In Memoriam

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    We honor and remember the contributions of those we’ve lost in the Peace Corps community. see more

    Remembering those we’ve lost recently in the Peace Corps Community

     

    Count among those we have lost recently a man who was considered to be the greatest athlete in the world — a man whose athletic achievements in his youth were paired with a lifetime of humanitarian commitment. 

     

    Rafer Johnson (1934–2020) was the world’s greatest athlete, winning the gold medal in the decathlon and setting a new world record during the 1960 Summer Olympics. That was just one of the many awards and honors he received in his lifetime both inside and outside of sports. The Olympic gold marked Johnson’s retirement from competitive sports and catapulted him forward in the fight for racial and social justice. Johnson began his civil rights work assisting the NAACP and Urban League 60 years ago, taking part in initiatives to combat housing discrimination and voting rights. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy, Johnson worked with Peace Corps during the early days of its founding. On the heels of Olympic victory, he lent his prestige and renown to launch the Peace Corps. “I really believed that it wasn’t what my country could do for me,” he said years later. “It was what could I do for my country?” He also became extremely active in the Special Olympics led by Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Johnson was at the side of Senator Robert F. Kennedy on the night Kennedy was assassinated, and Johnson helped subdue the gunman. Overcome with grief, he was encouraged to channel his emotions by establishing a West Coast branch of the Special Olympics. He used his alma mater – UCLA – as his base of operations. UCLA has hosted more than 20 Special Olympics, most recently in 2015.

     

    Dr. Ronald Ausbrooks (1942–2020) attended D.C. Teacher’s College, Howard University, and the State University of New York at Buffalo, earning a master’s of social work. In 1972 Ausbrooks accepted a position in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service and became a U.S. Public Health Service Officer. He continued his education and went on to earn a master of science in public health administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a doctorate of education with a concentration in mental health administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Prior to his service in the Commissioned Corps, Ausbrooks was deeply involved in the civil rights movement, including being an active member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He was hired to work with both VISTA and Peace Corps. He was a founding member of Blacks in Government. Throughout his life he openly expressed his opposition to racial and economic injustice. In 2014 Ausbrooks was inducted into the Washington D.C. Hall of Fame with The Legacy Award in Health.

     

    Betty M. Palfy (1932–2020) was a teacher and lab technician before joining the Peace Corps in 1975. Her service as a health Volunteer in Niger marked the beginning of a 40-year career as a medical missionary, which included several years in Nepal with the Dooley Foundation, time in a Somalian refugee camp with Church World Service, and four years at the Hospital Albert Schweitzer in Haiti. Her medical service led her to eight additional countries around the world. It was not simply service abroad. Palfy’s trips and travels stateside led to time spent helping to resettle refugees at Jubilee Partners in Comer, Georgia; cleaning up after Hurricane Katrina; and teaching science for a year in Sitka, Alaska. Palfy’s deeply caring spirit is perhaps best defined by her 25-year commitment to the leprosy and tuberculosis patients she cared for in Liberia at the Ganta Leprosy and TB Clinic. Working alongside the Consolata Missionary Sisters, Palfy compassionately tended to the needs of many people whose lives had been affected by years of civil war, disease, and the stigma of leprosy.

     

    Irene Bristol Allen (1940–2020) taught biology as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines. She continued teaching high school biology when she returned to Brookline, Massachusetts. She combined her interests in art and computer science by working in computer graphics at Technical Education Research Centers (TERC) in Cambridge. With her husband, Tony Allen, she co-founded Barrington Books, which they operated for 22 years. Irene created abstract paintings to celebrate the color and energy she saw in nature. She regularly entered her work in regional exhibits, winning several awards. She was active in the Pawtucket Arts Collaborative, serving on its board for many years. Irene was active in environmental causes, particularly with the Civic Alliance for a Cooler Rhode Island (CACRI). Her last art work was a collection of posters for the Livable RI Poster Campaign, an exhibit of environmentally-friendly activities that opened at the state Health Department and then traveled through the state.

     

    Benton “Ben” Leslie Moyer (1941–2020) joined Peace Corps shortly after graduating from Yale University in 1964. After serving as a Volunteer in Colombia, Ben went to Cornell Business School and then joined the international department of the Bank of Boston in 1969 with a first assignment to Australia for two years. That began a 17-year period in which he worked in five other countries. In 1993, following the leadership roles of his parents, he joined the Board of Copper Cannon, a summer camp in Franconia, New Hampshire for underserved young people in the state. In 1996 Ben joined Wainwright Investment Counsel where he worked for the next fifteen years. In 2002, he joined the Board of ProMujer International, a micro finance institution providing micro loans to women in Central and South America, and for two years served as CEO.

