In Memoriam | April 2019

Elizabeth (Betty) Connell Schaeffer Briggs, 94, died Dec. 16, 2018 in Ferndale, Calif. Briggs earned a degree from Mary Washington College and a graduate degree from San Jose State University. She was married to William T. Briggs, a Foreign Service officer who served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Briggs moved with her husband to his overseas posts in Quito, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Montevideo. In the U.S., Briggs worked as a librarian at different schools. After retirement, she volunteered at the Ferndale Public Library, set up an art library for The Ink People cooperative and served as secretary for the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce. Briggs is survived by her four children, Willa, Catherine, William and Ellen; two grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a nephew. 

Janice Lee Ferguson, 79, died Dec. 24, 2018, in Rehoboth Beach, Del. Ferguson served as a civil servant at the Department for more than 25 years. She traveled extensively for both work and pleasure in Asia, Europe and the Caribbean. After retiring, Ferguson led an active life and enjoyed working out at the gym, hosting family and friends and walking her dog. She was also an avid reader, crossword devotee and Dallas Cowboys fan. Ferguson is predeceased by her brother, Johnny, and is survived by her two children, Shannon and Johnny; a son-in-law; one grandchild; and two brothers. 

Theodore Edmonds Gildred, 83, died Jan. 3, in Cameron, Mont. Gildred graduated from Leland Stanford Jr. University and then served in the U.S. Army in Germany. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to Argentina, 1986–1989. Gildred was the founding member of the Buenos Aires chapter of  the Young Presidents’ Organization, which promoted understanding and cooperation between countries. Gildred was also a real estate developer in California, a licensed racecar driver and an avid aviator. He was inducted into the San Diego Air and Space Museum Hall of Fame in 2010. Gildred is survived by his wife, Heidi; two sisters, Lynne and Helen; seven children, Theodore, Jennifer, Edward, John, Tory, Stephen and Kimberly; and four grandchildren.  

Lewis G. Gilstrap, 83, died Dec. 18, 2018, in Plantation, Fla. Gilstrap served in both the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army for 25 years, during which he was assigned to the Embassy’s Army Attaché office where he served in Oslo, Stockholm, Moscow and Wellington. Gilstrap later joined the Foreign Service. During his 20 years as an FSO, his posts included Kingston, Kuala Lumpur, Panama and El Salvador. Gilstrap was predeceased by his wife of 56 years, Kathaleen. He is survived by his two sons, Scott and Alan.

Arthur Winston Lewis, 92, died on Jan. 10, in Wilmette, Ill. He served in the U.S. Navy and taught naval science in the Navy ROTC program at Dartmouth, where he previously earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He served in the Foreign Service for 20 years, and his posts included Romania, Zambia, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. In retirement, Lewis served as a senior consultant for Nord Resources Corp that operated mining interests in Sierra Leone and also enjoyed tennis, travel and reading. He was predeceased by his wife, Fay, and daughter, Dian. He is survived by his daughter, Dale; three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.  

Alan W. Lukens, 94, died Jan. 5, in Chevy Chase, Md. Lukens served in the U.S. Army during World War II with the 10th Mountain Division and the 20th Armored Division in Europe, where his unit liberated the concentration camp at Dachau. After his military service, Lukens graduated with honors from Princeton University. Lukens served in the Foreign Service for 36 years. His posts included Istanbul, Ankara, Martinique, Bangui, Rabat and Paris, and he served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Congo from 1984—1987. Lukens also served as deputy chief of mission in Dakar, Nairobi and Copenhagen. In retirement, Lukens remained an active member of the D.C. community, Princeton Alumni Affairs and served in prominent roles on other committees and clubs. Lukens is survived by his wife of 56 years, Susan; his four children, Lewis, Francie, Susie and Timothy; and 10 grandchildren. 

John H. Malvin, 85, died Nov. 25, 2018, in Hershey, Pa. Malvin served in the U.S. Army and then graduated from West Virginia University. Malvin joined the Foreign Service, and his overseas posts included Muscat, Oman and Djibouti. Malvin retired from the Foreign Service after more than 10 years of service. He was an active leader for the Boy Scouts of America. Malvin is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mary; two children, John and Pamela; and four grandchildren. 

Blaine Clifford Richardson, 83, died Nov. 17, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. Richardson graduated from the University of Maryland and attended the George Washington Graduate School. He joined the Foreign Service in 1966 and his overseas posts included Laos, Italy and Vietnam. Richardson also served as director in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, as well as acting Mission director in Damascus and Syria. He is survived by his wife Jeanette. 

Harry Walter Shlaudeman, 92, died Dec. 5, 2018, in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Shlaudeman served in the U.S. Marine Corps and later attended Stanford University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English literature. He joined the Foreign Service in 1954 and served four decades in various positions throughout Latin America. Shlaudeman served as the U.S. Ambassador in Caracas, Lima, Buenos Aires, Central America, Brasilia and Managua. After 38 years of service, Shlaudeman retired and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In retirement, he remained active in discussions related to U.S. foreign policy in Latin America, but he also enjoyed golfing, traveling and was a passionate Washington Redskins fan. Shlaudeman was predeceased by his wife, Carol. He is survived by three children, Karl, Katherine and Harry; and two grandchildren. 

Robert Roy Walker III, 75, died Sept. 7, 2018, in Monett, Mo. He served in the U.S. Air Force before joining the Foreign Service. As a Foreign Service officer, Walker’s overseas posts included France, West Germany, East Berlin, Malta, Zaire, Malaysia and England. He was a train enthusiast and enjoyed collecting arrowheads and coins. Robert is survived by two sons, Robert and Philip; a daughter-in-law; four grandchildren; and two sisters. 

Erik Walton, 15, died Nov. 15, 2018, in Beijing, China. Walton, an eligible family member and son of a Foreign Service officer, lived and attended school in five different countries including Kenya, Germany, Malawi, China and the United States. He was a star athlete and enjoyed karaoke, music, acting and traveling the world. Walton is predeceased by his mother, Stephanie. He is survived by his father, Christopher; three sisters, Danaan, Brenna and Gwendolyn; and grandmother, Nancy.

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

Previous articleEthics Answers | April 2019
Next articleRetirements | April 2019