In Memoriam

  • Steven Saum posted an article
    She was committed to justice and equality. A film helped the world see her in a new way. see more

    She was committed to justice and equality. And a Peace Corps Volunteer helped the world see her in a new way.

     

    By Steven Boyd Saum

    Photo of Ruth Ginsburg by Steve Petteway, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

     

    “Ruth obviously changed the country, but she did it by convincing people to agree with her, instead of destroying the people who disagreed with her.”

    Those words were spoken two years ago by Daniel Stiepleman — nephew of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court who died yesterday at age 87. 

    Stiepleman helped the world understand Ginsburg in a deeply personal way: He is author of the screenplay for “On the Basis of Sex,” the biographical film released in 2018 that chronicled both her commitment to justice and gender equality and her marriage to attorney Martin Ginsburg, who died in 2010. 

     

    “Ruth obviously changed the country, but she did it by convincing people to agree with her, instead of destroying the people who disagreed with her.”

     

    It was at Martin Ginsburg’s funeral, hearing tributes to his uncle, that Stiepleman understood Marty and Ruth’s life together in a new way. It was also at the funeral that he learned about the one case the couple argued together: Moritz v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, a tax case in an appeals court in 1972. 

    As the Washington Post summarized the case: “The petitioner, Charles E. Moritz, had been denied a deduction for expenses incurred in caring for his invalid mother — a denial based on the assumption that women, not men, would be their parents’ caregivers in old age.” Marty argued the tax side of things; Ruth argued the gender discrimination side. It was, as a character in the film put it, an “opening salvo in a new civil rights war.”

    Stiepleman served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kiribati; it was there that he met fellow Volunteer Jessica Hawley, who worked in public health. And Stiepleman has spoken about how the couple looked to Marty and Ruth as a model for their marriage. Indeed, the associate justice officiated at their wedding in her robes and trademark lace collar. He taught school before embarking on his screenwriting career; she studied medicine and this summer became an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University.

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a relative that Stiepleman mostly knew in his youth through family holidays together — Thanksgiving and Passover. “People would be, like, ‘She changed the world!’ and I always found that really confusing,” he told the  Los Angeles Times. “I’d be, like, ‘Her? Are you sure? She’s so quiet!’”

    A story often told is that a year after Marty’s funeral, Stiepleman proposed to Ruth the idea of writing a film about her. Her response? “If that’s how you want to spend your time.”

     

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Martin Ginsburg, 2009. Photo by Pete Souza

     

    As for Ruth Bader Ginsburg convincing and not destroying: “I love the idea that we could reclaim that sentiment — that we could both try to persuade others and be open to persuasion ourselves,” Stieplemen has said. “As opposed to thinking we know all the answers and we have to destroy anyone who disagrees with us. That ideal is what Ruth reveres about the court and the Constitution.”

    And as for discrimination, in a year in which we mark the centennial of the 19th amendment coming into law, it bears quoting from one of Ginsburg’s opinions for the Supreme Court. Let’s take a 1996 decision that required the Virginia Military Institute to admit women: “Through a century plus three decades and more … women did not count among voters composing ‘We the People’; not until 1920 did women gain a constitutional right to the franchise. And for a half century thereafter, it remained the prevailing doctrine that government, both federal and state, could withhold from women opportunities accorded men so long as any ‘basis in reason’ could be conceived for the discrimination.”

    We honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s commitment to justice and equality. And we in the Peace Corps community share our deepest condolences for her family in this time of sorrow. 

     


    Steven Boyd Saum is the editor of WorldView magazine and director of strategic communications for National Peace Corps Association.

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    We mourn the recent loss of members of our community. see more

    We honor members of the Peace Corps community whom we have recently lost.

     

    Whether in local office, the judiciary, the military, or through civic engagement, members of the Peace Corps community are committed to — in the words of founder Sargent Shriver — “Serve, Serve, Serve!” We recognize and honor the contributions of many of these public servants whom we lost in the recent past.

     

    John Early (1946 – 2020) was a member of the 70th group of Peace Corps Volunteers to serve in India, joining in 1968 after his graduation from Cornell University, and serving until 1972, beyond the standard two years. His family ties to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts would bring him there following service. And, like his longer than average Peace Corps service, Early’s commitment to community and service went far beyond the norm. Living in the town of West Tisbury, Early served on the West Tisbury Board of Selectmen for 30 years. He was a member of the Martha’s Vineyard Commission for 20 years, a volunteer firefighter for 40 years, and president of Island Elderly Housing for 14 years. Not surprisingly, he was honored in 2014, receiving the “Spirit of the Vineyard” award.

     

    Judge Geoffrey "Geoff" P. Morris (1942 – 2020) was born in Yorkshire, England during World War II. His family immigrated to Toronto around 1950. His family moved to Louisville, Kentucky four years later. Geoff attended the University of Louisville (UL), and joined the Peace Corps in 1965 upon graduation. He volunteered as a secondary English and social studies teacher, and coached several sports. Geoff returned home to UL, earning a law degree in 1970. He became a chief trial attorney for the public defenders office and would later join the Commonwealth Attorney’s office as Division Chief. He returned to private practice and became president of the Louisville Bar Association in 1981. Ten years later, he was elected to the circuit court, presiding over trials for 20 years. His many honors and awards included being named Judge of the Year by the Louisville Bar Association in 2009, the Judge Charles Allen Advocate of Fair Criminal Justice Award, and the Bnai Brith Award for organizing students to march on the state capitol of Frankfort with Martin Luther King Jr.

     

    He organized students to march on the state capitol with Martin Luther King Jr. 

     

    Paula Gibson Krimsky (1943 – 2020) graduated with a degree in history from Smith College in 1965. She then joined the Peace Corps, conducting community development work in Chile. Paula worked in the Latin America division of Citibank in New York and at a local bank in Los Angeles. In the mid-1970s Paula joined her husband, George, overseas when he began his work as an international correspondent for the Associated Press. This journey took them first to Soviet Russia (where they were expelled by the Soviet government) and Nicosia, Cyprus during the Lebanese Civil War. They returned to the United States, residing in Rowayton, Connecticut, and eventually Leesburg, Virginia. Paula left her mark in her communities of residence: She helped launch an annual “Trash Bash” in Rowayton, an event that continues four decades later. At the nearby Frederick Gunn School she served as an archivist and educator and launched a Gunn Scholar program to engage students in independent study, using a wealth of primary archival materials found in the school’s basement. In 2017, the school established a new facility called the Paula and George Krimsky Archives. In Leesburg, she helped bring together seven churches of different denominations to create an Easter Passion Play.

     

    Jose Andres “Andy” Chacon (1925 – 2020) served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, surviving the sinking of the USS Ommaney Bay by the Japanese. He returned to service following the war, graduating from West Point in 1951. As an Air Force flying officer during the Korean War, Andy was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, two air medals, and six other awards and decorations. Following the Korean War, he moved to New Mexico, working for 12 years at Sandia Labs. During this period he served as chairman of the Public Welfare Board. He earned a master of arts from the University of New Mexico, and in 1964 took a leave of absence from Sandia to accept a position with the Peace Corps, serving as associate director of the Peru program. Following service, Andy held White House positions in the Johnson and Nixon administrations, including a period as executive director of the President’s Committee on Mexican American Affairs. Andy then went on to work for Atomic Energy Commission and at USAID, where he served as science and technology advisor for all of Central America. He returned to the U.S. in 1981, where he taught management and economics at the undergraduate and graduate levels in New Mexico, Maryland, and Ohio, as well as in Iceland and Bermuda.

     

    Michael Zimmerman (1942 – 2020) imbued in Jewish tradition, engaged in the practice of Tikkun Olam – Healing the World. Joining the Peace Corps and serving in the Philippines was a notable component of that practice. Mike went on to marry and have a daughter; later divorced and came out as gay, while maintaining a loving and engaged relationship as a father and (eventually) as a grandfather. He was a longtime member and officer of the LGBTQ-focused Congregation Sha'ar Zahav. He wrote a play about gay sons of Jewish mothers, and he was thrilled when his grandson Jared had his bar mitzvah. Although trained as a lawyer, he spent most of his professional life as a development director, grant writer, fundraiser, legal consultant, and administrator for numerous cultural, human rights, and environmental protection organizations, including Volunteers in Parole, Friends of the Urban Forest, the Homeless Action Coalition, the Community Music Center and Lamplighters.

     

    He received a Rockefeller Foundation grant to find the students he taught while in the Peace Corps and write about them. That experience resulted in a 1982 article in The New York Times magazine and an essay in his book “Going Up Country.”

     

    Leonard Levitt (1941 – 2020) was born in the Bronx and raised in Long Island. He joined the Peace Corps in Tanzania following his graduation from Dartmouth College. Upon his return he attended and graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Leonard worked for the Associated Press, the Detroit News, and Time Magazine before returning to his hometown to continue his career in journalism over the next five decades. He joined the staff of Newsday and then was hired by the New York Post. Around 1980, he received a Rockefeller Foundation grant to find the students he taught while in the Peace Corps and write about them. That experience resulted in a 1982 article in The New York Times magazine and an essay in his book “Going Up Country.” Leonard is best known for his many years as a police reporter in the greater New York region. His investigative work in southeastern Connecticut contributed to the re-investigation of the murder of Martha Moxley, which led to the conviction and eventual overturning of the verdict against Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel. He wrote several books including “NYPD Confidential: Power and Corruption in the Country’s Greatest Police Force.” Leonard worked at Newsday until the paper closed in 1995. He resumed his regular writing on police issues with his NYPD Confidential blog.

     

     

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

     

    PEACE CORPS STAFF

    Brian Howard Kern, 8/28/20

     

    MULTIPLE COUNTRIES

    Gordon Bremer (Peru 1967-69; El Salvador staff 1970-73), 8/24/20

    John “Jack“ Milon (Malawi; Marshall Islands), 9/3/20

    John Paulas (Morocco 1969-71; Mauritania 1989), 8/21/20

     

    BOLIVIA

    Joyce Moore (1966-68), 8/21/20

     

    BRAZIL

    Kenneth S. Bridgeman, 8/22/20

    Jane R. French Mead (1967-69), 8/23/20

     

    CAMEROON

    Emma Schnurle (2003-05), 8/18/20

    Reuben Serna (mid 1960s), 8/16/20

     

    CHILE

    Paula Krimsky (1965-67), 8/30/20

     

    COLOMBIA

    Elizabeth Novinger, 8/7/20

     

    COSTA RICA

    Karen Marter (1962-64), posted 8/10/20

     

    CZECH REPUBLIC

    Emil Eugene "Gene" Jemail (1996-98), 8/17/20

     

    DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

    Kenneth S. Johnson, 8/27/20

    Gunton “Geer” Wilcox (1963-65), 7/17/20

     

    ECUADOR

    John C. Cheney (1968-70), 9/10/20

     

    ESWATINI (Swaziland)

    James Flannan Browne, 8/11/20

     

    FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA

    Frank Burkett (1986-87), 8/14/20

    Michael Wolf (1975-77), 9/4/20

     

    INDIA

    John Early (1968-72), 9/11/20

     

    KENYA

    Andrea Rime (late 1980s), 8/25/20

     

    MALAYSIA

    Ron Erickson (1966-67), posted 9/1/20

    George E. Peverly, 9/9/20

     

    MALI

    Shawn J. Grady (1993-97), 9/8/20

     

    MOROCCO

    Kay Ostrom (1965-67), 8/18/20

     

    NEPAL

    Laxmi Ji (host country national staff), 9/3/20

    Rev. John D. Lane (1966-68), 8/30/20

     

    NIGERIA

    Margaret R. Blue (1963-65), 8/11/20

    H. John Matthews (late 1960s), 8/26/20

    Norris Wayne Owens, 9/2/20

    John Robert Weed, 9/12/20

     

    PERU

    Jose A. Chacon (staff Mid 1960s), 8/16/20

     

    PHILIPPINES

    Michael Zimmerman (1966-69), 7/20

     

    POLAND

    Stephen Ravosa (1989-91), 7/25/20

     

    SENEGAL

    Thomas Francis Shamrell, 3/12/20

     

    SIERRA LEONE

    Judge Geoffrey P. Morris (1965-67), 9/2/20

     

    SOUTH KOREA

    Charles St. Cyr (1967-69), 8/20/20

     

    TANZANIA

    Felix Karpain (late 1980's),  7/22/20

    Leonard Hugh Levitt (mid 1960's), 5/18/20

     

    THAILAND

    Nancy E. Olsen Ross (1962-64), 6/14/20

    John Tidner (1978-80), 8/31/20

     

    TONGA

    Charles Edgemon, 9/7/20

     

    TUNISIA

    Jerrold William Anderson, 8/18/20

     

    COUNTRY OF SERVICE NOT SPECIFIED

    Cara L. Joe (South America), 8/25/20

    William L. “Larry” Rich, 8/27/20

    Ronald Yasui (South America), 8/23/30.