     

    PEACE CORPS STAFF

    Ronald Ausbrooks (1966–68), 10/13/20

    Rafer Johnson (1960s), 12/2/20

    Edward Scott Sr. (PC HQ Staff 1968–70; South Korea Country Director 1971–73), 11/25/20

     

    MULTIPLE COUNTRIES

    Phyllis A. Luff (Sierra Leone 1971–74; Armenia) 12/3/20

     

    BOLIVIA

    Robert Pruitt, 11/20/20

     

    CAMEROON

    Sharon Alister (1974-75), 12/3/20

    Hans Boerner (mid 1970s), 11/13/20

    Joseph Harris (staff 1964-66), 12/4/20

     

    CHILE

    Dr. Gary Bernard Wetterberg PhD (1967-69), 12/1/20

     

    COLOMBIA

    Donald G. Bellefeuille (1966–68), 11/29/20

    John Joseph Greven (1964–68), 11/22/20

    Thomas Lenovich, 11/22/20

    Benton BenLeslie Moyer (1965–67), 11/16/20

     

    ECUADOR

    Steven “Steve” Nelson Carter (1962–64), 12/1/20

    Richard W. Martyn (1973–75), 12/5/20

     

    ETHIOPIA

    E. Merritt Hulst (1968–70), 11/16/20

     

    FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA

    Norman Skarstad (1966–67), 12/12/20

     

    FIJI

    Renee Phillips Robbins (1971–73), 11/26/20

     

    GHANA

    Karen Fernstrom (1970–71), 12/2/20

     

    GUATEMALA

    Edwin “Ed” Samuel Clark (1988–90), 12/11/20

     

    HAITI

    Patricia Weis (1987), 11/13/20

     

    INDIA

    William “Bill” M. Howe, posted 11/26/20

     

    IRAN

    Ronald Edward Hofsess (1965–66), 12/3/20

     

    JAMAICA

    Grace Mary Riley (1988–90), 11/29/20

    Ann Wilson, 3/6/20

     

    KENYA

    William “Will” Maxfield Alexander (1979–81), 6/27/20

    Robert Glazer (1971–74), 11/22/20

     

    LESOTHO

    Michael “Mike” James Carney (1970s), 12/7/20

     

    MALAWI

    Deborah McCane, 6/7/20

     

    MALAYSIA

    Kathleen M. (Murray) Devanna (1962–65), 12/6/20

    Kevin Frederick Lind (late 1970s), 11/25/20

    Joan C. Poepoe (1964–66), 12/12/20

     

    MOROCCO

    Thomas Edsell (1974–76), 12/2/20

    Stephen Kurth (1963–65), 12/8/20

     

    NIGER

    Betty M. Palfy (1975–77), 12/7/20

     

    NIGERIA

    Hershel Zelig Herzberg (1961–63), 11/20/20

    Carol Rose Howes (1968–70), 12/10/20

     

    PAKISTAN

    Abeda Mohamed (staff), 12/3/20

     

    PERU

    Conway Olmstead (1960s), 12/11/20

     

    PHILIPPINES

    Irene Bristol Allen (1964–66), 12/2/20

    Marilyn Brown (1962–64), 11/20/20

    Carol A. Hong (1964–66), 11/17/20

    Mary McFate (1962–64), 11/24/20

    Shirley Arlene (Miller) Stevens (1985–87), 11/16/20

    William Van Noy Taylor (1960s), 11/28/20

     

    SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

    Janet Ruth LaGrave (late 1970s), 11/23/20

     

    SAMOA

    Marcia Louise Nenno (1975–77), 12/6/20

     

    SOLOMON ISLANDS

    Mary Theresa Merna (late 1970s), 12/12/20

     

    SOUTH KOREA

    John Edwin Boone, 12/3/20

     

    THAILAND

    M. Sue Henry (1963-65), 11/20/20

     

    TOGO

    Cynthia "Cyd" Coogan, 9/14/20

     

    TUNISIA

    Harvey A. Himberg (1968–70), 12/14/20

     

    COUNTRY OF SERVICE NOT SPECIFIED

    Steven Campbell (1970's), 12/10/20

    Gregory D. Maronick, 11/7/20

    Steven Poquette, 11/24/20

     


     

    If you have information you would like to share for our monthly In Memoriam post, please reach out to us at obituary@peacecorpsconnect.orgThanks to NPCA intern Kaylee Jensen for assistance in preparing this post.

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    We honor those members of our Peace Corps community whom we recently lost. see more

    Remembering those we’ve lost recently in the Peace Corps Community

     

    Whether in law, government, social work, or the arts, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and former Peace Corps staff are leaders and visionaries in their selected fields. We honor those leaders who recently passed away.

