In Memoriam | January 2020

Conrad Lawrence Bellamy, 85, died Oct. 19, in Baltimore, Md. Bellamy joined the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. He joined the Foreign Service in 1961 as a communications officer and along with his late first wife Eleanor and their two children, they served in the Dominican Republic, Belgium, the Sudan, Morocco, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and France. Bellamy also served in Jamaica and India. He retired in 1992 after 36 years of service. Bellamy is survived by his wife of 22 years, Lynn; two children, Lorenzo and Marguerite; one stepson, Leonard; two grandchildren; and one step-grandson.

Dorothy “Dottie” Bennetch, 77, died Sept. 19, in Woodbury, N.J. Bennetch joined the Department of State in 1960 and served at posts in Thailand, Japan, and South Africa. She retired in 2001 and enjoyed baseball and spending time with her family and her cat Mickey. Bennetch was predeceased by her parents; her sister Joanne; and her brother, Edward. She is survived by an aunt, Adelaide; a cousin, Peter; and several nieces and nephews.

James “Jim” Kenneth Connell, 79, died Sept. 28, in Arlington, Va. Following a tour in Kenya with the Peace Corps, Connell joined the Foreign Service in 1964. He served as deputy chief of mission and chargé d’affaires in Reykjavik, was counselor for Political-Military Affairs in Ankara, and also served as a political advisor to the U.S. and NATO Atlantic Commands and two chiefs of Naval Operations at the Pentagon. Throughout his career, Connell also served at posts at the U.N., Bucharest, Prague, Vienna, and Austria. In retirement, he enjoyed sports and remained involved and interested in international affairs. Connell is survived by his wife of 47 years, Pia; a sister, Judy; two children, Chris and Katherine; and two grandchildren.

Linda Jewell, 66, died Nov. 18, in Washington, D.C. Jewell began her career with the Department in 1976. She served in cultural and information roles at posts in Jakarta, Mexico City, New Delhi, and Warsaw. In Washington, D.C., she served as a desk officer for Mexico and Central America and as deputy director and director for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA). Jewell also held positions as deputy chief of mission in San Jose, chief of policy planning in WHA, deputy assistant secretary of state for Canada and Mexico, and from 2005–2008 she served as ambassador to Ecuador. In retirement, she was active in promoting U.S. public diplomacy through various organizations and she loved to travel. Jewell is survived by her husband of 43 years and retired Foreign Service officer, John; and two children, Susanna and Patrick.

Delvin W. Junker, 84, died May 22, in Plantation, Fla. Junker joined the U.S. Army in 1957, then served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He retired from the Navy in 1979, and in 1981, he joined the Department of State as a Foreign Service officer where he served in Mexico, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Spain. Junker retired and returned to work part-time as a reemployed annuitant in Mongolia, Ireland, and Haiti. He was predeceased by two children, Rebecca and Mark. Junker is survived by his wife, Betty; and two stepsons, Patrick and George.

Daniel F. Keller, 71, died Nov. 5, in Austin, Texas. Keller served as a Foreign Service officer at posts in Mexico, Japan, China, Chile, Venezuela, the Philippines, Spain, Russia, and Nigeria. He retired in 2012 and was an active volunteer, was president of the Seneca Rotary Club and the Seneca Newcomers Club. In retirement he also enjoyed golfing, boating, fishing, bridge, and square dancing. Keller is survived by his wife, Mingchen; three children, Angela, Aimee, and Andrew; and three grandchildren.

Robert “Bob” Reilly Strand, 83, died June 20, in Baltimore, Md. Strand joined the Foreign Service after basic training in the U.S. Army in 1961. He served at posts in Guinea, Enugu, Eastern Nigeria, Zaire, and Moscow. He then worked for the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency in Belgrade, and was assigned for three years to the U.S. Mission in Belgrade. Strand also served as acting director in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. He retired in 1986 but continued to serve as a reviewer in the Freedom of Information Act Office until 2016. In retirement he enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, hiking, literature, and opera. He is survived by two children, Stratton and Ashley.

Thomas J. Wajda, 78, died Oct. 15, in Frederick, Md. Wajda joined the Foreign Service in 1963 after receiving a bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University. He served as a refugee advisor in the Tay Ninh Province during the Vietnam War, and served at posts in Iran, Afghanistan, Senegal, New Zealand, France, and Canada. Wajda retired in 1995, and with his wife, founded Willow Pond Farm, an herb and lavender farm in Fairfield, Pa., where he grew more than 100 varieties of lavender and founded the PA Lavender Festival. Wajda is survived by his wife of 58 years, Madeline; three children, Rebecca, Thomas, and Amy; and five grandchildren.

Frontis “Wig” B. Wiggins Jr., 90, died Oct. 29, in Arlington, Va. Wiggins served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. He joined the Foreign Service in 1953 and served as consul general in Brisbane, deputy chief of mission in Valletta, head of the board of examiners, deputy director general, and served in positions at posts in Guatemala City, Nairobi, Jakarta, and Rome. Wiggins retired after 38 years of service in 1991. In retirement he became an internationally recognized expert on Bing Crosby—publishing discography, interviews, and written works. Wiggins was predeceased by his wife and Foreign Service specialist, Laura. He is survived by a brother, James; two children, Frontis III and Joanne; and a grandson.

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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