In Memoriam | 2023

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

March 2023

Janet Beik, 69, died Dec. 25, 2022, in Wexford, Pa. Beik received a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College and earned master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. During her studies at Wisconsin, she served two years in the Peace Corps in Niger, West Africa, and spent two additional years there under a Fulbright scholarship. After that, Beik began a 25-year career with the Foreign Service, first serving in Khartoum, Sudan, where she met her future husband, Robert Claus, a fellow Foreign Service officer. Other overseas assignments included Montréal, Banjul, Kampala, and Abidjan. On sabbatical, Beik served as foreign policy advisor to Sen. Joseph Lieberman and earned a master’s degree from the National War College, Fort McNair. In Washington, she served in the Bureau of African Affairs, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Bureau of International Organizations, and the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization. Her last assignment was as deputy U.S. representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague. Beik was predeceased by her parents, Leland and Ruth; her husband, Robert; and a sister, Carol. She is survived by four siblings, Donna, Paula, Linda, and David; and five nieces and nephews.

Leona M. Coulombe, 62, died Dec. 18, 2022, in Alexandria, Va. Following her graduation from the University of Maine in Orono with a master’s degree, Coulombe was accepted into the Presidential Management Intern program and began a 37-year federal government career at the Naval Sea Systems Command in Arlington, Va. Coulombe worked in the field of acquisition management for major weapons systems and advanced to the position of branch chief and supervisory contracting officer. In July 1995, she joined the Department of State, serving as a branch chief in the Office of Acquisition Management. During her career with this office, she also served as division chief, and special assistant for the director of acquisition management. In March 1999, she joined the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) as office director, then later as executive director in May 2005, a position she held for nearly 17 years. Coulombe retired in February 2022. She was predeceased by her father, Roger; and a sister, Aimee. She is survived by her mother, Patricia; two siblings, Paul and Anne; and many nieces and nephews.

David E. O’Leary, 85, died Dec. 18, 2022, in Durham, N.H. After O’Leary graduated from school, he spent six years in the Franciscan order in both upstate New York and London, England. Upon leaving the order, he joined the Department of State, but was promptly drafted into the U.S. Army and served two years in Germany. He rejoined the Foreign Service in 1963 and was posted to Australia, Barbados, Poland, India, the Philippines, Norway, and Washington, with two more postings to Australia before taking his final position at the Visa Center in New Hampshire, until 1997. Upon retirement O’Leary spent most of his spare time in his garden. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Catherine “Tineke”; four children, John, Matthew, Anne Marie, and Catherine; and eight grandchildren.

Jenny P. Potter, 61, died Oct. 20, 2022 in Champaign, Ill. A U.S. Navy veteran, Potter served as an eligible family member in Bonn, Guangzhou, and Mbabane. She joined the Foreign Service as an office management specialist in 1998, serving in Tel Aviv, Lagos and Washington. In 2007, she became a financial management specialist, and served in Bogota, Charleston, Algiers, and Panama City. In retirement, Potter focused on helping people in need. She was predeceased by her parents James and Shirley; and two brothers. She is survived by five brothers; three sisters; 23 nieces and nephews; and her former husband Mark Butchart, with whom she had reconciled several years prior to her illness.

Deborah Kay “Debbie” Saunier, 73, died Oct. 7, 2022, in Dallas, Texas. For 30 years, Saunier served as a Foreign Service office management specialist. During her career, she served at posts in Italy, South Africa, Japan, Afghanistan, Mexico, Brazil, and Switzerland. She also served in many temporary duty assignments in support of official visits. Saunier retired in 2010 and moved to Texas, eventually settling in Dallas. She was an advanced-level scuba diver as well as a keen-eyed handgun target shooter. She liked fast cars and loved driving her rebuilt classic Corvette convertible. Saunier is survived by a brother, Clete; daughter, Esther; one granddaughter; and one great-grandson.

Ann Underwood Schrader, 92, died Jan. 7, in Escondido, Calif. In 1952, Schrader received a bachelor’s degree from Russell Sage College in Troy, N.Y. For the next few years she was a dietitian at Biggs Memorial Hospital in Ithaca, N.Y., and then for the Guilderland Central School District in Albany. In 1957, Schrader married Foreign Service Officer (FSO) Roger C. Schrader and they were immediately posted in Germany, where they held multiple assignments over 15 years, including in Bonn, Frankfurt, and Dusseldorf. Schrader spent the next 27 years as an FSO spouse, and lived in New Zealand, Switzerland, Germany, England, and Washington. She enjoyed traveling, volunteering for her children’s school and activities, and was a skilled bridge player. In 1994, Schrader and her husband retired to Tucson, Ariz., and in 2013, they moved to California where they enjoyed spending time with family and friends. Schrader was predeceased by her husband. She is survived by a brother, Jack; three children, Kevin, Karen, and Kimberley; and 10 grandchildren.