     

    Drew Saunders Days III (1941-2020) graduated from Hamilton College with a degree in English Literature before receiving his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1966. A year after graduating law school, Days served in the Peace Corps in Honduras from 1967 to 1969. After serving, Days became a successful civil rights lawyer focusing on police misconduct, school desegregation, and employment discrimination. Additionally, he worked at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in New York City for eight years. He then joined the faculty at Yale Law School where he taught classes that focused on subjects including civil procedure, federal jurisdiction, Supreme Court practice, and many more. In addition to teaching, Days was the founding director of the Law School’s Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights, and wrote several books and articles regarding Supreme Court jurisprudence and civil rights. In 1977, Days was appointed by President Jimmy Carter as the first African American U.S. assistant attorney general for civil rights. He played a large role in advocating for upholding affirmative action in universities as litigated in the famous Supreme Court case Regents of the University of California v. Bakke. In 1993, he continued to demonstrate his lifelong commitment to social justice and the law when Bill Clinton nominated him to serve as solicitor general in the Department of Justice, where he argued a total of 26 cases before the Supreme Court. 

     

    In 1977, Drew S. Days III was appointed by President Jimmy Carter as the first African American U.S. assistant attorney general for civil rights.

     

    Hugh Jesse Arnelle (1933-2020) graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1955. He was the first Black student body president in the school’s history. An excellent athlete, Arnelle was drafted by both the NFL and NBA, and ultimately chose to pursue professional basketball. After retiring from the NBA, Arnelle served as an officer in the United States Air Force. He then earned an LLB from Dickinson School of Law before serving as a Peace Corps Director in Turkey for two years, and in India for one year. Once he returned to the United States, Arnelle practiced law at the San Francisco Federal Public Defender’s Office and eventually started a solo practice focused on criminal and civil law. He also spent 45 years on the Penn State Board of Trustees before participating as an active member on the boards of Waste Management, Gannett Company, the Metropolitan Life Series Fund, Eastman Chemical Company, Textron Corporation, Armstrong World Industries, and Florida Power & Light. Additionally, in 1969 he was elected to the PSU Board of Trustees, and served as the president from 1994 through 1996. He also co-founded the Penn State Renaissance Fund, which works to increase and support minority students at the university. 

     

    An excellent athlete, Hugh Jesse Arnelle was drafted by both the NFL and NBA, and ultimately chose to pursue professional basketball.


    Genevieve Rafferty (1922–2020) earned her bachelor’s degree from St. Ambrose College, where she co-organized the creation of the Iowa-Illinois Information and Referral Service. She managed this program up until her retirement in 1992, making sure every student was provided with the resources that they needed. Rafferty was a member of Junior Board Rock Island and Project Now, which participated in outreach efforts for issues such as housing, senior services, and child services within the community. She also held board positions at the Just For Kids Daycare and Directors for Transitions – Mental Health. Rafferty was named Social Worker of the Year by the Association of Social Workers before joining the Peace Corps in 1992, volunteering within cities along the ancient “Silk Road” in Uzbekistan. Upon her return to the United States, Rafferty continued to prove her dedication to civic engagement when she received the Civic Service Award as well as the Keys of the city of Rock Island Illinois. Additionally, she was recognized in “Who’s Who of American Women” and “Who’s Who in the Midwest.” In 2003, Genevieve received The Jefferson Award from the American Institute for Public Service, where an awards ceremony was held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

     

    Jack Roderick (1926–2020) received his education from Yale, Harvard, and the University of Washington. Before he became the regional director of the Peace Corps in India, Roderick worked as a truck driver in Anchorage, spent some time in the oil exploration business, and practiced law. Five years after his service in the Peace Corps, he became mayor of the Greater Anchorage Area Borough from 1972 to 1975. As a mayor in Alaska, Roderick took pride in advocating for environmental preservation of parks and the establishment of trail systems such as the Campbell Creek trail, community councils, and the People Mover public bus system. Additionally, he had a passion for getting others in the community involved in civic engagement and local government. Roderick himself held a few positions in state government, before teaching at local universities and publishing a memoir about witnessing the downfalls of Alaska’s oil economy, titled “Crude Dreams: A Personal History of Oil & Politics in Alaska.”