     


     

    If you have information you would like to share for our monthly In Memoriam post, contact obituary@peacecorpsconnect.org.

  • Steven Saum posted an article
    First director of the Africa Regional Office for Peace Corps — and counselor to Nelson Mandela see more

    By Jonathan Pearson and Steven Boyd Saum
     

    Richard Paul Thornell was only 24 years old when Sargent Shriver and Harris Wofford sent him to Ghana as director of the Peace Corps Africa Regional Office. “For him, it was a lifelong sense of pride,” his son Paul Thornell told the Washington Post. “The Peace Corps is the thing that has lasted, in a meaningful way, longer than other things, and the fact that my dad had a central role in launching it, that meant a lot to him.”

    Yet that was only one of the groundbreaking roles Richard Paul Thornell played. A graduate of Fisk University, he became the second Black graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Along with Peace Corps, Thornell served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Agency for International Development. A law degree from Yale University soon led him to Howard University, where he taught hundreds of future lawyers over a 30-year career. With the end of apartheid in South Africa and the election of Nelson Mandela, Thornell helped launch a partnership between Howard University and South Africa. This partnership included counsel to President Mandela and assistance with a new constitution. 

     

    Enduring commitment: Richard Paul Thornell and wife Carolyn Atkinson. Photos courtesy Paul Thornell

     

    Among his many other contributions, Thornell served on the Board of Trustees at Fisk University, general counsel at Howard, special counsel to the Washington bureau of the NAACP, vice chair and counsel of the board of directors of Africare, and member of the board of directors of the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington.

    He and Carolyn Atkinson Thornell enjoyed nearly half a century of marriage together. He was born in 1936 and died April 28, 2020, at the age of 83 after he contracted COVID-19. The family plans to hold memorial services when people can gather to celebrate his life and legacy.

     

  • Steven Saum posted an article
    He shaped the beginnings of the Peace Corps — and so much more. see more

    He shaped the beginnings of the Peace Corps — and so much more.

    By William Josephson

     

    William F. (Bill) Haddad died on April 30. He was 91. He was the subject of long obituaries in both the Washington Post and New York Times. Bill was an extremely important early Peace Corps person. He created the inspector general position long before inspector generals became ubiquitous in every federal and many state agencies. Bill’s work gave birth to Charlie Peters and his unique Peace Corps evaluation office. Instead of “bean counters,” it employed journalists and lawyers to write down-to-earth evaluations of how well or badly the Peace Corps was doing in each country. 

    Bill’s energy and creativity were extraordinary, literally an idea or a proposed initiative a minute. Unlike many such personalities, Bill’s idea were never flaky, always worthy of consideration. Like many such personalities, Bill was a poor judge of which of his ideas were good and which of his ideas were not. But in his case, that did not matter. The number of ideas worthy of serious consideration far outweighed the number that did not. 

     

    Election night, 1960: William Haddad, right, with John F. Kennedy and family. Photo courtesy Lulie Haddad

     

    Bill served in the Merchant Marine during World War II and attended Columbia University. He joined the staff of Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver and helped secure his nomination for vice president in 1956. He was hired by the New York Post, and his reporting on corruption in the city’s housing program helped bring down power broker Robert Moses. He won the George Polk Award, one of journalism’s highest honors.

    In 1961 he took a leave of absence to help Sargent Shriver form the Peace Corps. For two years he served as associate director and as its first inspector general. He ran for Congress and lost. He was marketing director for iconic DeLorean Motor Co. but left when he learned of financial mismanagement.

     

     

    In the closing years of his career, he worked on efforts to lower costs for generic prescription drugs. A lifesaving drug cocktail for HIV/AIDS patients went from $15,000 a year to $350. That made the drugs more widely available in Africa, saving millions of lives.

     


    William Josephson was Founding Counsel for the U.S. Peace Corps, 1961–66.

  • Steven Saum posted an article
    She and son Gideon had their lives cut tragically short in a boating accident. see more

    By Steven Boyd Saum


    She was a mother and wife and human rights attorney. She was granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy and daughter of David Lee Townsend and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland. She was a woman of boundless energy and an avid advocate for social justice and human rights, with a focus on issues relating to women, girls, and communities affected by HIV/AIDS.

    Her passion to make a difference in the lives of others greatly shaped the remarkable career she established for herself. She served in the Peace Corps in Mozambique, worked with U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, and taught bioethics and human rights at Georgetown University. She worked with the Obama Administration as the first senior advisor for human rights within the U.S. Department of State’s Global AIDS program, at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Global Affairs, and served as executive director of Georgetown University’s Global Health Initiative.

     

    Mother and son: Maeve Kennedy McKean and Gideon. Illustration by Edward Rooks

     

    She was born in 1979 and tragically killed, along with her 8-year-old son Gideon, in a boating accident near a family home in Maryland on April 2. She leaves her husband, David, and children Gabriela and Toby. A virtual memorial was held on April 12, bringing together thousands of people from around the country to celebrate the lives of mother and son.

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    In honor of those who served in Peace Corps and recently passed away. see more

    We mourn the recent deaths of a number of amazing leaders of our Peace Corps community.

    Whether working around the world, in local cities and towns, or within the network of those who served in the Peace Corps, RPCVs and former staff are leaders. 

     

     

    Walter C. Carrington (1930 – 2020) was an early Country Director, serving Peace Corps in that position in Tunisia, Senegal and Sierra Leone between 1961 and 1969. He would then serve as Peace Corps' Regional Director for Africa from 1969-71. But that was just one component of his very illustrious career. He graduated from Harvard College (in 1952) Harvard Law School (in 1955). He founded Harvard’s first chapter of the NAACP. After service in the U.S. Army, Carrington became the youngest-ever member of the Massachusetts  Commission Against Discrimination. His commission work in the late 1950’s included leading an investigation into the racist practices of the Boston Red Sox baseball team which became the last team in the major leagues to break the color barrier on its roster. Not long after this work, Carrington began his work in Africa with Peace Corps.

    Nigerian leaders praised Carrington for his contributions leading to that country’s return to democratic rule.

    Years later he would return to serve as U.S. ambassador to Senegal under President Carter, and ambassador to Nigeria under President Clinton. His service in Nigeria came at a critical time. Carrington spoke for human rights and democracy and against the dictatorial rule of Sani Abacha. He stood down a confrontation when armed police interrupted a reception near the end of his appointment. Nigerian leaders praised Carrington for his contributions leading to that country’s return to democratic rule. He would teach at many institutions of higher learning, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Simmons University, Marquette University and Howard University, where he directed the international affairs department.

     

    Walter Charles Howe Jr. (1934-2020) graduated from Olympia (Washington) High School in 1952 and would later be inducted in the school Hall of Fame. He graduated from the University of Washington, served in the U.S. Air Force, returned to the University of Washington to earn a law degree and began his practice. Howe became a Legal Assistant to Washington Governor Dan Evans and served as State Budget Director 1967–72. In the early 1970s he was appointed by President Nixon as Deputy Director and Acting Director of ACTION, the federal agency at the time responsible for overseeing volunteer programs including Peace Corps.

    He was appointed by President Nixon as Deputy Director and Acting Director of ACTION, the federal agency at the time responsible for overseeing volunteer programs including Peace Corps.

    During his two years in this position he visited Peace Corps Volunteers in Belize, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Nepal and Thailand. In 1974, Howe returned to the Northwest to become President of the Weyerhaeuser Company. In the 1990s, he became President of the Washington Roundtable and later became Counsel of the Gallitan group public relations firm. Howe served on many boards and commissions. He was Chair of Council for Higher Education, the Public Affairs Council and the Association of Washington Business. He was also appointed to the Washington Commission for National and Community Service, as was proud of his twenty year membership with the Rotary Club of Seattle.

     

    Gregory D. Jones (1944-2020) was a tremendous leader and friend of the Peace Corps community. Greg served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nigeria 1966–68. For more than ten years, Greg was president and web designer for the Friends of Nigeria (FON), an NPCA affiliate group. He continued his work with FON up until a week before his death. If that were not enough, there are numerous other testaments that cover the width of Greg’s life. Greg was a scholar athlete, earning a degree from Yale while playing football and lacrosse. Moving to Stow, Massachusetts in 1972, Greg served nine years on the town’s Board of Selectmen. He also served on the town’s Master Plan Committee, School Building Committee and other boards. He helped establish the Stow Housing Authority and served as treasurer for more than 15 years. He also held leadership positions within the First Parish Church of Stow, including Parish Chair, Finance Committee and treasurer.

     

    Susan R. Kuder (1943-2020) was a dedicated community leader. Susan earned a degree in Foreign Languages at Penn State University, a Masters in Linguistics from the University of Michigan and an MBA in Accounting from Babson College in Massachusetts. In 1974, after teaching French and Spanish at Randolph High School for more than a decade, Susan joined the Peace Corps, teaching English and Linguistics at the Universite de Lome in Togo. Her connections with the Peace Corps remained after service. Susan joined the Boston Area RPCVs and served for a period as the group’s President. Susan also served numerous terms on the Parish Committee of First Parish Watertown, Unitarian Universalist Church. She also chaired the church’s social action committee. Her varied commitments to social action also included serving as Chair of World in Watertown, founder and primary organizer of an annual Martin Luther King Day Unity Breakfast, and leader of the Belmont-Watertown Chapter of Amnesty International. She was also an active member of Watertown Welcomes Immigrants and Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment.

     

    Arleen Regina Polite (1962-2020) demonstrated her artistic abilities as a child. After high school in north Florida, Arleen attended St. John Community College. After attending a party with artists, she was accepted into the college’s Florida School of the Arts. After a two-year course, she was accepted and earned a B.F.A. in 1984 from the Atlanta College of Art. Arleen moved to Austin, Texas and found a home among the city’s art community. Her art was featured across Texas, including the Austin Museum of Art, the Dallas Visual Art Center and the San Marcos Art Center. Arleen joined the Peace Corps, serving in the Philippines 1989–90. Beyond her art and Peace Corps service, Arleen became a home health nurse, earning her LPN from First Coast Technical College in St. Augustine College in 2009.

     

    Betty R. Nethaway (1920-2020) fell less than four months short of celebrating her 100th birthday with her son. Betty overcame scarlet fever, the Great Depression, breast cancer and macular degeneration. After a first marriage and the birth of her son, Betty became a reporter and copy editor at the Terrell Texas Tribune. Marrying a fellow journalist, she traveled to numerous cities, ended in Kansas City, Missouri, and participated in school and civic activities. After attending photography school and taking courses at the Kansas City Art Institute, Betty opened and ran Nethaway Studio, where she specialized in studio photography, especially using heavy oils over studio portraits. Soon after her second husband died in 1957, Betty joined the Peace Corps, becoming one of the older volunteers in the early wave of the agency. During her service, she worked with native artists in Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. Following her service, Betty moved to Colorado to study pottery and stained glass.