February 2023

Sean Michael Holly, 93, died Aug. 19, 2022, in Bolivar, W.Va. Holly was born in New York, and attended Manhattan College. He was drafted into the U.S. Air Force, where he served honorably until his discharge in 1954. He attended Fordham University under the GI Bill and, upon graduation in 1957, joined the Foreign Service. During his career, he served in Washington, Panama City, Colón, Vera Cruz, Mexico City, Rotterdam, New Delhi, Guatemala City, and the Sinai Field Mission. While in Guatemala in 1970, he was kidnapped and safely returned. After retiring in 1986, he owned and operated a business in Leesburg, Va. Holly was predeceased by a brother, Eamon. He is survived by a brother, Brendan; five children, Leo, Moira, Mairead, Christopher, and Kevin; and a number of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and extended family members.

Shen-Yi “Henry” Hu, 88, died Nov. 26, 2022, in Kensington, Md. Hu was born during Japan’s occupation of Taiwan in World War II. He served at Quemoy in the Republic of China’s Armed Forces during the 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis. Hu came to the United States as a graduate student in 1964, earning a master’s degree and a license as a professional engineer. Following his certifications, Hu worked as a civil engineer. In 1983, he joined the Department of Defense and took a post in Okinawa, Japan. He later worked for the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Information Agency and the Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Building Operations, traveling to more than 100 countries before retiring in 2008. In retirement, Hu volunteered for the Smithsonian as a tour guide at the Castle and the National Museum of Natural History. He also became certified as a master gardener, caring for plants and teaching gardening skills. Hu is survived by his wife of 56 years, A-Li Wei Hu; two children, Peggy and Erick; one grandson, A.J. Friedline; six younger siblings; and dozens of nephews, nieces, cousins, and in-laws.

Andrew J. “AJ” Kopiak, Jr., 73, died March 30, 2022, in Fairfax, Va. After serving in the U.S. Navy for 20 years, Kopiak joined the Department of State in the late 1980s as a messaging communications officer in the Bureau of Information Resources Management (IRM). His overseas assignments included Lisbon, London, Sarajevo, Dublin, and Tel Aviv. Over the course of his career, Kopiak was responsible for control and coordination of telecommunications, information technology, and telegraphic programs in IRM’s messaging center. He also served as a liaison messaging communications officer supporting the Executive Secretariat’s Operations Center on matters concerning Department telecommunications operations with other government agencies and Foreign Service posts. Kopiak retired from the Foreign Service in 2013, but returned as a retired annuitant in IRM until 2020.