     

    Stacy Elko served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco between 1988 and 1992. In 2005 she joined the faculty of the Texas Tech University (TTU) School of Art. In addition to teaching and mentoring students in printmaking, drawing, and video/transmedia, she also served as MFA Coordinator and engaged in research with collaborators from across the nation. A multi-dimensional artist, Elko’s work stretched beyond printmaking to embrace time-based media, music, and performance art, as well as interactive environments that were epitomized in her sculptural airships, “Flying Machines.” Elko took special pride in her work with an interdisciplinary research team to create a tablet-based application that would enable persons with aphasia — a language and cognition disorder that frequently appears after a stroke — to communicate with healthcare providers and other clinicians. This application, known as the Visual Interactive Narrative Intervention, or VINI, united Elko’s three great passions: her love of the digital interface and its gaming aspects, her extensive artistic background and talent, and her belief that the arts as a whole have meaningful and useful contributions to make through interdisciplinary collaborations that improve lives and quality of life. Her pathbreaking work on this project was a critical component in the college’s award of its first major federal grant, a National Endowment for the Arts Research Lab. The TTU School of Art plans to establish a scholarship in Stacy Elko’s memory.

     

     

    PEACE CORPS STAFF

    Hugh Jesse Arnelle (Country Director Turkey, India 1960s), 10/21/20

    Sharon Sue Hale (1960s), 10/24/20

     

    MULTIPLE COUNTRIES

    Ronald Wayne Bengston (Ecuador 1993-95; Honduras 1999-2001)

    Margaret O'Brien Donohoe (Ethiopia staff 1962-64; Somalia staff 1966-68)

     

    BELIZE

    Robert Earl “Bob” Evans (late 1970s), 10/19/20

     

    BRAZIL

    Maxwell Creighton (1968-70), 11/7/20

    Sylvan ”Gene“ Prell (1963-65), 10/24/20

     

    CHILE

    Therese “Tess” Pawelecki Carolan (1966-68), 10/22/20

     

    COLOMBIA

    David Goodrich Gabel (late 1960s), 10/18/20

     

    COSTA RICA

    Kenneth James Freebury (staff 1966-68), 10/31/20

     

    ECUADOR

    Philipp A. Auer, 10/15/20

    Greg Radinovich (1993-94), 10/22/20

     

    FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA

    William H. Hielscher (late 1960s/early 1970s), 10/18/20

     

    FIJI

    Donald Hemenover (1972-74), 11/15/20

     

    GUATEMALA

    Martina McCormack, 11/6/20

     

    HONDURAS

    Drew S. Days III (1967-69), 11/15/20

     

    KENYA

    Kathleen Anne Rick (early 1970s), 10/16/20

     

    LESOTHO

    Ruth W. Johnson, 11/12/20

     

    LIBERIA

    Harold Hersch (1965-67), 11/9/20

     

    MALAWI

    Ronnie E. Alff (1962-64), 11/2/20

     

    MOROCCO

    Stacy Elko (1988-92), 8/26/20

     

    NEPAL

    Purita Molina Dayawon, 11/12/20

     

    PERU

    Joan Carter (1962-64), 11/10/20

     

    PHILIPPINES

    Helen R. Cooper (1980-82), posted 11/11/20

     

    ROMANIA

    V. Edward Bates, 10/10/20

    Michael James Belsom (1997), 10/29/20

     

    SAINT VINCENT

    Wayne A. Aprill (1980-82), posted 11/6/20

    Frances English Moore (1991-93), 11/12/20

     

    SENEGAL

    Judith A. (Pierson) Beggs (1990's), 11/6/20

     

    THAILAND

    Robert Richard Charles (staff – early 1970s)

    Gary Steven Izo, 11/21/20

    Wilbur Taylor “Bill” Little III, 8/31/20

     

    TUNISIA

    Bruce James Abbey (1966-69), 10/26/20

     

    TURKEY

    Richard K. “Rick” Beebe Jr. (1967-69), 10/23/20

     

    UGANDA

    Barbara Anne Morin (1969-72), 11/11/20

     

    UKRAINE

    Eileen M. Kelly (2012-14), 11/1/20

     

    UZBEKISTAN

    Genevieve Rafferty (1992-94), 11/13/20

     

    VENEZUELA

    Roger A. Ackerman (1962-64), 10/17/20

     

    COUNTRY OF SERVICE NOT SPECIFIED

    Lyle Wayne Graf, 10/17/20

    Mary A. Korneman (early 1970s), 11/1/20

    Bruce F. Lawhead, 11/12/20

    Gordon Authur “Pete” Maue (1962-63), 11/13/20

    Jean E. Rainey, 10/30/20

     


     

    If you have information you would like to share for our monthly In Memoriam post, contact obituary@peacecorpsconnect.orgThanks to NPCA intern Kaylee Jensen for assistance in preparing this post.

  • Steven Saum posted an article
    He fought for racial equality and served as Solicitor General of the United States see more

    He also served as Solicitor General of the United States. He was a man of principle and devoted much of his life’s work to racial equality.