     

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

     

    PEACE CORPS STAFF

    Nancy Dudley Benson, 5/26/20

    Walter C. Carrington (1961-71), 8/11/20

    Walter Charles Howe Jr. (1971-73), 8/10/20

    Stephen Joseph Loftin, 7/31/20

    Richard McCormack (Puerto Rico Training staff, 1970-72), 7/25/20

    Vivian Ritter (1980's), 8/8/20

     

    MULTIPLE COUNTRIES

    Rose Franke Koch (Nigeria/Ethiopia 1965-67), 7/3/20

    Bronny Julio Paletta (Senegal/Ecuador mid 1970s), 7/14/20

     

    BOLIVIA

    Nancy McLeroy (1969-71), 7/18/20

     

    BRAZIL

    Johanna Kennedy Major (early 1960s), 7/12/20

     

    CHILE

    Martin Ronan (1961-63), 7/30/20

     

    CHINA

    Alex Joseph "AJ" Belshe, 7/16/20

     

    COLOMBIA

    David Belina (mid 1960s), 8/14/20

    Bethany R. Nethaway (early 1960s), 8/10/20

     

    COSTA RICA

    Julia Ann Villalobos (1990s), posted 8/2/20

     

    ECUADOR

    William "Bill" Cinquini (1968-70), 8/5/20

    Dennis "Denny" Shaw (late 1960s), 7/14/20

     

    ETHIOPIA

    Sarah Barnhardt (1968-70), 7/24/20

    James Henry "Jim" Lind, 8/4/20

    Mary Louise Wood (1962-64), 7/16/20

     

    FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA

    Douglas Carlyle Nilson (1966-68), posted 7/26/20

     

    GHANA

    Edward L. Duffy (1966-68), 7/22/20

     

    GUATEMALA

    Jay William Becker, 7/9/20

     

    HONDURAS

    Kathleen Jaqueth-Watson (1988-90), 7/23/20

     

    INDIA

    Dallas S. Lankford IV (1964-66), 6/29/20

     

    IRAN

    Jerome Dean Heltz (1965-69), 7/22/20

     

    JAMAICA

    Carter Hart III, 5/2/20

     

    JORDAN

    Emilie Barnett (2000-02), 7/26/20

     

    LIBERIA

    Bill Barraclough (1965-66), 4/22/19

    Robert "Bob" Mark Monroe, 7/30/20

     

    MALAWI

    Donald J. Krogstad, M.D. (Medical Staff 1973-75), 8/14/20

     

    MALAYSIA

    Francis Clark, 8/5/20

    Doreen Volz Dalman (1978-80), 8/1/20

     

    NEPAL

    Steven "Buck" Million (1970-72), 7/12/20

     

    NIGER

    Thomas Gulick, 7/29/20

     

    NIGERIA

    Gregory D. Jones (1966-68), 8/9/20

     

    PARAGUAY

    Sheila Steckler, 7/29/20

     

    PHILIPPINES

    David Vernon Barnstable (1962-64), 7/22/20

    Kathrin Kudner (1973-75),  7/17/20

    Arleen Regina Polite (1989-90), 7/24/20

     

    ROMANIA

    William Austin (2001-04), 8/2/20

    Donald Laverentz, 8/16/20

     

    SAIPAN (NORTHERN MARIANAS ISLANDS)

    (Richard) Owen Baldwin (1967-69), 7/4/20 

     

    SIERRA LEONE

    Roberta Kaplan (1961-63), 7/10/20

    Josie Kornegay (early 1970s), 8/17/20

     

    SOUTH KOREA

    Donna Kay Inness (1967-69), 7/27/20

     

    TOGO

    Susan R. Kuder (1974-76), 7/22/20

     

    TUNISIA

    Thomas Joseph Zwettler, 7/20/20

     

    ZAMBIA

    Gina Ord (2011-13), 7/27/20

     

    COUNTRY OF SERVICE NOT SPECIFIED

    Robert E. Fleury (1965), 8/3/20

    William Haible (1960s), 6/20/20

    Allen "TC" Edward Jackson, 7/24/20

    Julia Larsen, posted 8/5/20

    John Reigle (early 1970s), 7/20/20

    Juanita "Nita" Creed Thomas, 8/2/20

     


     

     

     

    If you have information you would like to share for our monthly In Memoriam post, contact obituary@peacecorpsconnect.org.

     

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    We honor and remember those from the Peace Corps community who recently passed away. see more

    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:

     

    PEACE CORPS STAFF

    Joy H. Brown, 7/1/20

    Ross Pritchard (1963-68), 7/8/20

    Jess J. Quintero, 7/9/20

     

    MULTIPLE COUNTRIES

    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

     

    ARMENIA

    Robert Wieluns (2004-06), 7/7/20

     

    BRAZIL

    Terrence Timmerman (1976-80), 6/8/20

    Thomas Ventre (1964-67), 7/10/20

     

    BURKINA FASO

    Peter Arnot Mumford (1969-71), 7/5/20

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

     

    COLOMBIA

    Nancy Laws, 7/6/20

     

    COTE D'IVOIRE

    Michael Merenda, 7/17/20

     

    DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

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

    Louis Luini (1964-66), 5/31/20

     

    ESWATINI (FORMERLY SWAZILAND)

    Deryl Alan Frey (1988-90), 7/5/20

     

    ETHIOPIA

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

     

    FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA

    Jimm Crowder (early 1970's), 1/29/20

     

    FIJI

    Renee Ann Wood (1980-82), 7/6/20

     

    THE GAMBIA

    Jessie Jacobs (mid 1980's), 6/2/20

     

    GUATEMALA

    Levi Reginald "Reggie" Moore, 6/29/20

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

     

    HONDURAS

    Claire Margaret Hansen, 5/10/20

     

    INDIA

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

    John Philip Ward (1963-65), 5/2/2020

     

    JAMAICA

    Ruth M. Oliver (1989-91), 6/9/20

     

    KENYA

    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

     

    LIBERIA

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

     

    MALAWI

    David Pierce Johnson, 6/16/20

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

     

    MALAYSIA

    Barbara Kukura (1974-76), 5/15/20

    Marcia Rosentstein (1970-72), 6/21/20

     

    MONGOLIA

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

     

    MOROCCO

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

     

    NEPAL

    Marion "Mimi" Ewens (1962-64), 7/2/20

     

    NIGER

    Michael Meighan, posted 7/12/20

     

    NIGERIA

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

     

    PAKISTAN

    Albert Ray Ambrosio, 6/28/20

     

    PERU

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

     

    PHILIPPINES

    David J. Pierson (1961-62), 6/30/20

     

    POLAND

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

     

    SAMOA

    Regina Diane Leary (1967-69), 5/22/20

     

    SENEGAL

    Dane Michael Ward, 7/5/20

     

    SIERRA LEONE

    Darla Jean Checketts, 6/23/20

    Sandra Clark (1965-67), 7/14/20

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

     

    SOUTH KOREA

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

     

    TOGO

    Grover Davis, 6/19/20

     

    TUNISIA

    Neil Baldwin Lang (1962-64), 6/9/20

    Kathryn Rose Thorn, 6/18/20

     

    TURKEY

    Joyce Marie Davis, 7/4/20

     

    UGANDA

    Lucille Messina, 7/12/20

     

    COUNTRY OF SERVICE NOT SPECIFIED

    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 obituary@peacecorpsconnect.org.

     

     

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    We honor those who served in Peace Corps who recently died. see more

    Among those members of our community who recently passed away, we honor those who excelled in government, politics, education, agriculture, and public and community service.
     

    Mary Ziegenhagen (1936-2020) was born in Illinois, moved to Minnesota, and received training as an accredited medical records technician. Then moved to Washington, D.C. in 1960 to work on the staff of Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy. In 1962, she joined the first Peace Corps staff in the Philippines as an assistant to the director. Mary returned to Washington to work as an assistant for another Minnesotan, Hubert Humphrey, when he served as vice president under Lyndon Johnson. In the late 1960s, Mary accompanied her husband David to Western Samoa when David was named director of that country’s Peace Corps program. Returning to Minnesota, Mary started a community newspaper in her suburban basement. That endeavor grew to a chain of five papers serving seven suburbs of Minneapolis. She also served on the editorial board of the Minneapolis Star. Retiring to Cloverdale, Minnesota, Mary headed the town’s annual fiddle festival for several years. She also served as chair of the board of the town History Center, which included guiding the center through its recent expansion.

     

    Hugh Parmer (1939–2020) spent his public service both in the federal and state level. Born in Fort Worth, Parmer earned an undergraduate degree from Yale and a master’s from the University of Texas-Arlington. He was elected to serve in the Texas state House of Representatives in 1962. He was the youngest among his peers to serve in that body, but would leave the legislature in 1966 to work at Peace Corps headquarters at the time of President Lyndon Johnson. He would also work in the U.S. Commerce Department before returning to Texas. In 1977, at age 38, he was elected to be the youngest mayor of Fort Worth. Parmer also served in the Texas Senate. Once again, he returned to Washington to manage disaster relief efforts as part of the Humanitarian Response Bureau of the U.S. Agency for International Development. After his long career in government, Parmer served six years as president of the American Refugee Committee.

     

    Carolyn Hoke “Jill” Johnson (1941-2020) led a life that included a long career as an educator and a variety of connections with Peace Corps. Born in Minnesota, Jill graduated from Northwestern University and moved to Napa, California to become a teacher. This led to positions with the U.S. Army Special Services working in both Korea and Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Shortly after her marriage to Lane Wolcott Johnson, the couple joined the Peace Corps, serving as volunteers in the Philippines from 1970-72. Returning to the U.S., the couple and their family eventually moved to Shelton, Washington. While there, Jill taught ESL to southeast Asian refugees and worked as a community health educator for Planned Parenthood. In 1989, the family moved to Cameroon. While Lane was hired as Peace Corps’ Medical Officer, Jill worked for the United Nations Development Fund and CARE. Peace Corps would later hire Jill to serve as a training director in Morocco, the Central African Republic and the Solomon Islands. Returning to the U.S., Jill was introduced to storytelling at the National Storytelling Festival. This led to a 20-year career as a storyteller with performances, workshops, and recordings all over the U.S. and world.

     

    Christine Janette Dickson (1950-2020) was known for her work in agriculture. Growing up in Panama, California, Christine was active in 4-H, showing dairy cattle and sheep, winning championships at the Kern County Fair, the California State Fair and the Junior Cow Palace. Christine joined the Peace Corps, serving in Belize in the midst of her agriculture studies at Bakersfield College and Colorado State University. Following her service, she concluded her studies as the only woman in her graduating class of agriculture teachers. Her teaching would bring her back to Bakersfield, where she established a high school agriculture department at North High School. She built this program over the next 35 years. In 2017, she became the first female elected to the California Agricultural Teachers Association Hall of Fame. While she “retired”, Christine continued to teach on a part-time basis. She also served as an Agriculture Teacher Trainer in Haiti through a University of California-Davis project to develop an Agriculture Education Program for high school age students in Haiti.

     

    Gerald “Jerry” Catania (1945-2020) was an influential artist and art educator in southwest Michigan. Born in Chicago, Jerry’s family moved to Stevensville, Michigan when he was five years old. After graduating with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan, Jerry joined the Peace Corps in 1969, serving in Barbados. Following Peace Corps, he was one of 30 students selected to go to Seattle’s Pilchuck Glass School where he was taught by Dale Chihuly. Jerry returned to Michigan where he taught art at the Eau Claire and Benton Harbor schools. He also served as adjunct faculty at Lake Michigan College. In 1985, he earned his master’s degree from Western Michigan University, where he did post-graduate work for three years. Over time, he established several art studios across southwest Michigan, teaching art to numerous students over a 30 year period.

     

    Sharon Rindt (1943-2020) was born in a Japanese internment camp in Arizona. After her release, she earned an undergraduate degree from the University of California-Los Angeles, and a master's in Education from Lewis and Clark College. Sharon later joined the Peace Corps, volunteering in Colombia. After returning from her service, she worked as a teacher in the Portland and Gresham school districts. Along with her work, Sharon was an active volunteer, supporting the Sandy Actor’s Theatre, Days for Girls, League for Women Voters, and the Mazamas.

