In Memoriam | February 2019

Egle Camozzo, 92, died Nov. 2, in Easton, Md. Camozzo worked for the Foreign Service Institute as an Italian language instructor for more than 30 years and finished her career as head of the Italian and Portuguese departments. After retiring in 1986, Camozzo enjoyed playing tennis and traveling. She is survived by her daughter, son, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Michael E. C. Ely, 89, died Oct. 18. Ely graduated from Princeton University and from Harvard Graduate School of Public Administration (Harvard Kennedy School of Government). He served in the U.S. Army Artillery during the Korean conflict. Ely was a Foreign Service officer for 36 years with overseas posts that included Brussels, Tokyo, Paris, Rome, Algiers, Mogadishu and Kuala Lumpur. In retirement, he was an active member of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, the Arlington Sister Cities Association and DACOR. 

Donald S. Harris, 96, died Sept. 30. Harris was a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army’s 98th Infantry Division during World War II, serving in the Pacific Theater and the post-war occupation of Japan. He also served a number of years in the Army Reserve as a first lieutenant in the infantry. After graduating from Yale University, Harris joined the Foreign Service and served overseas in Glasgow, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Bremen and West Berlin, as well as in Israel and Indonesia. He retired in 1979. In retirement, Harris enjoyed gardening, ballroom dancing and golfing.

John J. Helble, 84, died Nov. 20 in Aldie, Va. Helble was a Foreign Service officer whose overseas posts included Puerto la Cruz, Saigon, Hue, Kuala Lumpur and Dhaka. He also served as the Department of State’s advisor to the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Command, in Honolulu. In addition, Helble worked in the Freedom of Information Office of Declassification. After retirement in 1985, Helble developed and operated a commercial wine grape vineyard and winery. He also enjoyed golf, gardening and football. Helble is survived by his wife of 62 years, Joan; his son, Stuart; his daughter, Ramona; and five grandchildren.

George H. Thigpen, 95, died Nov. 18. Thigpen served with the U.S Army’s 84th Infantry Division in Europe during World War II. He later served as a Foreign Service officer, with posts in the U.S.S.R., Cuba, Paraguay, Uruguay, Panama, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom and Colombia. Thigpen is survived by six children and seven grandchildren.

Robert R. Walker III, 75, died Sept. 7 in Monett, Mo. Walker served in the U.S. Air Force for four years before joining the Foreign Service. As a Foreign Service officer, he served overseas in Berlin, Bonn, Frankfurt, Valletta, Kinshasa, Kuala Lumpur and London. He was a train enthusiast and enjoyed collecting arrowheads and coins. Walker is survived by his two sons, Robert R. Walker IV and Philip Walker; four grandchildren; and two sisters.

Robert A. “Bob” Young, 85, died Aug. 29. Young graduated from Gannon University and received an ROTC commission in the U.S. Army. He later received a graduate degree from American University. Young served on active duty for two years and remained in the Army Reserve for 30 years, retiring as a full colonel. In 1962, Young joined the Foreign Service and served for 20 years. His posts included Bangkok, Mexico City and Washington, D.C. After retiring from the Foreign Service, Young worked for United States International University and Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. In his retirement, he enjoyed gardening and playing tennis and bridge. 

Questions concerning employee deaths should be directed to the Office of Casualty Assistance at (202) 736-4302. Inquiries concerning deaths of retired employees should be directed to the Office of Retirement at (202) 261-8960. For specific questions on submitting an obituary, please contact Amanda Richard at

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