    By Steven Boyd Saum

    Photo courtesy Yale University Law School

     

    The Peace Corps community mourns the loss of a pioneer for our nation: Drew S. Days III, the first African American to lead the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice — and the first Black man to lead any division at Justice. He was appointed in 1977 under President Jimmy Carter. Later, under President Bill Clinton he also served as Solicitor General of the United States — a position often referred to as the “tenth justice” of the Supreme Court. 

    He was gentle and courageous and kind and a man of principle. So much of his career was committed to striving for racial equality. He was born in Atlanta in 1941 and grew up in Tampa, Florida — and at the age of 30 won a lawsuit that desegregated the schools where he was educated. He studied English literature at Hamilton College and law at Yale.

    He sang — and it was at Yale Russian Chorus rehearsals that he met Ann Langdon. They wed and joined the Peace Corps and served in Honduras 1967–69 and were married for 54 years.

    After Peace Corps service, Drew Days worked for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Education Fund in New York City. Tapped for his role with the justice department, he tackled racism in blatant forms in school districts and sought to ensure more effective discipline for police who abused their authority.

    He joined the faculty of Yale Law School in 1981 and took a leave of absence to serve as solicitor general of the United States. He argued 17 cases before the Supreme Court and supervised nearly 200 more. He was founding director of the Orville Schell Jr. Center for International Human Rights Law at Yale. 

    He died Sunday, Nov. 15 at the age of 79. Our hearts go out to Ann, their children, and the family who meant so much to Drew.

    You can begin to understand more of the scope of what Drew Days did in the stories by Yale University Law School, the  New York Times, and the Washington Post chronicling his remarkable life and work. 

     

  • Communications Intern posted an article
    Leader of Peace Corps programs, top diplomat, and fighter for civil rights see more

    He led Peace Corps programs, served as a top diplomat, and achieved important milestones in civil rights.

    By Jonathan Pearson

     

    One of the first country directors appointed by Sargent Shriver in 1961, Walter C. Carrington led Peace Corps programs in Tunisia, Senegal, and Sierra Leone in the 1960s before serving as Regional Director for Africa. But that was just one facet of a remarkable life.

    Prior to that, at Harvard he founded the chapter of the NAACP. He was the youngest-ever member of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, and in the late 1950s his commission work included leading an investigation into the racist practices of the Boston Red Sox — the last team in the majors to break the color barrier on its roster.

    He was a diplomat: Under President Jimmy Carter, Carrington served as U.S. ambassador to Senegal, and under President Bill Clinton as ambassador to Nigeria. That service 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 taught 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. He died August 11, just a few weeks after celebrating his 90th birthday. 

    Each month we share news of members of the Peace Corps community whom we have lost: peacecorpsconnect.org


     

    This story appears in the Fall 2020 edition of WorldView magazine. Read the entire magazine for free now in the WorldView app. Here’s how:

    STEP 1 - Create an account: Click here and create a login name and password. Use the code DIGITAL2020 to get it free.

    STEP 2 - Get the app: For viewing the magazine on a phone or tablet, go to the App Store/Google Play and search for “WorldView magazine” and download the app. Or view the magazine on a laptop/desktop here.

  • 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 members of our community who recently passed away. see more

    We honor and remember the members of the Peace Corps community who recently passed away. They worked in law enforcement and health care. They volunteered in efforts to confront homelessness, racial injustice, domestic violence, and animal welfare. And, in one case, they developed a university study abroad program that included one particularly well known and influential alumnus. 

     

    Joseph Blatchford (1934-2020) served as the third director of the Peace Corps. Blatchford was appointed by President Richard Nixon in May 1969 — and he headed the agency during the turbulent times of Nixon’s first administration. Tapped for the post at 34 years old, he came with nearly a decade’s experience of organizing international volunteers: In 1961, he had launched the organization Accion to send U.S. volunteers to work in Latin America. Read our story about him here.

      

    Marcia L. Mayer (1942-2020) served as a police officer and deputy sheriff in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, and Live Oak, Florida. After receiving an American Field Service scholarship in 1959, Marcia spent the summer in Luxembourg as a foreign exchange student. She then became a registered nurse in May of 1994, and served two years as a rural nurse with the Peace Corps in Paraguay. Her time in the Peace Corps inspired her to participate in many missions as a volunteer nurse with the American Red Cross. Marcia worked abroad with Doctors Without Borders and with Medical Teams International in Angola, Mozambique, Liberia, Indonesia, Zambia, Armenia, South Sudan, Cambodia, Nigeria, and Haiti. During her nursing career, she also worked in the Emergency Unit of Jacksonville Hospital while taking on the role of a counselor for seriously disturbed youth. Additionally, she worked with Red Cross as a volunteer in response to several crises and as a nurse at a maximum-security prison in north Florida.