     

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

     

    PEACE CORPS STAFF

    Patrick J. Harrington, 5/22/20

    Hugh Parmer (1960s), 5/27/20

     

    MULTIPLE COUNTRIES

    Dr. William Cordtz Ph.D. (Belize/Tonga 1980s), 5/10/20

    Jane Frances Hogan (Turkey 1966-67; Malaysia 1967-69)

    Carolyn Hoke Jill Johnson (Philippines 1970-72; Peace Corps Staff Cameroon 1990-91, Morocco 1993, Central African Republic)

     

    AFGHANISTAN

    James A. Keesler (1966-69), 5/22/20

     

    ARMENIA

    Barbara Murray (1994-95), 5/23/20

     

    BARBADOS

    Gerald T. Jerry Catania (1969-71), 5/14/20

     

    BELIZE

    Christine Janette Dickson, 6/8/20

    Susanne Kohrman (1999-2001), 5/21/20

     

    BENIN

    Rhonda Jean Garriott (1981-83), posted 6/16/20

     

    BOLIVIA

    Loretta Allen-Adams, 5/18/20

     

    BOTSWANA

    James Licke (1968-70), 5/26/20

     

    BRAZIL

    David Palmer Everton (1964-66), 5/27/20

     

    COLOMBIA

    Sharon Rindt, 4/1/20

    Donald Worms (1977-81), 6/4/20

     

    ECUADOR

    Timothy Roy Kepple (1992-94), 5/25/20

     

    ESWATINI (SWAZILAND)

    Bill Plypow, 5/1/20

     

    ETHIOPIA

    James Edward Born (1962-64), 4/26/20

     

    FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA

    Stephen J. Glassman (1966-68), 5/19/20

     

    GABON

    Glenn A. Dockham (1994-96), 5/28/20

     

    THE GAMBIA

    Jeffrey Lengyel, 5/19/20

     

    HONDURAS

     Boyd Louis Jack Frost  (1964-66), 6/6/20

     

    INDIA

    James Peter Madden (1965-66), 6/5/20

    Michael Dennis OBrien (1974-76), 6/13/20

    Charles Zumbro (1963-65), 5/28/20

     

    JAMAICA

    Dr. Bhavani Manheim (1996-98),  5/2/20

     

    LESOTHO

    Michael Sealey (1974-76), 5/31/20

     

    MALAYSIA

    William J. Dion, 5/22/20

     

    MOROCCO

    Sophie Klausner Zermuehlen (1983-85), 5/7/20

     

    NEPAL

    Francis Sendrowski, 6/2/20

     

    NIGERIA

    Susanne Albert (1962-64), 5/25/20

    Lowell Hart Fewster (1962-64), 5/28/20

    Howard McClain Jr. (1962-64), 5/13/20

     

    PHILIPPINES

    Mary Ziegenhagen (Staff, 1962-64), 5/2/20

     

    SAMOA

    Gay Maurine George (1978-80), 5/28/20

     

    SOUTH KOREA

    Lisa Susan Lindsey (1974-77), 5/21/20

     

    TOGO

    Daniel Wachspress (1978-80), 5/29/20

     

    TUNISIA

     Michael Allan “Mickey Shelton (1968-70), 5/25/20

     

    TURKEY

    John Prejza Jr. (1965-67), 5/21/20

     

    TURKMENISTAN

    John P. McCall (1993-95), 5/22/20

     

    COUNTRY OF SERVICE NOT SPECIFIED

    Temple Bell, 6/8/20

    Jed Hendee, 5/16/20

    John Lothrop (1965-67), 5/20/20

    William M. Quinn, 6/10/20

    Barbara Mary Reising, 5/21/20

    Diane Lee Schwartz, 5/27/20

     


     

     

     

    If you have information you would like to share for our monthly In Memoriam post, contact obituary@peacecorpsconnect.org.

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    We honor members of the Peace Corps community who recently passed away. see more

    Members of the Peace Corps community who recently passed away include key leaders who were there at the beginning of the agency, and a National Football League executive who helped lead his team to its one and only Super Bowl championship.
     

    William Haddad (1928-2020) was a well-known public figure prior to joining Peace Corps at its inception. After serving in the Merchant Marines during World War II and attending Columbia University, Haddad joined the staff of Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver, and helped secure his nomination for vice president in 1956 on a Democratic ticket led by Adlai Stevenson. In 1957, Haddad was hired by the New York Post, where his reporting on corruption in the city’s housing program contributed to the downfall of Robert Moses and his 40 years as a political power broker. In 1959, Haddad received a George Polk Award, one of journalism’s highest honors. In 1961, Haddad took a leave of absence to help Sargent Shriver form the Peace Corps. For two years, he served as an associate director for the agency and as its first inspector general. After a failed campaign for Congress, Haddad continued to expand his horizons. He was marketing director for the iconic DeLorean automobile, leaving after discovering evidence of financial mismanagement. In the closing years of his career, he worked on efforts to lower the price of prescription drugs.
     

    Richard Paul Thornell (1936-2020) was only 24 years old when Sargent Shriver and Harris Wofford sent him to Ghana as director of the Peace Corps Africa Regional Office. That was only one of the groundbreaking roles Thornell played during his life. A graduate of Fisk University, Thornell became the second black graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Along with Peace Corps, Thornell served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Agency for International Development. A law degree from Yale University soon led Thornell to Howard University, where he taught hundreds of future lawyers over a thirty year career. After the election of Nelson Mandela, Thornell helped launch a partnership between Howard and the nation of South Africa. This partnership included counsel to President Mandela and assistance with a new constitution. Among his many other contributions, Thornell served on the Board of Trustees at Fisk University, general counsel at Howard, special counsel to the Washington bureau of the NAACP, vice chair and counsel of the board of directors of Africare, and member of the board of directors of the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington.
     

    James Edward Blackwell, Ph.D. (1925-2020) was among the first wave of Peace Corps staff to venture to Africa, serving as Acting Country Director of Tanzania from 1963 to 1964, Country Director of Malawi from 1964 to 1966, and directing a major USAID program in Nepal from 1966 to 1969. In Malawi, he was responsible for 265 Peace Corps Volunteers who worked as teachers, public health personnel, agricultural extension, and community development cadre throughout the country. A prolific writer and researcher in sociology, he wrote groundbreaking books including The Black Community: Diversity and Unity and Mainstreaming Outsiders: The Production of Black Professionals. A long-time professor and chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Boston (1970-1989), he became the first president of the Association of Black Sociologists, and a major consultant to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and to the Office of the Attorney General for the State of Maryland defending affirmative action programs in higher education. His collected notes and publications are maintained at the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University.  He was the devoted husband to Myrtle Dapremont Blackwell, the “wind beneath his wings,” his constant travel companion and life partner for 53 years, who predeceased him in 2016.
     

    Michael McCaskey (1943-2020), the grandson of the legendary George Halas, died on May 16. McCaskey succeeded his grandfather, and helped lead the Chicago Bears professional football team for nearly 30 years. McCaskey became President and CEO of the Bears from 1983 through 1999. The team’s success included the Bears’ one and only Super Bowl championship in the 1985 season. That season, his peers voted McCaskey as NFL Executive of the Year. From 1999 to 2011, McCaskey transitioned to the role of Chairman of the Board for the team. After graduating from Yale University in 1965, McCaskey served for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia. In 2005, McCaskey co-founded the Bears’ charitable organization, which has donated more than $21 million to approximately 100 organizations in greater Chicago in support of education, youth athletics, medicine, and health awareness.
     

    Judith Schlick Pryor (1934-2020) graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1956. Her career included work as a second grade teacher, a corporate trainer, a toy saleswoman, a real estate agent, and a spiritual director. Judith joined Peace Corps service – at age 60 – in Poland in the mid 1990s. At age 70, she earned a master’s degree from St. Catherine University. Judith was an Ignatian Associate and a Master Gardener. She assisted many members of Alcoholics Anonymous over 46 years. She was also active in the Twin City Opera Guild, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Schubert Club, and various women’s groups.
     

    Carol Ann Murphy (1928-2020) was born, raised, and educated in San Francisco, attaining a master’s of arts in education from San Francisco State University. She spent much of her career working abroad for the U.S. Army’s Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Program. While the program was stationed in Seoul, South Korea, Carol also had assignments in France, Germany, and Vietnam. Carol’s service continued stateside, with assignments in Texas, Virginia, and California. It was after her many years of working with the Army, that Carol joined the Peace Corps. She was assigned to Belize, where she helped to run an education center for teachers.

     

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

     

    PEACE CORPS STAFF

    James Edward Blackwell, Ph.D. (Tanzania 1963-64; Malawi 1964-66), 1/16/20

    William Haddad (early 1960s), 4/30/20

    Jay Katzen (2000s), 4/9/20

    Richard MacKay, (1990s) 3/26/20

    John Scales, 4/14/20

     

    MULTIPLE COUNTRIES

    Robert Klinger (Turkey; Venezuela), 4/29/20

    George H. Petrides Sr. (Nigeria 1966-67; Botswana 1967-69; Staff 1970-75), 3/6/20

    Richard Nelson Sanders (Colombia 1966-69; Belize 2003; Guatemala 2006), 4/28/20

     

    BANGLADESH

    Duane Dill (1962-64), 4/30/20

     

    BELIZE

    Carol Ann Murphy (1985-88), 5/10/20

     

    BOTSWANA

    Jacqueline Holland, posted 5/7/20

     

    BRAZIL

    William Harrison (1963-64), 4/30/20

    Ann C. Hoskins (1962-64), 4/28/20

    John F. Santos (staff), 5/3/20

     

    COLOMBIA

    William Andrew Most (1978), 5/8/20

    Eugene Roberts Jr. (1964-66), 4/18/20

     

    CYPRUS

    Burton Swanson (1962-64), 4/23/20

     

    DOMINICA

    Barbara Anne (Bell) Goebel (1980-83), 4/21/20

     

    ESWATINI (SWAZILAND)

    Vincent Jerome McCoy (1977-79), 4/12/20

    Michael Joseph Sturm (1970-72), 4/20/20

     

    ETHIOPIA

    Francis Joseph Drejer, 4/22/20

    Michael B. McCaskey (1965-67), 5/16/20

     

    FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA

    Kirk Lamond Gray (1970-71), 5/12/20

     

    FIJI

    Paul W. Celuzza (1968-71), 5/13/20

    Frances Herietta "Tootie" Wesselmann, posted 4/25/20

     

    GUATEMALA

    John Keyes (1990-92), 4/19/20

     

    HAITI

    Shirley J. Pollay (1998), 5/12/20

     

    HONDURAS

    Ann Marie Smith (1967-69), 4/26/20

     

    INDIA

    James Brandt Elston, 5/2/20

     

    IRAN

    Janice Door (1966-68), 4/20/20

     

    JAMAICA

    Donald Clifford Arneson (1989), 4/18/20

    Johanna Timpson, 5/5/20

     

    KIRIBATI

    Ronald P. Fattibene, 4/26/20

     

    LIBERIA

    William O. Weigle (1971-72), 5/5/20

     

    MALAYSIA

    Victor P. Buzdon, 4/23/20

    Robert Reece Highfill (1964-66), 4/22/20

     

    MOROCCO

    Rosemary L. Andrews, 5/16/20

    Susan Kelley-Almeida (1986-88), 5/11/20

    Norm McCarthy, 5/10/20

    Cornelia Schlotter (1963-65), 4/26/20

     

    NIGERIA

    Arlene Foy Reynolds (1966-68), 4/23/20

    Donald Scharfe (1963-65), 4/30/20

     

    PHILIPPINES

    Charles Frederick Dey (Country Director) 1962, 4/16/20

    John J. Larsen (1967-69), 4/28/20

    Erma Anne Perri, 5/2/20

     

    POLAND

    Judith Schlick Pryor (1994-96), 5/4/20

     

    PERU

    John D. Owen (1962-64), 5/10/20

     

    SAMOA

    Paul Wayne Kidwell (1980s), 4/23/20

     

    SIERRA LEONE

    Frans Koning (1962-63), 4/27/20

     

    SOLOMON ISLANDS

    Vera Viola Moore Miller (1991-93), 5/7/20

     

    SOUTH KOREA

    John Z. Leon, 4/22/20

     

    THE GAMBIA

    Gertrude Crites (1986-88), 4/20/20

     

    TUNISIA

    Walter Sherrill Crowe (1974-78), 4/18/20

     

    TURKEY

    Richard Evan Cone (1964-66), 4/3/20

     

    ZAIRE

    Peter H. Wright (1976-78), 5/5/20

     

    COUNTRY OF SERVICE NOT SPECIFIED

    Roger Condon Allen, 4/4/20

    Lynne Culbertson, 5/15/20

     

     

     

     

    If you have information you would like to share for our monthly In Memoriam post, contact obituary@peacecorpsconnect.org.