Douglas G. Marshall, 94, died Nov. 2, 2022, in Melrose, Mass. He was born in Granite, Okla., July 22, 1928. Born in Oklahoma, Marshall moved from Oklahoma to California when he was 8 years old. He earned a B.A. in social science from Fresno State College in 1951 and pursued graduate studies in economics and education from 1954-1958. During that time, Marshall served as a surgical technician in the U.S. Army, where he met his first wife, Patricia (they later divorced). They were married in 1954. In 1958, Marshall joined the Foreign Service and was stationed in Mexico City. He subsequently served in Tehran, Bombay, and Karachi, before returning to Washington. In 1976 he and his wife divorced. In 1979, he became the executive director for the New England Fishery Management Council, where he worked until his retirement in 1997. He met his second wife, Julie, in California in 1984, and they were married in April 1985. Douglas was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Jimmy D. Marshall. He is survived by his wife, Julie A. Marshall; his three daughters, Karenina Cooper, Cynthia Daddio, and Jessica Marshall; as well as nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Elizabeth Ann Powers, 82, died Nov. 19, 2022, in Gainesville, Fla. Powers first joined the Department of State as an intern on Navy Hill, where she witnessed the construction of the Harry S Truman Building. She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from St. Joseph College and after a few years of teaching, joined the Foreign Service. She served in Montreal, Windsor, Managua, Bridgetown, London, Jeddah, Guayaquil, and St. George’s, as well as Washington. As a consular officer, Powers was devoted to the welfare of Americans abroad and often traveled to remote locations in her countries of assignment. Following her retirement, she worked in tax preparation, and volunteered as a data entry specialist. Powers is survived by her husband of 48 years, T. Stewart Neilson, also a retired Foreign Service officer; two children, Margaret and Andrew; two grandchildren; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Marten H.A. van Heuven, died Dec. 25, 2022, in Washington, D.C. Born in the Netherlands, van Heuven came to the United States with his parents shortly after the end of World War II. He graduated from Yale College and Yale Law School, also earning a master’s degree in international affairs at Columbia University. In 1957, he began his career in the Department of State’s Office of the Legal Advisor. From 1958-1962, he served on the U.S. delegations to the United Nations General Assembly. In 1963, he became legal adviser at the U.S. Mission in Berlin, followed by tours at the U.S. Mission to NATO, the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and in Eastern European Affairs at the Department. After a year at the Woodrow Wilson School in Princeton, van Heuven served as counselor for Political Affairs at The Hague and then in Bonn; and thereafter as deputy chief of mission at the United Nations Office in Geneva. Later, he was the director of the Office of Western European Affairs. In 1987, van Heuven joined the National Intelligence Council as national intelligence officer for Europe. After leaving government, van Heuven joined the RAND Corporation as a senior consultant. In Washington, he was also a distinguished lecturer at the National Foreign Affairs Training Center. In addition, he served on the Board of Directors of the Atlantic Council of the U.S. He published widely on European and transatlantic affairs and was a frequent lecturer in the United States and in Europe. van Heuven is survived by his wife, Ruth; two daughters, Anne Marie and Catherine Margot; a granddaughter; and his brother.

January 2023

Jordan Thomas “Tom” Rogers, 101, died Sept. 22, in Mechanicsburg, Penn., of congestive heart failure. Rogers was born May 25, 1921, in Hartsville, S.C. During WWII, he served in the Army Air Corps as a weather forecaster in Newfoundland for aircraft flying over the North Atlantic to Europe. He married Sarah Flinn Rogers in October 1945, and in 1946 joined the Department of State, where he was sent to Germany during the Berlin airlift. He later served in Hungary, Argentina, Ecuador, Washington, and Pakistan. Throughout his life he fought for social justice, including participating in the March on Washington in 1964. Rogers took early retirement in 1974, and worked in international commerce for the Pennsylvania state government before opening his own business specializing in the same field. In retirement, he enjoyed camping, running, and volunteering. He is survived by three daughters, Elinor Walker Rogers, Louisa Rogers, and Jane Sronce McIver; and by son-in-law Robert Meadows-Rogers.

David Ingersoll Hitchcock Jr., 94, died Sept. 4, in Rockville, Md. Hitchcock was born in Salem, Mass., and grew up in New Haven, Conn. In 1950, he graduated from Dartmouth College, and then served in the U.S. Army from 1951-1953. Thereafter, he worked as a legislative assistant for Sen. H. Alexander Smith. He married Rachel Lee Williamson in May 1956. In 1957, he joined the United States Information Agency (USIA). After two years in Vietnam, Hitchcock was assigned to Tokyo where he helped build American studies and Fulbright programs at Japanese universities, championed U.S.-Japan cultural exchange, and built ties to journalists and intellectuals. David later served in Tel Aviv before returning to Tokyo in 1981. He concluded his USIA career in Washington as director of the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and retired in 1992. In retirement, Hitchcock dedicated himself to projects promoting peaceful coexistence between Arabs and Jews. He is survived by his wife of 66 years; his children, Charles W. Hitchcock, Evelyn T. Hitchcock (and Nick Black), Lucinda L. Hitchcock (and Thomas Brendler), and William I. Hitchcock (and Elizabeth Varon); and his grandchildren, Rachel L. Black, John P. Black, Benjamin L. Hitchcock, Emma T. Hitchcock, Phoebe L. Hitchcock Brendler, and Violet B. Hitchcock Brendler.