     

    Donald Bernard Peterson (1942-2020) spent the majority of his career as a foreign service professional. He began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia in the 1960s and then later in Costa Rica in the 1980s where he met his wife. He went on to work for USAID as Chief of Operations for renewable energy projects in Jamaica 1983, and Sudan, 1984–86. He returned to the Peace Corps, serving as Country Director in Paraguay in 1988, Bolivia in 1990, and El Salvador in 1993. In Bolivia and El Salvador, he was tasked with starting Peace Corps programs. His assignment in El Salvador was an exciting and challenging moment in his career. At the time of his arrival, El Salvador had just ended a long and brutal 12-year civil war. Don had to create the Peace Corps program while Salvadorians were trying to reconstruct the pieces of their war-torn society. He worked hard overseeing several volunteer programs that provided aid in agriculture, business, and education while at the same time ensuring the security and safety of his volunteers. In 2002, Don returned to USAID to work in a previous similar role in Guatemala. Don spent the later years of his career mostly based in the Washington, D.C. area and after returning to work for the Peace Corps, he retired in 2006 as Chief of Operations for Europe, Mediterranean, and Asia Region. After retirement from the Peace Corps, Don worked in private consulting for several years until his final retirement in 2013.

     

    Karen A. Goodman graduated from Williamette University in Oregon, where she came to find an appreciation and love for education. She then became a teacher as well as a real estate broker. Additionally, Karen actively participated in the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Acting as a role model for all aspiring community activists, she was a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Fresno, a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, and a long-time member of the League of Women Voters. After her teaching career, Karen became a founding member of Wings, an advocacy group in Fresno that serves homeless families, veterans, individuals, women, and children escaping domestic violence. Following retirement, Karen and her husband joined the Peace Corps, serving two years in Bulgaria.

     

    Sue Rosenfeld spent most of her adult life in Africa, beginning when she served as a Peace Volunteer in Senegal 1977–81. Following her service, Sue traveled to Rwanda where she taught English on a Fulbright Scholarship. In 1984, she moved to Niamey, Niger where she directed the U.S. Embassy’s English language program. She was approached by Boston University (BU) to develop a study abroad program in Niger. This popular program ran from 1987 until its closure in 2011. Among the hundreds of BU-Niger program participants was now Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In 2015, President Mahamadou Issoufou visited BU to inaugurate the Archive of the Republic of Niger at the African Studies Library, a further testament to the lasting connections between BU and Niger in which Sue played a central role in developing and maintaining.

     

    Albert F. “Bud” Seng (1944-2020) was a country boy at heart, from the state of Kentucky. He made his goals a reality when he set out to volunteer with the Peace Corps in India. Following his time in the Peace Corps, Bud directed his love for serving others by acting as a Tucson Police Detective and Hostage Negotiator, an elder at his church in Sonoita, a volunteer chaplain at a NW Hospital in Tucson, and a volunteer for the Green Valley Animal League. A few years ago, he earned his Ph.D. in Biblical Studies, and he was planning on turning his dissertation “God’s Love” into a book. Bud was known for his humble presence and positive outlook and reflection on life.

     

    Valerie Ann Koehler (1969-2020) was known for her dedication to public service, as she worked as an aid in physical therapy at Central Washington Hospital on holidays and vacations when she was only in high school. After earning her bachelor’s degree from Eastern Washington University, Koehler decided to join the Peace Corps, where she would translate her eagerness to bettering herself into helping others. She became fluent in Swahili and served two years teaching biology in Tanzania. After her time in the Peace Corps, she received a master’s degree in teaching from Seattle University while she worked as a Stream Team Specialist for King County and Kitsap County, and eventually became an environmental specialist for the Department of Defense.

     

     

    PEACE CORPS STAFF

    Marna Bellanca (early 1960s) 10/4/20

    Joseph Blatchford (1969-71) 10/7/20

    Warren J. Dunn, 10/4/20

     

    MULTIPLE COUNTRIES

    Thomas Dawson (Iran 1995; Micronesia 1966-68), 9/6/20

    Mark Dripchak (Honduras 1983-85; Paraguay 1983-86)

    Donald Bernard Peterson (Colombia 1960s; Costa Rica 1980s; Country Director in Paraguay 1988, Bolivia 1990, El Salvador 1993) 9/15/20

    Karen Ramsey (Cameroon 1991-94; Togo staff 2004-07) 10/5/20.

