In Memoriam | June 2019

David Bloch, 80, died April 14, in Washington, D.C. Bloch served in the U.S. Army and the Peace Corps prior to joining the Department of State in 1968. As a political and consular officer, Bloch served in Guatemala, Turkey, Afghanistan, Sicily and Brazil. He retired from the Foreign Service in 1993 but maintained a working association with the Department until 2014. Bloch enjoyed traveling, reading and cultural pursuits. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Barbara; and a sister, Benita. 

Gladys Boluda, 59, died April 25, in Annapolis, Md. In 1962, when she was two years old, Boluda immigrated with her family to the United States from Cuba. She later attended the University of Maryland, and in 1980 began working for the Department of State as a clerk typist. Boluda became a Foreign Affairs officer in 1988 and served at the Department for more than 39 years, 25 of which she spent in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. Most recently she served as assistant chief of protocol for diplomatic affairs in the Office of the Chief of Protocol. Boluda is predeceased by her father Miguel. She is survived by her mother, Gladys; her husband, Michael; and a daughter, Alexandra.

Richard “Dick” Cutler Perkinson, 75, died Feb. 23, in Arlington, Va. Perkinson served as a Green Beret in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, for which he was awarded a Bronze Star for Valor, two Purple Hearts and the Silver Star. He later earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Boston University. Perkinson entered public service with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and enjoyed a successful career in computer science. He joined the Department of State in 2011. He enjoyed reading science-fiction novels, fishing and spending time with his family in the outdoors. Perkinson is survived by his wife of 28 years, Diane; a sister, Joan; four children, David, Stephanie, Abigail and Debra; and nine grandchildren.

Lisa Kay Harshbarger, 59, died March 24, in Stuart, Fla. A graduate of Manchester College, Harshbarger received a master’s degree and a doctorate from Indiana University. In 1985, she taught writing and speaking skills in Kuala Lumpur, a job that led her to accept two Fulbright junior lecturer positions, an English language fellow assignment and eventually led her to join the Foreign Service as a regional English language officer in 2001. Harshbarger served in Washington, D.C., Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Hungary, the Philippines and the English Language Program Office at the Foreign Service Institute prior to her retirement in 2013. In retirement, she enjoyed reading and traveling. Harshbarger is survived by her husband, Jasmir; a son, Haris; her parents, Richard and Jane; and her brother, Jon.

James “Jim” Allan Lehman, 69, died Nov. 24, 2018, in Reston, Va. A Senior Foreign Service officer, Lehman held a number of positions within the Bureau of Overseas Building Operations (OBO) at the Department of State. He worked on numerous projects overseas including projects in Bolivia, Venezuela, Kuwait, Italy, Qatar, Mali, Republic of South Africa, Zambia, Senegal and Swaziland as well as various projects in Iraq. Lehman retired in 2016; however, he returned to OBO in 2017 to serve as the overseas project director for Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, until November 2018. He was happiest when he was working. Lehman is survived by his wife, Antonia. 

Wesley James Lincoln, 77, died March 20, in Raleigh, N.C. Lincoln served in the U.S. Army and later joined the Foreign Service. His overseas posts included Karachi, London, Manila and Pretoria. Domestically, he served in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and Springfield, Va. After 20 years in the Foreign Service, Lincoln retired and worked for various companies that contracted with the Department of State. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Beverly; five children, Pamela, Dennis, Douglas, Carol and Nicole, and 12 grandchildren. 

Roscoe H. Lindsey, 72, died Sept. 28, 2018, in Herndon, Va. A U.S. Navy veteran and English teacher, Lindsey joined the Foreign Service as a communications officer and served overseas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazzaville, Bonn, Maputo and Abu Dhabi. He retired in 2010 after 28 years of service. He also worked as an air traffic control trainer and volunteered at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, the Federal Aviation Association and Washington Dulles and Leesburg Airports. In 2011, Lindsey was selected to sing for Pope Benedict during a visit to Washington, D.C., and in 2015, he also sang for Pope Francis. Lindsey is survived by his sister-in-law, Ann; two nieces and two nephews. 

Gordon W. Murchie, 86, died March 16, in Alexandria, Va. Murchie began his career as a Foreign Service officer with USIA. He served in the Philippines, Thailand and Costa Rica. In 1985, Murchie began working for USAID, for which he traveled throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. He retired in 1993 after 35 years of service. In retirement, Murchie became active in the wine industry, serving as president of the Vinifera Wine Growers Association, and he helped to create the Mount Vernon wine festival series which is now in its 23rd year. Murchie is survived by his wife, Anita; two children, Scott and Tia; and two granddaughters.

John George Sinnicki, 87, died March 9, in Barnegat, N.J. Sinnicki served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1948-1952, where he participated in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War. After his military service, Sinnicki worked as a Foreign Service officer and served in Mogadishu, San Salvador, Panama, Islamabad, Warsaw, Belgrade and Ottawa. He retired after 34 years of service and received a commendation for his efforts in reopening Embassy Kuwait after Operation Desert Storm. He was also a lifetime member of the Polish Legion of American Veterans and the Korean War Veterans Association. Sinnicki is survived by his wife, Marian; two children, John and Sandy; and five grandchildren.

MacAlan “Mac” Thompson, 77, died Dec. 17, 2018, in Thailand. Thompson graduated from Oregon State College in 1963 and then served in the U.S. Army which included a tour at the Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base. In 1968, Thompson joined USAID and served nine years in Laos before evacuating when Vientiane fell in 1975. He continued his work in Foreign Service at the Department of State by supporting the effort to protect, assist and resettle refugees from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam to America. Thompson retired in 1992 and volunteered for the Thailand-Laos-Cambodia Brotherhood and supported the building of classrooms in Laos. Thompson is survived by his wife, Sunee; son, Chalee; and sister, Anne. 

Emily Lenora Towles, 95, died March 30, in Washington, D.C. Towles served at the Department of State for 43 years as a volunteer services assistant. She retired from Foreign Service in 1988 and enjoyed baking, spending time with her grandchildren and road trips with her husband, Anthus. Towles was also an active member of her church and participated in several church groups. Towles was predeceased by her husband and a daughter, Barbara. She is survived by two children, Thomas and Sheila.

Matthew H. Van Order, 90, died April 14, in Arlington, Va. Van Order attended the University of Rochester and received an M.A. from the University of Minnesota in 1951. After receiving his commission as an ensign, he served in the U.S. Navy until 1954. He entered the Foreign Service in 1958 and served in Mexico City; Karachi; Lusaka; and Monterrey, Mexico. He retired from the Foreign Service in 1983 and volunteered in the emergency room at Virginia Hospital Center for several years. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Maria; three sons, Howard, Bernard and Christopher; and four grandchildren. 

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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