  • Jade Colter posted an article
    Remembering those who recently passed away. see more

    The tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic has reached the Peace Corps community with the virus reported to have contributed to several deaths, including Art Whistler (Samoa), David Gelman (former staff), and Gary Baptist (Ghana). Tragedy struck in other ways recently. We remember those who fought for social justice, human rights, and the needs of others close to home and around the world.

     

    Maeve Kennedy McKean (1979-2020), the granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy, lost her life in a boating accident near a family home in Maryland. Maeve was an avid advocate for social justice and human rights, with a focus on issues relating to women, girls, and communities affected by HIV/AIDS. Her passion to make a difference in the lives of others greatly shaped the remarkable career she established for herself. She served in the Peace Corps in Mozambique, worked with U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, and taught bioethics and human rights at Georgetown University. In addition, Maeve worked with the Obama Administration as the first Senior Advisor for Human Rights within the U.S. Department of State’s Global AIDS program, at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Global Affairs, and served as Executive Director of Georgetown University’s Global Health Initiative.

     

    Robert Alan Smith (1945-2020) was among the first wave of Peace Corps Volunteers to be assigned to the Ivory Coast (now Cote D'Ivoire). During his service, he taught health education, sanitation, and water resource management in rural villages. After Peace Corps, he created a summer camp in the British West Indies called Society of Friends. Taking up a career in consulting for healthcare administration, he later founded Susquehanna American and National Healthcare Inc., which provides services to personal care facilities and nursing homes.

     

    Lois Ilene Hurley (1930-2020) served her community in Iowa by being an active mentor for youth groups (through church and Girl Scouts) and managing a vet clinic. After retiring, she and her husband volunteered with the Peace Corps and served in Morocco in 1991. They spent time in Kenya assisting the local people with replenishing livestock lost in a drought, and in Mongolia they ran a clinic to provide young veterinary students with hands-on learning.

     

    Carroll J. Bouchard (1939-2020) was a leader of Peace Corps programs in Africa for a decade. A graduate of the University of Maine, Carroll’s first job out of college was as a high school teacher. Carroll joined the executive staff at Jaycees International (JCI), and eventually became Secretary General of JCI. Under his leadership, the organization grew to 600,000 members in over 100 countries. In 1981, Carroll joined Peace Corps. Over the next ten years, he served as Country Director in Burkina Faso, Country Director of Senegal, and Regional Director of Africa Programs.

     

    Karen Ann Kelleher (1948–2020) was born and raised in Washington state, earned a Mathematics degree from Washington State University, and then joined the Peace Corps, serving for three years in Sierra Leone. Karen’s business career culminated with her appointment as Vice President of Financial Investing with Conning Investments. Karen volunteered in her community in many ways. She was a Regent at the University of Hartford and served on the Board of the Hartford Art School. She held several leadership positions with the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. She served three terms as a Trustee of the Colt Bequest where she served on the Finance and Investment committees.

     

    Thomas Edward Wells (1954-2020) and his wife Lucy joined the Peace Corps and served together in South Korea, working in public health. Following their service, the couple continued their international travel and spent time teaching at schools in Colombia and Guatemala.

     

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

     

    PEACE CORPS STAFF

    Carroll J. Bouchard, 4/16/20

    Richard L. Brunker, 3/30/20

    Linda D'Alonzo Martin, 4/20/20

    Monroe Gunn McKay, 3/28/20

    Bradley H. Patterson Jr., 3/19/20

    Raymond French Randolph, 3/12/20

     

    MULTIPLE COUNTRIES

    Elaine Lamski (Nigeria 1966-67; Chad 1967-68), 1/27/20

     

    AFGHANISTAN

    Carol Ann Koslofsky, 3/17/20

     

    AFRICA

    Patrick J. McDonald, 4/6/20

     

    BELIZE

    Geraldine Joan Perkins,  3/21/20

     

    BRAZIL

    Dave Seaton, 4/18/20

     

    CAMEROON

    Art Sherin (1964-66), 4/1/20

     

    COSTA RICA

    Alma Virginia Shaffer Connally (1960s), 3/27/20

     

    COTE D'IVOIRE

    Robert Alan Smith (1965-67), 4/4/20

     

    DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

    Frank J. Ferrari (1964-66), 4/1/2020

    Janice Zalewski, posted 3/22/20

     

    ECUADOR

    Nicholas Graves (1965-67), 4/3/20

     

    ETHIOPIA

    Caroline Amundson, 3/18/20

    Karen Marie Glover (mid/late 2000s), 11/27/19

    Peter A. Winkel (1960s), 4/18/20

     

    GHANA

    Gary J. Baptist, 4/3/20

     

    HONDURAS

    Carla Hodgdon (1967-69), 4/20/19

     

    JAMAICA

    Richard L. Mears, 3/30/20

     

    KENYA

    Scott Gillam (1966-68), 3/23/20

     

    LIBERIA

    Charles Thomas Kowaleski (1980-82), 3/23/20

    Charles R. Stuart (1963-65), 4/7/20

    George L. Wirkkula (1963-56), 4/14/20

     

    MARSHALL ISLANDS

    David M. Nelson (1985-87), 4/20/20

     

    MOROCCO

    Lois Hurley (1991-93), 3/21/20

     

    NEPAL

    Lillian M. Durfee (1991-93), 3/19/20

     

    NIGER

    James Schneider (1964-66), 3/17/20

     

    NIGERIA

    Frank Tilden Boesel, 4/1/20

    Joan Marie Porter (1963-65), 4/5/20

     

    PAPUA NEW GUINEA

    William Phillips Haessly (1990's), 4/7/20

    Barbara T. Lamb (1992-93), 4/1/20

     

    PHILIPPINES

    Steven Thomas Syfert (mid-1960's), 3/31/20

     

    SAMOA

    Jerry Clark Packard, 4/1/20

    Art Whistler, 4/2/20

     

    SOUTH KOREA

    Thomas Edward Wells, 3/26/20

     

    SIERRA LEONE

    Karen Ann Kelleher (1970s), 3/18/20

     

    THAILAND

    Fred Dorn (1965-67), 12/25/19

    Obert Henry Fittje 3/22/20

    Peter Koret (1984-86), 4/9/20

    Sheila B. Mengoni (1962-64), 3/5/20

     

    TURKEY

    Wing Barfoot, 2/6/20

     

    UKRAINE

    Margie Cranford Shuler, 3/28/20

     

    VENEZUELA

    Rod Buchignani (1960s), 3/18/20

     

    COUNTRY OF SERVICE NOT SPECIFIED

    David Clare Addison, 3/30/20

    Russell James Elliott, 4/12/20

    Lucian D. LiPera, 4/4/20

     

     


    If you have information you would like to share for our monthly In Memoriam post, contact obituary@peacecorpsconnect.org.

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    We honor those who served in Peace Corps and recently passed away. see more

    We honor and remember our community members who recently passed away for their unending commitment to peace, justice, and the greater good.

     

    Joseph C. Kennedy (1926-2019) became a part of Peace Corps leadership during the agency’s first decade. He served as Sierra Leone country director from 1967-70, as deputy director for Africa, as regional director for East Africa, and the Pacific. In 1971, Joseph joined another Peace Corps pioneer, C. Payne Lucas, who co-founded Africare. Joseph served as vice president and director of development. When he retired in 1999, $400 million had been distributed to 27 nations to combat drought and famine, support agricultural development and environmental protection, and provide AIDS relief.

     

    Judge David Douglas Kerman's (1944 – 2019) passion and commitment to the law spanned a half-century, since he graduated from the Syracuse University School of Law in 1972. That same year, Judge Kerman married Jura Strimaitis. They met during their Peace Corps service in Turkey in the mid-1960's. They moved to Massachusetts when Kerman took a position as Director of Neighborhood Legal Services in Lynn. Combined with similar work in Syracuse, he worked in legal services for twenty years. In 1990, Governor Michael Dukakis appointed Judge Kerman to the newly-created Northeast Housing Court in Lawrence. He was on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. He also coached students at Lynn Classical High School in the Massachusetts Bar Association’s annual mock trial competition. As a testament to his good work, though required by Massachusetts law to retire at age 70, Judge Kerman was recalled by the state Supreme Judicial Court, and continued his work as a Housing Court Judge for an additional five years.

     

    Lawrence Fabacher (1947-2020) became a Peace Corps Volunteer soon after graduating from the University of Southwestern Louisiana. After Peace Corps, he attended law school at Tulane University. He would remain in New Orleans for the next 40 years, practicing law and specializing in immigration and nationality law. Lawrence became an adjunct faculty member at Tulane, a position he would hold for 25 years. He is credited for implementing immigration curriculum at the law school. In 1996, he was the recipient of the Monte Lehman Distinguished Teaching Award. Lawrence also taught immigration law in Mexico during the summers as a faculty member for Loyola Law School. Lawrence was a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. He was also a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

     

    Bonnie Knight Graves's (1932-2020) two years of Peace Corps service in Romania were not enough. She also volunteered with Americorps, Global Volunteers, and Cross-Cultural Solutions. Bonnie was a graduate of Carthage College and later obtained a masters degree from New York University. Her first venture overseas was with her husband Ted, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate who was stationed at military bases in the U.S. and Japan for twenty years. No matter where she was located, Bonnie would play the piano and organ at church services, an activity she began at age sixteen.

     

    Lyndell (Hopkins) Edgemon (1943-2020) was very active in her community, running several businesses, organizing a city tennis tournament, and playing an active role in the lives of her three sons. After their children had grown, Lyndell and her husband Charlie moved from their west Texas farm to the Kingdom of Tonga, where they served as Peace Corps Volunteers. They then spent four years in Volkov, Russia, creating an agricultural coop with twenty Russian farmers. Upon returning to the U.S., Lyndell was hired by the Census Bureau. She would close out her career at the Bureau twenty years later. In 2015, she received the National Census Award of Excellence.

     

    Bastiaan Schouten (1942-2020) dedicated career to public service occurred because of a decision made when he was seven years old. Bastiaan’s family made the decision to emigrate from The Netherlands to the United States, settling in Portland, Oregon in 1950. Bastiaan became a U.S. citizen at age 18, and later earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Lewis and Clark University. He also earned additional master’s degrees from the University of California in 1967 and from the National Defense University in 1989. Bastiaan married his wife Priscilla in 1967, and together they joined the Peace Corps, serving for two years in Honduras. That first step towards public service culminated with a 31-year career with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Along with Honduras, Bastiaan was stationed with USAID in Bolivia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Jordan. He returned to Washington to head the agency’s Office for Development Planning in the Latin America and Caribbean Bureau. Among his many achievements, Bastiaan was deeply involved in efforts leading to significant poverty reduction in Costa Rica and the transformation of the country into a model of export-led growth and eco-tourism.