George Francis Sherman, Jr., 92, died Sept 17, in Chelsea, Mich. Sherman was born in Boston, Mass., July 25, 1930. He grew up in Euclid, Ohio, and Hamden, Conn. After finishing his undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College in 1952, George received a master’s degree at Columbia University’s Russian Institute in 1954, and pursued post-graduate studies at Oxford University, St Anthony’s College from 1954-1955. He married Anne “Nancy” Woodberry in 1956. Sherman and his graduate school classmate Peter Juviler sought and received permission from the Russian government to travel to the U.S.S.R. to interview Nikita Khrushchev, then Premier of the Soviet Union. The June 1955 publication of these interviews launched his almost 20-year career as a journalist for numerous publications. In 1974, Sherman joined the Department of State as the press liaison for the Bureau of Near East Affairs. He participated in the Middle East peace talks at Camp David in 1978. In 1981, he was accepted into the Foreign Service, and served abroad in Calcutta, Cairo, and New Delhi, before returning Stateside in 1991. He worked at the Foreign Service Institute and then the U.S. Mission to the U.N. until retirement in 1994. Sherman was preceded in death by his wife, Nancy. He is survived by his children, Deborah Sherman (Sarah Drury), Beth Sherman (Karen Hawver), Justin Sherman (Junko Onishi), Drew Sherman (Danielle Epstein); and grandchildren, Bradley Hawver-King, Emma Sherman-Hawver, Benjamin Sherman-Hawver, Astrid Sherman-Drury, and Michael Epstein Sherman.

Edward Allan Gallagher, 68, of Arlington, Va., died May 13, 2022, of cancer. Gallagher graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1976 with a major in Russian studies, and earned his master’s degree in international studies from Georgetown University in Washington. During his military career, he attained command pilot status with more than 4,500 hours in the C-130 transport and KC-135 air refueling aircraft. He commanded several combat flying units, conducting numerous world-wide operations. He concluded his military career in 2006, as the defense and air attaché to the Czech Republic, retiring as a Colonel after 30 years of service. After retiring, Gallagher joined the Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer in 2007. During his 11-year tenure, Gallagher served in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, France, and Iraq. Upon his second retirement, he traveled and enjoyed conducting various renovation projects. He is survived by his wife, Julie (Ruffing) Gallagher; children, Matthew and Caitlin “Katie” Gallagher; and his sisters, Jeannine Ross and Shirley Kelly Mart.

Lorrell Smith Doughty, 68, of Upper Marlboro, Md., died Nov. 8. Doughty was born April 24, 1954, in the District of Columbia. She earned a nurse’s aide certificate from M.M. Washington Adult Education in 1973. As a teenager, she met and attended church with the man who became the love of her life, Clifton O. Doughty, Jr. The two were married in 1984, and together raised seven children. Doughty began her three decades of federal government service at USAID before joining the Bureau of Information Resource Management’s Office of the Chief Information Officer in 1999. In 2008, she moved to the Department’s eDiplomacy office where she served until her passing. Doughty shared her love and faith generously through cooking, sewing, gardening, and jewelry making. She was a devoted member of her church in Forestville, Md., where she served as a deacon in various ministries. She is survived by her husband of 38 years, Clifton; children, Abdul, Damion, Clifton III, Corrdell, and London; grandchildren, Quantia, Zane, Damion, Lauren, Makayla, Patience, Dakari, and Autumn; siblings, Alvin Charles (Love), Jackie (Mark), Lynn, and Shani; and a host of extended family members. Doughty was predeceased by her parents, Earl and Elma Smith; two siblings, Anita Leach and Jean Payne; and two children, Anthony and Damion Coleman. 

Karim Smither, 38, died Sept. 26, in Washington. Smither was born in Silver Spring, Md., and grew up in Maitland, Fla. He graduated summa cum laude from Georgetown University, majoring in government and Arabic languages, literature, and linguistics, and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa as a junior. Upon graduating, he was awarded a Marshall Scholarship and attended Oxford University where he obtained master’s degrees in global governance and diplomacy and modern Middle Eastern studies. After graduating from Oxford, Smither worked with the Carter Center as an election observer in South Sudan, after which he joined the Department’s Bureau of African Affairs (AF). Karim was a dedicated and brilliant public servant, who worked diligently as a member of the AF team from 2010-2017. In 2017, he left the office of U.S. special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan to pursue academic interests. During his tenure at the Department, he was consistently recognized for his accomplishments, including his extraordinary work to provide life-saving assistance for thousands of Sudanese refugees fleeing war. He was awaiting a new assignment in the Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, which would have greatly benefited from his experience and analytical acumen. He is survived by his parents, Robert and Janan Smither, and his sister, Dina Smither.

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

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