     

    ALBANIA

    Shirley O'Key (1992-93), 7/28/20

     

    BELIZE

    Timothy Fitall, 10/4/20

     

    BOTSWANA

    Gary Whisler (1966-69), 9/6/20

     

    BRAZIL

    Carolyn Connor (1963-65), 9/25/20

    Daniel Robert "Bob" Long (1966-68), 9/29/20

    David Anthony Morocco (1964-66), 9/11/20

     

    BULGARIA

    Karen A. Goodman, posted 9/20/20

     

    CHILE

    Francis V. "Frank" Bennett (1965-66), 9/18/20

     

    COLOMBIA

    Dr. David Vance Youmans (1960s), 9/23/20

     

    DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

    Thomas Powell (1990-92), 7/20

    Michael Stanley Sullivan (1960s), 8/29/20

     

    FIJI

    Bryce Perry (1969-72), 6/2/20

     

    GHANA

    Tom Roth, 8/15/20

    Gary Theige (1969-71) 9/25/20

     

    INDIA

    Albert F. "Bud" Seng, 8/16/20

     

    INDONESIA

    Joseph ”Ed” Axline (1963-65), 10/4/20

     

    IRAN

    Peter Lawrence Bower, 10/1/20

     

    JAMAICA

    Marilee Ann ”Cookie” Alder (1960s), 10/9/20

     

    MALAYSIA

    Robert J. Cricenti (late 1960s), 9/27/20

     

    MARIANAS ISLANDS

    Jan Larson Butcheri, 9/20/20

     

    NAMIBIA

    Doris May Evans Boyd, 4/17/20

     

    NIGERIA

    Edward Lee Thomas (1965-67), 10/6/20

     

    PAKISTAN

    Lawrence "Larry" Lauber (mid 1960s), 10/8/20

    Charles Elmer Shriver, 10/9/20

     

    PARAGUAY

    Marcia L. Mayer (1995-97), 9/21/20

     

    SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

    Herb Wiggin, 9/26/20

     

    SENEGAL

    Eddie H. Cyphers (2016-18), 8/6/20

    Sue Rosenfeld (1977-81), 10/10/20

     

    SOUTH KOREA

    Charlie Atkins (1971-73), 10/5/20

     

    TANZANIA

    Valerie Ann Koehler (1990s), 9/16/20

    Bruce McKim, 10/5/20

     

    THAILAND

    Robert Joseph McCarthy (early 1960s) 2/13/20

    James Edwin “Eddie” Sharber Jr., 9/28/20

     

    TUNISIA

    Edwin “Ned” Cook (1965-67), 9/16/20

     

    URUGUAY

    Regene C. Ross (1963-65), 10/1/20

     

    VENEZUELA

    Dan Allen Klingenberg (1962-64), 9/14/20

    George Richard Saunders, 9/17/20

     

    COUNTRY OF SERVICE NOT SPECIFIED

    Charles Richard Beesley, 10/7/20

    William J. Cooley, posted 9/27/20

    Angelo Corva, 9/26/20

    Creola Knight, 10/8/20

    Jane McCabe (1960s), 8/29/20

    Edward John McMenemy, 9/17/20

    Mary Sinclair Powers (1986), 10/10/20

    Lonnie Wildt (1970s), 9/20/20

     


     

    If you have information you would like to share for our monthly In Memoriam post, contact obituary@peacecorpsconnect.orgThanks to NPCA intern Kaylee Jensen for assistance in preparing this post.

  • Steven Saum posted an article
    Third director of the Peace Corps, he led the agency through tumultuous times see more

    Third director of the agency, he led during turbulent times

    By Steven Boyd Saum


    The Peace Corps community mourns the loss of Joseph H. Blatchford, third director of the Peace Corps. He took on that role at a time that heralded, he said, a “new world and a different America from 1961” when the Peace Corps was launched.

    Joseph Blatchford was appointed to lead the Peace Corps by President Richard Nixon in May 1969 — and he headed the agency during turbulent times of Nixon’s first administration. Tapped for the post at 34 years old, he came with nearly a decade’s experience of organizing international volunteers: In 1961, he had launched the organization Accion to send U.S. volunteers to work in Latin America.

    Some of the initial luster was already off Peace Corps when Blatchford took on the director’s role. That was true in the U.S. — deeply divided over the war in Vietnam — as well as internationally, where countries were increasingly seeking Volunteers with greater skills and expertise.

    Blatchford called for a “wider spectrum” of volunteers, seeking, as the New York Times noted, to enlist “trade union members and blue collar workers, mature persons in mid-career, not just fresh college graduates.” He also floated the idea of a “reverse Peace Corps” to bring volunteers to the U.S. to help in domestic antipoverty programs.

