four volumes on diplomacy and a children’s book. He finished a master’s at Harvard’s Kennedy School and a doctorate in international relations at Johns Hopkins. He taught at universities in the U.S., Portugal, and Sierra Leone. He died in April at age 79.

     

    This story appears in the 60th-anniversary edition of WorldView magazine. 

     

  • Orrin Luc posted an article
    He left college at age 19 to join the first group of Volunteers to serve in Colombia see more

    Dennis Grubb left college at age 19 to serve in the Peace Corps in Colombia. And for many in the 1960s, he literally became the face of the Peace Corps.

     

    Students in Colombia with Dennis Grubb, who joined the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers serving communities there. Photo courtesy family of Dennis Grubb

     

    By NPCA Staff

     

    One of the youngest and first Peace Corps Volunteers, Dennis Grubb began serving in Colombia at age 19 in 1961. He was a sophomore at Penn State when President John F. Kennedy mentioned the idea of a Peace Corps; Grubb left school and became part of the first group of Volunteers. It changed his life.

    He trained several hundred future Volunteers, and he literally became the Peace Corps poster boy, his face appearing on a flyer displayed in post offices across the U.S. He served as an aide to Sargent Shriver, who esteemed him “one of the first and one of the best” Volunteers. He was a great advocate for Peace Corps on Capitol Hill.

    Equipped with degrees from the Southern Illinois University School of Law and American University, he went to Tunisia on a Fulbright. His international experience translated to work with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and USAID, introducing reforms in major markets across the world, particularly India.

    He worked in 23 countries and visited 60, promoting peace and understanding. At the center were Peace Corps ideals; he served the community as treasurer of the board of National Peace Corps Association. 

     

     

    If I had a hammer: An early Peace Corps poster featuring Dennis Grubb at work in Colombia. Image courtesy Peace Corps

     

    Dennis Grubb died on October 25. A memorial service was held on November 16 at National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Read more about Dennis Grubb here.

    Contributions in his memory may be made to National Peace Corps Association.

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    After his life was cut short, his wife has carried forward that commitment see more

    After his life was ended far too soon, his wife has carried forward that commitment.

     

    Photo courtesy the family of Jeremy Black

     

    By NPCA Staff

     

    Promoting understanding between peoples was Jerry Black’s life’s work. He served as a Volunteer in the Comoros Islands 1992–94 before completing a degree at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, where he met his wife, Cathy Feingold. They worked together at the Ford Foundation before moving to Washington, D.C., where Jerry worked at the Aspen Institute as the director of MicroTest, a program that gave grants to microenterprise development organizations across the U.S.

    Black and his family lived in the Dominican Republic for several years before returning to D.C. He went to work in the Peace Corps Office of the Inspector General, seeking to ensure that the Peace Corps stays true to its mission. He played guitar and trumpet, was a triathlete and a skier; he took up karate with his two sons.

    On June 29, Jerry and Cathy had dinner together with another couple in the Logan Circle area of Washington, D.C. After their meal, they went for a walk. Minutes later, they heard popping sounds: gunfire, bullets spraying on a crowded street. One shot hit Jerry, killing him. He was 53 years old and committed to nonviolence. To carry forward that commitment, Cathy Feingold created the Jeremy Black Memorial Fund at the TraRon Center, to support local programs for children affected by gun violence in the D.C. area.