      

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

     

    PEACE CORPS STAFF

    Gene H. Brown, 1/22/20

    Arlene Favaregh (PCMO 16 years in various African countries), 1/17/20

    Joseph C. Kennedy (Sierra Leone Country Director 1967-70; DC HQ Staff), 12/7/19

    Richard J. Krausz, 1/31/20

    Allen Scott Lowe, 1/20/20

    Thomas Reynolds (Costa Rica; USA), 1/7/20

    Herbert L. Tyson, 12/4/19

     

    MULTIPLE COUNTRIES

    Elaine Lamski (Nigeria 1966-67; Chad 1967-68), 1/27/20

    Paul J. McPeck (Vanuatu 1994-97; Morocco 2001-02), 12/29/19

    Jeffrey Scott Watson (Korea/Philippines late 70's, early 80's), 12/30/19

    David Ziegenhagen (Thailand/Philippines/Samoa Country Director/U.S. Staff), 1/29/20

     

    BOLIVIA

    Constance B. Weeks (1966-68), 1/21/20

     

    BRAZIL

    Robert Charles Booth (1967-69), 2/3/20

     

    COLOMBIA

    Lawrence B. Fabacher, 1/21/20

    David J. Hayden, 1/25/20

     

    ECUADOR

    John M. "Mike" Daley (1963-65), 1/27/20

    Edward Whalen (1963-65), 1/9/20

     

    ETHIOPIA

    Julie Jordan Drennan (Staff Nurse 1963-66), 1/17/20

     

    FIJI

    Robert J. "Rob" Cary Jr. (1979-81), 1/27/20

    Robert G. "Scotty" Scotton (1980-82), 1/19/19

     

    GABON

    Donald Herbert Reighard (1963-65), 2/2/20

     

    GHANA

    Norman Oswald, 1/15/20

     

    GRENADA

    Marian Elaine (Cook) Fittje (1975), 2/1/20

     

    HONDURAS

    Bastiaan Schouten (1967-69), 1/24/20

     

    INDIA

    Wallace Coe (1968-69), 1/24/20

     

    KENYA

    George U. "Bud" Paulding III (1964-66), 2/5/20

     

    LESOTHO

    John Christy McCoy, 1/2/20

     

    LIBERIA

    Irvin Bieser Jr. (1966-69), 2/6/20

     

    MALAWI

    John E. Sasman, 10/24/19

     

    MICRONESIA

    Kelly B. Raynolds (1967-69), 1/24/20

     

    NIGER

    Geoffrey Robert Geurts (1992-95), 1/12/20

     

    NIGERIA

    Noval. B. Abraham (1962-64), 2/14/20

    M. Sherrin Langeler (1966), 2/8/20

     

    PANAMA

    Marvin Gerstein (1966-68), 2/17/20

     

    PAPUA NEW GUINEA

    Jim Foley, posted 2/19/20

     

    PARAGUAY

    Gwendolyn Pierce, 1/30/20

     

    PERU

    Richard Lee "Dick" Rossignol (1965-68), 1/31/20

     

    PHILIPPINES

    Ronald Allan Laux (1963-65), 1/27/20

     

    ROMANIA

    Bonnie Knight Graves (1992-93), 2/8/20

     

    SIERRA LEONE

    Fred Ligon (1968-70)

     

    TANZANIA

    Earl Mason Brown Jr. (1964-66), 10/9/19

     

    TONGA

    Lyndell (Hopkins) Edgemon, 2/8/20

     

    TURKEY

    John George Bordie, 1/23/20

    Judge David Douglas Kerman (1965-67), 11/17/19

    Kenneth Andrew Marion (1965-67), 3/3/19

     

    COUNTRY OF SERVICE NOT SPECIFIED

    Claude MacMillan, 1/19/20

    Eugenia Schuller (served in Central America), 1/24/20

    Phillip M. Wasylean II (served in South America), 1963-65

    Edward J. Woods, 1/22/20

    Kay Woods, 1/27/20

    Edward Francis Yacovone, 1/19/20

     

     

     

     

    If you have information you would like to share for our monthly In Memoriam post, contact obituary@peacecorpsconnect.org.

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

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    We honor and remember those who served our nation with the Peace Corps see more

    We honor the lives of individuals whose service to their communities far outlived their Peace Corps service. We celebrate the work and legacies of these remarkable individuals who inspired their communities at home and abroad.

     

    Shanna (Urness) Baggaley (1937-2020) was part of the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers to serve in Thailand in 1961. She taught ESL through adult learning both in service and following her return to northern California. She continued her service to her community by working as the assistant director of a county department, Community Partnership Agency, that facilitated training and educational programs. She was a panelist within the Neighborhood Court in addition to working and volunteering with the Court Appointed Special Advocate program for foster kids. Shanna’s accomplishments directly within her community include her active participation in the Woodland United Methodist Church; organizing the first Woodland Christmas basket program and several subsequent programs and was the first woman president of the Woodland Kiwanis club; served on the United Way Board for six years; participated in the Make-a-Wish program; delivered Meals on Wheels for many years; and tutored several students through the Literacy Council at the jail and at the library up until just a few weeks before her passing. She also spent time abroad volunteering and participating in missions in Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, Cuba, and India.

     

    Virginia T. Battle (1922-2020) was a trailblazer in her professional career and maintained a love for politics until her passing earlier this year. She served as Executive Secretary for a then Massachusetts Congressman, John F. Kennedy. She would eventually follow JFK to the White House. She continued her legacy by making great impacts through her work in the federal government, under cabinet officials, in the state department, and in the Peace Corps as the Executive Secretary for Sargent Shriver.

     

    Susan Severtson (1943-2020) taught English and Domestic Science as a Sierra Leone Peace Corps Volunteer in the mid-1960s. She also assisted the Minister of Culture in the compilation of a National Dance Troupe, working as a costume consultant. A trained librarian (University of Chicago), Susan worked in the field for thirty years. She spent eight years as President of Chadwyck-Healey academic publishers, and has compiled over 30 major academic collections and databases. Her experience in administration, sales, marketing, and editorial activities in the electronic publishing business provided her with an insight to the technical challenges of curatorial work in the arts and design field as well as a good grasp of the world of design information dissemination. She spent two years working with Documents Compass, a non-profit organization, established with the purpose of providing guidance to documentary editors entering the digital age. In partnership with her husband, she has established the Design Information Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a database/portal which will identify, archive and make freely available resources for the study and practice of design in multiple disciplines. Recently applying her skills to the Peace Corps community, Susan served on the leadership team of the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience.

     

    Gary David Crawford (1942-2020) taught high school English for several years after college before serving in the Peace Corps on the island of Yap in Western Micronesia, where he taught elementary English from 1965-68. Following his Peace Corps service, he became a language coordinator for the Yap government and spent many years training individuals in island countries within the Western Pacific until 1977. His career at the Foreign Service Institute of Washington, DC began in 1979, where he spent time identifying and implementing techniques to assist diplomatic personnel in learning languages. In 1997, Gary retired from his position as Associate Dean of the institute. Developing a passion for waterman culture, he and his wife Susan opened Crawford Nautical Books, a bookstore focusing on all things related to water. He regularly contributed to the Tidewater Times, published a local newsletter known as the Island Flyer, and became a frequent volunteer with Phillips Wharf Environment Center.

     

    Jerry Gabay (1944-2020) attended Stanford University before serving in the Vietnam War as an officer of the United States Coast Guard. Following his military service, Jerry attended the University of Oregon, where he earned his law degree and served as a public defender before joining the Peace Corps in 1984. He completed service in Malawi, Africa where he taught French, History, and coached basketball. Upon returning to the United States, Jerry obtained his teaching certificate and further continued his passions for teaching. He remained a dedicated social justice advocate, spending six months in Antigua, Guatemala volunteering with a social and health clinic in 2002-2003. Though he retired from his teaching career in 2008, his love for travel inspired him to teach English in Slovakia, Ecuador, and Spain. Following the loss of his daughter to mental illness, he became a major promoter of suicide prevention and mental illness awareness for youth and families.

     

    Ervin Henry Hoffart (1924-2020) passed away at the age of 95 years old after enjoying an enriching life of service. Prior to attaining both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from the University of Nebraska, Ervin served in the Navy during WWII. In his extensive career working in teaching and development, he worked on the PSSC Physics program at MIT and made great contributions to the subsequent textbook that was used in high schools during and beyond the 1960s. His passion for teaching and science education led him to serve in the Peace Corps in Dominica and AID in Ethiopia in the 1990s.

     

    Gerry Bernard Thiemann (1958-2020) fulfilled his Peace Corps service in Costa Rica from 1983-1985 where he put his economic knowledge to use by creating the first avocado tree nurseries in the area which have developed into thousands of trees that have produced sales all over Central America. In addition to this wonderful agricultural contribution, he also took the time to raise funds to build a women-owned and operated bakery. In 1989, he and his wife Carmen were the founders of the Conversa Language School which has provided translation services to medical clinics and businesses in diverse markets, as well as teaching young scholars valuable language skills to help them attain good jobs. An active golfer, Gerry continued to contribute to his community by frequently hosting charity golf tournaments. 

     

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

     

    PEACE CORPS STAFF

    Virginia T. Battle, 1/18/20

    Barbara Boyd, 2/9/20

     

    MULTIPLE COUNTRIES

    Paul Allen Liebman (Sri Lanka; Liberia 1969-70), 3/14/20

    Kathleen Ann Lumbra (Panama; Dominican Republic), 2/25/20

    Yolanda Gail Mitts (Libya 1969; Thailand 1970-72), 2/16/20

     

    BOLIVIA

    Lance Russell Haddon (1967-69), 2/16/20

     

    BRAZIL

    Richard M. "Dick" Geary, 2/17/20

    Beverly Johnson (1967-69), 2/24/20

    Edna O'Connor, 3/12/20

     

    COLOMBIA

    Roland Intrator, 2/29/20

     

    COSTA RICA

    Jeffrey Clyde Evans, 3/3/20

    Gerry Bernard Thiemann (1983-85), 2/19/20

     

    DOMINICA

    Ervin Henry Hoffart (1993-95), 3/17/20

     

    DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

    Gerald Schmiedicke, 3/13/20

     

    ECUADOR

    Gerald Giedd (1966-69), 2/28/20 

     

    ETHIOPIA

    Ernest Russell Franz (1971-74), 3/21/20

    Sean Philip Wilson, 2/28/2020

     

    GUATEMALA

    Thomas N. Dzaugis (1980-82), 3/3/20

     

    HONDURAS

    Nicholas Willis Howes, (1966-69), 2/23/20

     

    INDIA

    Langdon Phillips Williams Jr. (1963-66), 2/13/20 

     

    IRAN

    Andre Houston, 3/5/20

     

    JAMAICA

    Montreal Collins Farve (1993-95), 2020

    Monica Schliep, 2/15/20

     

    KENYA 

    Carole Jo "Toni" Friesen (1974), 3/7/20

    Carol J. Page (1972-75), 3/14/20

     

    KOREA

    Lee J. Vaughan (1964-67), 2/29/20

     

    LESOTHO

    Hazel E. Wagner, 3/18/20

     

    LIBERIA

    Joan P. Donoghue (1963-66), 2/14/20

     

    MICRONESIA

    Gary David Crawford (1965-68), 3/5/20

    Lee Huddleston, 2/24/20

     

    MOROCCO

    Jeffrey A. Dodge, 3/12/20

     

    MALAWI

    Jerry Gabay (1984-86), 3/14/20

     

    NIGERIA

    Diane M. Leach (1966-68), 3/2/20

     

    PAPUA NEW GUINEA

    Lee A. Robertson, 2/22/20

     

    PERU

    Lynn A. Mead, 3/4/20

     

    SAINT VINCENT & THE GRENADINES

    Elizabeth A. Stephens, 2/29/20

     

    SIERRA LEONE

    Nathan Edward Lindgren, 2/25/20

    Susan M.Q. Severtson (1964-66), 3/13/20

     

    THAILAND

    Shanna Urness Baggaley (1961-63), 2020 

     

    TOGO

    Natasha Ott (2007-09), 3/24/20

     

    TONGA

    Rodney McGrath, 3/12/20

     

    TUNISIA 

    Rosemary Ellen Stock (1963-65), 3/1/20

    Martin Tenney (1968-70), Fall 2019

     

    TURKEY

    Judith Ellen Rusnock Jenkins (1964-66), Feb/20

     

    UKRAINE

    William P. Zasoba (2003-04), 2/10/2020

     

    COUNTRY OF SERVICE NOT SPECIFIED

    Paula Antoinette Bambic, 6/11/19

    Jeanne Gerritsen, 3/8/20

    Edmond James Roth (Africa 1980), 3/7/20

    Michael Earl Rutherford, 3/14/20

    William Scott Tyson (Africa 1970's), 3/1/20

    Suzanne Cathryn Willsey, 2/29/20

     

     

     

    If you have information you would like to share for our monthly In Memoriam post, contact obituary@peacecorpsconnect.org.