     

    New Directions: Third Director of the Peace Corps Joseph Blatchford in his office, January 1971. Photo by Warren K. Loeffler / Library of Congress

     

    New Directions

    Blatchford introduced changes to the agency under the banner of “New Directions.” That included the creation of an office for minority affairs. “I think that the people who characterized the Peace Corps as an organization made up primarily of lily-white, middle-class people may have had a very valid point,” he told an audience at Harvard University in 1970. “But I think that has changed. We have a tremendous need for Blacks and other minorities, particularly in places like Africa and Latin America."

    It was also during his tenure as director, in May 1970, that a group of returned Peace Corps Volunteers occupied Peace Corps headquarters for several days in protest of the U.S. invasion of Cambodia. That was the same U.S. military campaign that led to the tragic shootings at Kent State University.

    In the fall of 1970, writing for the journal Foreign Affairs, Blatchford asked, “Are we seeing the beginning of the end for the Peace Corps, or is it perhaps the end of the beginning?” He noted, “The American people, in a public opinion poll, declared the Peace Corps to be the best investment among our foreign assistance programs.” But, he said, “To attract Volunteers from a wider spectrum of American society, the Peace Corps has to broaden its appeal.” He put in place policies to allow Volunteers to serve with families. And he recognized that when it came to building true partnerships with countries, “if the Peace Corps has done better than some agencies, it is still behind the times.”

     

    At a time of national turmoil, he also raised a question that resonates many decades later: “It is common for Americans to ask today, ‘Why go overseas when there is so much to be done at home?’”

     

    At a time of national turmoil, he also raised a question that resonates many decades later: “It is common for Americans to ask today, ‘Why go overseas when there is so much to be done at home?’ The answer to the question is also best exemplified in the nearly 40,000 Volunteers who have now served in the Peace Corps and returned home. After living among the poor abroad and struggling in the agonizing process of change, they are not satisfied with ‘band-aid’ cures.”

    He acknowledged the “bitter disillusionment over the Vietnam war among the Peace Corps’ traditional college constituency. For many of these students the Peace Corps is tainted by the war, an arm of the Establishment, merely the most tolerable part of an intolerable government.”

    And he recognized the perception that the days of the Peace Corps might be numbered. “Some think the President will allow the Peace Corps to die of inattention. In the Congress the Peace Corps could fall victim to partisan politics.”

    That didn’t happen. But under Nixon Peace Corps was folded into a new umbrella agency, ACTION, along with other domestic agencies including VISTA and Teacher Corps. And Blatchford was named head of ACTION.

    Blatchford’s life story includes a remarkable television moment as well: As Director of the Peace Corps, in 1972 he appeared on “The Mike Douglas Show,” which was being guest-hosted by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. One fellow guest that day: rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry.

    That same year saw President Nixon reelected in a landslide. All agency heads were asked to submit their resignations. The story is that Blatchford told a colleague, “But I thought we won.” Along with a pro forma resignation, he submitted a real resignation letter, and he stepped down at the end of the year.

     

    50th ANNIVERSARY REUNION, 2011: Joseph Blatchford, second from left, joined other leaders of the agency for the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Peace Corps. | Front row from left: Gaddi H. Vasquez, Ronald A. Tschetter, Jack Vaughn, Mark L. Schneider, Carol Bellamy, Mark D. Gearan, Elaine Chao. | Back row: Joseph Blatchford, Kevin O’Donnell, Richard F. Celeste, Aaron S. Williams, Nick Craw, Donald Hess

     

    “Joe Blatchford led the agency through some of the most challenging and turbulent periods of Peace Corps’ 60-year history,” said National Peace Corps Association President and CEO Glenn Blumhorst. “In recent years, Director Blatchford has been a regular, enthusiastic participant in bipartisan efforts of past Peace Corps directors to support the agency and defend its independence.”

    Indeed, in January 2020 he joined nine other former Peace Corps Directors to write an open letter opposing U.S. Senate legislation that would fold Peace Corps administration into the State Department. As that letter noted, in quoting Secretary of State Dean Rusk’s comment in 1961: “The Peace Corps is not an instrument of foreign policy because to make it so would rob it of its contribution to foreign policy.”

     

    Joseph Hoffer Blatchford was born in Milwaukee in 1934. His family moved to California when he was 10 years old, and he was raised a Christian Scientist. He attended the University of California, Los Angeles for his undergraduate studies and excelled at tennis. He played at Wimbledon. In 1967 he wed Winifred March, an Accion veteran. Accion International, the organization that he founded in 1961, continues its work today. He died on October 7 at age 86.

    “Every time we mourn the loss of a former Peace Corps director, we lose a part of our history,” said Glenn Blumhorst. “Our condolences to his family and to others who knew him, worked with him, and loved him.”

     


    Steven Boyd Saum is editor of WorldView magazine and Director of Strategic Communications for National Peace Corps Association.

  • 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
    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.