    Thanks to Jade Colter for assistance in preparing this month's In Memoriam page. 

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    We remember those within the Peace Corps community who recently passed away. see more

     Whether through the State Department, Radio Free Asia, FEMA, or the Department of Agriculture, Peace Corps was a springboard for continued service to our nation among a number of distinguished individuals we lost in recent weeks.

     

    Peace Corps Volunteer. Diplomat. Friend and supporter of the National Peace Corps Association. Service on the NPCA Board of Directors was just one of the boards Darryl Norman Johnson (1938 -2018) served on, following a long and distinguished career in the foreign service. Darryl's formal education took him across the country, from the University of Puget Sound, University of Washington, to the University of Minnesota, to Princeton. Darryl joined the Peace Corps in 1963, serving in Thailand. Soon after he completed service, Darryl joined the State Department and was assigned to his first post in India. That was just the beginning, as further assignments and increasing responsibilities took Darryl to Taiwan, Province of China; Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of China; Moscow; China; and Poland. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Darryl was selected to be the first Ambassador to Lithuania. He would eventually rise to the rank of Under Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and - coming full circle to his Peace Corps service - becoming our nation's Ambassador to Thailand. Darryl would later share his experiences with the next generation of diplomats, teaching at the Scoop Jackson School of International Relations at the University of Washington. 

     

    He said he knew he wanted to be in the foreign service by the time he was in 4th grade. The career of Thomas Gallagher (1940-2018) was extensive and notable. And it began with the Peace Corps, which Tom applied to five days after graduating from Monmouth University in 1962. Tom served as a volunteer in Ethiopia. He would later become among the earliest supporters of Eritrean independence and remained devoted to the country the remainder of his life. Following service and a brief stint in the White House (working on the Johnson administration's War on Poverty), Tom joined the State Department in 1965, taking on assignments in Saudi Arabia and Ecuador. His work with the Office of Personnel - including breakthrough hires of women - would later result in Tom winning the Tragen Award, honoring support for the women's movement at State in its early days. In 1975, Tom became the first government officer to publicly and voluntarily "come out" as a gay man. This decision forced Tom to resign from the State Department. He would travel to California and pursue a career as a social worker. He returned to the State Department in 1994, when the policy of formal discrimination against gay foreign service officers was lifted. In 2015 Monmouth University named Tom its Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. In 2016, New Jersey Pride honored Tom with its Trailblazer award.

     

    A Peace Corps official in the 1960's, he would later become the founding president of Radio Free Asia. Dick Richter (1929 - 2018) graduated from New York Queens College in 1950, and began a career in journalism. Dick was a copy aide at the New York Times and then became a reporter at Newsday and the New York World-Telegram Sun. In the 1960's he joined Peace Corps staff, first as an overseas program evaluator and later as the deputy director of programs in Kenya. Dick returned to journalism, this time moving to television. He was a news producer at WETA public television in Washington. He also worked as a news producer for ABC television, including serving as founding producer of "Good Morning America". In 1996, Dick was appointed as founding president of Radio Free Asia (RFA). Upon his retirement in 2005, he said "Repressive governments reviled RFA because we were letting people know what was going on in their own countries - providing information that their own leaders would suppress."

     

    Debra (Hunt) Nace (1970 - 2018) along with her husband William died earlier this year from injuries sustained in an auto accident. After graduating with degrees in Agronomy and French from Iowa State University, Debra Nace joined the Peace Corps, serving in Senegal. Her public service would continue. Debra was hired by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where she would work for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Iowa, Pennsylvania, Idaho and Ohio. She also worked on Puerto Rico hurricane recovery efforts with FEMA. Debra was a co-leader of a Girl Scout troop, and a member of the Delaware (OH) Women's City Club. 

     

    Clair Elmer Skold's (1933 - 2018) service as Peace Corps overseas staff was ten years in length, first as Associate Director in Malaysia and later as Country Director in the Kingdom of Tonga. Between the age of four and nine, Elmer accompanied his family to west-central Alaska, where his parents traveled to teach English to Eskimos. The family then moved to Washington state, where Elmer would eventually graduate from the University of Washington. Following his overseas Peace Corps assignments, Elmer and his family moved back to the Seattle area. He was a member of the Bothell United Methodist Church choir for forty years, and also participated in a men's gospel group that performed at area churches, nursing homes and public gatherings. He was appointed as an original member of the city of Kenmore's Downtown Task Force. Elmer also served many years on the Kenmore Heritage Society.

     

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

     

    STAFF

    Dick Richter, 6/29/18

    Clair Elmer Skold, 6/6/18

    MULTIPLE COUNTRIES

    Robert J. Attaway (Nigeria/Ethiopia), Posted 7/15/18

    Lilly Otto (Ecuador 1980-82; Guatemala 1982-84), 7/7/18

    ANTIGUA

    John Logan "Jack" Bullister (1973-75), 6/13/18

    BRAZIL

    William Paul "Bill" Sloane, 7/7/18

    CHAD

    Christopher W. Duarte (1991-93), 6/26/18

    COSTA RICA

    Eric Charles Lehman (1976-78), 7/10/18

    ETHIOPIA

    Thomas Gallagher (1962-64), 7/8/18

    FIJI

    Lee Brelie (1969-71), 6/16/18

    GHANA

    John Thomas Hutton (1969-71), 6/26/18

    HONDURAS

    Janice Rule (1980-82), 7/14/18

    INDIA

    Aaron Vail Frost III (1965-66), 7/7/18

    Dan Gusewelle, 7/8/18

    IRAN

    George Townsend Dorrill (1967-69), 7/13/18

    KENYA

    Terry B. Carpenter (1963-67), 6/12/18

    LESOTHO

    Beth Healy, 6/19/18

    Jenny Phillips (1967-69), 7/9/18

    NIGERIA

    Whitney P. Foster (1964-66), 3/24/18

    Norm Gary (1961-63), 6/24/18

    PHILIPPINES

    Charles P. Brown Jr., 7/5/18

    Richard J. (Dick) Zecher (1962-64), 7/5/18

    POLAND

    Aimee Thompson, 7/10/18

    SENEGAL

    Debra Anne (Hunt) Nace, 2/3/18

    THAILAND

    Joan Boyce (1963 - 65), 6/14/18

    Darryl Johnson (1963-65), 6/24/18

    TOGO

    Irene R. Schreck, 6/24/18

    TURKEY

    Edward Klinger (1966-68), 7/10/18

    COUNTRY OF SERVICE NOT SPECIFIED

    Robert Craig Smith, 7/4/18

    Patricia Stoddard, 7/5/18

     

     

     

    • Judy Marcouiller Patricia (Pat) Stoddard was one of our Teacher Trainer volunteers in Sierra Leone - she was assigned to the Milton Margai Teacher Training Institute from 1990-92 (I think). Sorry to hear of her... see more Patricia (Pat) Stoddard was one of our Teacher Trainer volunteers in Sierra Leone - she was assigned to the Milton Margai Teacher Training Institute from 1990-92 (I think). Sorry to hear of her passing. -Judy Marcouiller
      2 years ago
  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    Remembering the achievements of those who served in the Peace Corps see more

    In the early Peace Corps days, some Volunteer assignments included developing and expanding sports programs. Among the many achievements of community members who recently passed away, sports played a central role in their professional careers. 
      

    Michael R. Hebert (1944-2019) played volleyball at the University of California, Santa Barbara, but upon graduation his connection with the sport was just beginning. First, however, he decided to join the Peace Corps, serving in Nigeria from 1966-1967. Following his service, Mike earned a Ph.D. in Educational Philosophy at Indiana University. Then it was back to volleyball. He coached both men’s and women’s volleyball at the University of Pittsburgh and then moved to New Mexico for three years where he coached women’s volleyball. In 1981, he became the women’s volleyball coach at Illinois in the Big Ten. Mike’s teams won four Big Ten titles and made two NCAA Final Four appearances for the first time in team history. At the end of his 13 years, his teams had won 323 games. He then moved to Minnesota in 1996 and over the next 15 years his teams amassed a record of 381-137 with 14 appearances in the NCAA tournament and three in the Final Four. Mike was Big Ten coach of the year five times and was inducted into the American Volleyball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2006. Mike was also a fixture of USA Volleyball, including serving as head or assistant coach between 1987 and 2016. Mike was named USA Volleyball’s Donald S. Shondell All-Time Great Coach in 2011.

     

    George Nicolau (1925-2020) worked with Sargent Shriver in Washington, D.C. and conducted field research selecting volunteer work/living sites. Later in his career, he became a distinguished professional sports labor arbitrator, who ruled against baseball owners in two collusion cases, and served as president of the National Academy of Arbitrators. George also served as independent arbitrator for the National Basketball Players Association and the NHL Players Association. As a young man, George went into the Army Air Corps, flew four missions over Germany during World War II, and lost a leg during his service. After a year's convalescence, he attended the University of Michigan. George went on to Columbia Law School and became a labor lawyer. After his service at Peace Corps headquarters, he worked for the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity, New York City's Community Development Agency, the Fund for the City of New York, and the Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution. Besides sports, Nicolau ruled in disputes involving ABC, NBC, and the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians.

     

    Nancy Butler (1967-2019) joined the Peace Corps after graduating from the University of Colorado and was assigned a post in Suceava, Romania. After meeting her partner Lee in 2000 while both were working in Antarctica, the couple returned to their native Colorado, settling in South Fork. Nancy was hired in 2002 as Executive Director of the Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (RiGHT). Although she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003, Nancy refused to slow down. She soon became a respected leader in the field of land conservation. Among her achievements, RiGHT’s Rio Grande Initiative was credited with protecting over 27,000 acres of the Rio Grande and Conejos River corridors. The Palmer Land Trust awarded Nancy with its Friends of Open Space award in 2014. While under Nancy’s leadership, RiGHT was honored with the Phil James Conservation Award from the Colorado Nature Conservancy in 2011 and an award for outstanding work by a non-profit organization by the El Pomar Foundation in 2013.

     

    Andrew J. Bell III (1929-2019) was responsible for early Peace Corps operations in Eritrea, Ethiopia and then Nigeria, supervising and supporting volunteers, developing jobs and relationships with the countries ministries and departments, and securing the safety of volunteers and staff during coups and political unrest. Jay became the director for all Peace Corps operations in sub-Saharan Africa in the 1970's, responsible for more than 2,000 volunteers and 260 staff spread throughout 22 African countries. In the United States, he worked to improve living conditions through the Model Cities program, which was part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He set an example of lifelong learning, earning three masters degrees and a doctorate in international education followed by an online course with England's Oxford University for advanced study when he was 75.

     

    Kathryn Campbell Merriam (1932-2019) received a B.A. in Education from UCLA, a Master's in Education from Idaho State University, and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from UCONN. She taught school and founded an education business “Synthesis.” A community activist, Kay served as Chair of Bannock County Planning and Zoning Commission, state and local president of League of Women Voters, taught for New Knowledge Adventures, hosted a television program “Conversations,” and was an Idaho State Journal correspondent. Her most recent recognition was the NAACP Medgars Evers Award for Distinguished Service in 2019. Kay joined the Peace Corps at age 68 to serve in South Africa.

     

    James Thomas O’Meara (1943-2019) said he was inspired to join the Peace Corps by a line in John F. Kennedy's inaugural speech: "If a free society fails to help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." After graduating from DePaul University, he became a PCV in the Philippines, where from 1965 to 1967 he used construction skills to plan and supervise the building of a rural schoolhouse, library, and clinic. He then went to Vietnam with the U.S. Agency for International Development. As part of a military-civilian team in the Binh Duong Province, he was often in harm's way, especially during the Tet Offensive of January 1968. The State Department gave him its Award for Heroism that year "for courageous action while under fire in Vietnam.” Jim's jobs at USAID took him to Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In 1983, USAID gave him its Distinguished Honor Award "for sustained distinguished service.” As Acting Director of the Food for Peace Office from 1990 to 1992, he devised a plan to get shipments of food to Ethiopia and Djibouti, which were being stalled at the port of Assab. Jim continued his food aid career at the U.S. Agriculture Department, where he traveled frequently to help the former states of the Soviet Union fight hunger and develop greater food security.

     

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

     

    PEACE CORPS STAFF

    Andrew J. Bell III (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Nigeria), 12/20/19

    Rev. Dr. Robert E. McAuley, 1/10/20

    Henry Edward McKoy, 1/4/20

    George Nicolau (1963-65)

     

    MULTIPLE COUNTRIES

    Robert M. "Mike" Culp (Ethiopia 1968-69; Malawi - staff 1985-89), 1/19/20

    Brian Steinwand (Dem Republic of Congo 1982-87; Cameroon 1987-90), 12/22/19

     

    BOLIVIA

    John Coggins (1965-67), 12/20/19

     

    BRAZIL

    Mario LaMorte (1965-67), 12/16/19

     

    CAMEROON

    Daniel P. Reardon (1969-71), 1/4/20

    Richard W. "Dick" Weber (1962-64), 12/14/19

     

    CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

    Sonia M. Walter (1993-95), 1/5/20

     

    CHILE

    Dan L. Smith (late 1960's), 12/19/19

     

    COLOMBIA

    Margaret Corcoran "Peg" Clark, 12/31/19

     

    COSTA RICA

    John Edwin Green, 1/9/20

    Jack J. Rosenblum (1962-64), 1/13/20

     

    ECUADOR

    Leslie Houston (1992-96), 1/14/20

    John Rothchild (1968-70), 12/26/19

     

    ETHIOPIA

    Joseph Michael Ciuffini (1964-66), 1/10/20

     

    GHANA

    Betty Catherine Baker (1967-69), 12/26/19

     

    HONDURAS

    Frederic Hjalmar Floodstrand (1972-74), 11/18/18

    Dean Striebich (1982-84), posted 1/22/20

     

    INDIA

    Richard Karl Evans (1966-68), 12/17/19

    Fredde L. Schertz, 1/6/20

     

    JAMAICA

    Doreen Hall, 12/23/19

     

    KENYA

    Kay Riley, 12/23/19

     

    MALAYSIA

    Judy Feimer (1971-73), 1/1/20

    Dennis Hattem (1975-78), 1/14/20

    Guy Ulysses Priest (1962-64), 1/3/20

     

    MALI

    Robert Heil Jr., 1/11/20

     

    MOROCCO

    Leslie C. McDonald (1963-65), 12/26/19

    Joseph Anthony Moriarty (1990-93), 12/2/19

    Daniel Reardon (1969-71), 1/4/20

     

    NIGERIA

    Michael R. Hebert (1966-77), 10/21/19

    Robert H. Scheppler (1961-63), 11/1/19

     

    PHILIPPINES

    Margo Heineman Daniels (1960-63), 1/2/20

    Charlie Gonzalez IV, 1/17/20

    Carl Hoffman, 12/26/19

    James Thomas O'Meara (1965-67), 12/18/19

     

    ROMANIA

    Nancy Butler, 11/29/19

     

    SIERRA LEONE

    Michael Leonard Cunha (1966-68), 1/12/20

     

    SOUTH AFRICA

    Kathryn Campbell Merriam, 12/4/19

     

    eSWATINI (Formerly Swaziland)

    James Randy McGinnis (1981-84), 12/14/19

     

    THAILAND

    Diane Weis, 12/14/19

     

    TOGO

    Janet L. (Johnston) Chorbajian, 12/29/19

     

    COUNTRY OF SERVICE NOT SPECIFIED

    Lawrence M. "Larry" Busch (West Africa 1967-70), 12/28/19

    Michael Collopy, 10/26/19

    Rev. Susan M. Scofield (1967-69), 12/27/19

    Marylee B. Ward, 12/27/19

     

     

     

     

    If you have information you would like to share for our monthly In Memoriam post, contact obituary@peacecorpsconnect.org.

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

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    Remembering those within the Peace Corps community who recently passed away. see more

    As the year comes to a close and we reflect, we remember the sacrifice, generosity, and benevolence of many within our Peace Corps community who recently passed away.

     

    Dr. Pamela York Klainer (1945-2019) attended The College of St. Elizabeth, followed by a Peace Corps assignment in rural Panama. She received a Doctorate of Education from the University of Rochester. Pam was known as an adventurous spirit, lifelong philanthropist, entrepreneur, author, blogger, and loving friend, mother, and grandmother. From her first visit to Panama in the 1960s, Pam built lifelong friendships with her 'family of the heart,' returning to Panama regularly with friends and family. Pam cared deeply about philanthropy, establishing the Dr. Jeremy A. Klainer Entrepreneurial Scholarship Fund at the University of Rochester School of Nursing to support innovation in nursing, and helped found the Knox Clinic, providing essential medical care to the uninsured of mid-coast Maine. Pam is also the author of two books and published more than 10,000 blog entries.

     

    Helen Armstrong's(1936-2019) personal grief turned her into an advocate for parents with hospitalized children. She was educated at Wellesley College, and earned a Master's degree in teaching from Harvard. With ambition to work overseas, Helen moved to Kenya to work as a high school teacher in the late 1950s. She returned to the U.S. a few years later, met James Armstrong, who shared her interest in Africa. They married, joined the Peace Corps, and moved back to Kenya as teachers. Once back in the U.S., the eldest of their four children died of a congenital heart defect as a toddler. Helen transformed tragedy into impacting policy changes that allowed parents to accompany small children throughout hospitalizations, rather than restricting their presence to rigid visiting hours. This advocacy in healthcare continued when the family returned to Nairobi, Kenya in 1977. Helen consulted and collaborated on a variety of public health and maternal and child nutrition projects. When she relocated to Winchester, Massachusetts in 1990, Helen continued her work with La Leche League, and also became a consultant in UNICEF's Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, which involved travel to many nations to train doctors, health care workers, and program directors.

     

    Joseph Haratani's (1923-2019) life as a teen had been uprooted to a Japanese internment camp. Joe served the public good his entire life. He joined the U.S. Army's 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II, surviving combat in Italy and France. Joe earned degrees at both Stanford University and the University of California, and joined the U.S. Department of State as a civil/sanitary engineer working in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. In 1968, Joe relocated his family from Virginia to become director of the Peace Corps in Ecuador. After two years, he made the unusual move by becoming a volunteer with his wife and family. When the U.S. government made monetary reparations in 1988 to surviving WWII internees, Joe donated his to a trust for Sonora Elementary School with the stipulation that the interest be used for education about civil rights.

     

    Judge Richard Bender Abell (1943-2019) was a member of the Federal judiciary for twenty years. Judge Abell graduated from The George Washington University with a B.A. in 1966 and a J.D. in 1974. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 1967 to 1969 in Colombia. Subsequently he volunteered for the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam in 1970. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal for Heroism, and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. Richard served as an Assistant District Attorney and Deputy Sheriff in Chester County, Pennsylvania, taught law school at Delaware Law School in Wilmington, Delaware, and was on the staff of Senator Richard Schweiker. During part of the Reagan Administration he served in D.C. in executive positions with the Peace Corps and also with the Department of Justice. In 1991, Richard was appointed to the Federal judiciary in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. President Reagan asked him to consult with the Federal Prison Industries Corporation, the Interagency Task Force on Adoption, the Presidential Commission on Agricultural Workers, National Crime Prevention Coalition, National Institute of Corrections, National Center for State and Local Law Enforcement Training, National Drug Policy Board Enforcement, Drug Abuse Prevention and Health, and Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

     

    Steven Paul Dolan (1948-2019) was a former “Gong Show” winner, a philosophy major, and Fortune 500 communications consultant. He attended Fordham University and the University of Missouri, receiving a B.A. in philosophy after serving two years with the Peace Corps in South Korea. For 28 years, Steven was a communications consultant for Fortune 500 companies. Prior to committing to corporate training, Steven began his working career in the performing arts, winning the Gong Show and appearing on "The Bob Newhart Show" and "McMillan and Wife" in the seventies, as well as traveling with "Laugh In's" Ruth Buzzy Review. His work included writing music that was performed at the White House and creating and producing an album of 24 songs he wrote about loss and recovery.

     

    Bruce Stark Lowney (1937-2019) was one of New Mexico's most talented and eminent artists. He earned a B.A. from North Texas State and his M.A. from San Francisco State. Bruce served in the military from 1962-1964 before joining Peace Corps in Papua New Guinea from 1992-1994. Bruce was a stone lithographer and a painter best known for his surrealistic New Mexico skies. His work is included in private collections throughout the United States and New Mexico. Many museums, universities, and galleries have archived his paintings and prints. His amazing talent and his wondrous imagination earned him numerous fellowships and awards including an Artist in Residence Fellowship in Roswell, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and the Tiffany Foundation Award.

     

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

     

    MULTIPLE COUNTRIES

    John Steven Hartwell (Kenya 1965-67; Colombia Country Director 1969-70), 10/19/19

    Harriet Sue Fox Riehl (Honduras 1967-69; Costa Rica staff 1974-76), 7/19

     

    BARBADOS

    Mary Alice Glenn, 11/11/19

     

    BOLIVIA

    Dale Edward Harris (1965-67), 11/27/19

    James Otis Wright Jr. (1967-69), 11/15/19

     

    CAMEROON

    Ernest Wayne Leonard, 10/29/19

     

    COLOMBIA

    Richard Bender Abell (1967-69), 11/21/19

    C. Charles "Chuck" Benson (1970-71), 12/2/19

    Nancy "Sam" (Temple) Samuels, 11/13/19

     

    ECUADOR

    Joseph Haratani (Country Director 1968-70; Volunteer 1970-72)

     

    ESWATINI (FORMERLY SWAZILAND)

    David Brooks "Dave" McLane (1968-69), 12/5/19

     

    ETHIOPIA

    Bessie Dalton (1972-74), posted 12/5/19

    Sara Hobart Homeyer (1964-66), 12/9/19

    Dr. Joseph Herbert Vogel (1971-73), 12/3/19

     

    INDIA

    Richard Barber Reidinger (1965-67), 12/10/19

     

    KENYA

    Helen Armstrong, 11/17/19

    William Pitassy (1965-67), 11/22/19

     

    LESOTHO

    Thomas Stovall (1992-94), 11/29/19

     

    LIBERIA

    Allan Beiswenger (1970-72), 11/29/19

    Edward Houston McMillion (1964-66), 12/2/19

     

    MALAYSIA

    Joyce Hofman McHugh (1962-64), 12/2/19

    Elena Grace Wendland (1965-67), 11/25/19

     

    NEPAL

    Regina Plunkett Dowling, 12/5/19

    Virginia "Jinny" M. Moore (1965-67), 11/18/19

     

    PANAMA

    Dr. Pamela York Klainer (1967-69), 9/14/19

     

    PAPUA NEW GUINEA

    Bruce Stark Lowney (1992-94), 10/5/19

     

    PHILIPPINES

    Michael Ryan (1978-80), 11/26/19

     

    SAMOA

    Carol Ann Lauzon (1974-76), 8/26/19

     

    SOUTH AFRICA

    Melissa Maese Amaro, 12/4/19

     

    SOUTH KOREA

    Steven Paul Dolan, 10/6/19

     

    TURKEY

    Marsha Goron Dragonetti (1965-67), 12/1/19

    Marilyn M. McMann Kramer, 11/24/19

     

    COUNTRY OF SERVICE NOT SPECIFIED

    William "Bill" Grealish, 12/2/19

    Pamela Dean Spencer, 12/3/19

     

     

     

     

    If you have information you would like to share for our monthly In Memoriam post, contact obituary@peacecorpsconnect.org.

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