In Memoriam | 2023

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September 2023

Alexander “Alex” Hopkins, 79, died April 10, in Piggott, Ariz. Hopkins served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. He served as a contractor for NASA for 10 years, working on the Saturn Rocket, all of the Apollo missions, Soyuz, and Skylab. He then worked for the U.S. Navy, helping to install one of the first digital communication systems. Hopkins joined the Foreign Service in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security Service, where he served as a senior engineering officer. He served in Brazil, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. In 2004 after 20 years of service, Hopkins retired and became a “gentleman rancher.” He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Eugenia; three children; nine grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Mary J. Mahoney, 95, died July 10, in West Hills, Calif. Mahoney joined the Foreign Service in the early 1960s as an administrative/personnel officer. She served in Delhi, Geneva, Georgetown, Dakar, Paris, and Singapore. She retired in September 1990 and settled in Fernandina Beach, Fla., where she lived for more than 30 years. She enjoyed serving her community as a child advocate and as a volunteer with the Barnabas Center. Mahoney is survived by nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Naina Singh Nepali, 59, died June 28, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. A local guard force member at the U.S. Consulate General in Jeddah, Naina Singh Nepali was fulfilling his duties when an armed assailant attacked the consulate compound. Naina Singh Nepali guarded the former and current U.S. consulate compounds in Jeddah since 2007. Originally from Nepal, Naina Singh Nepali was a teacher for four years in his home country prior to joining the Local Guard Force. He enjoyed traveling, sewing, and spending time with his wife and three children. He is survived by his mother, Atti Damini; his wife, Parbati; and three sons, Abhisekh (a Local Guard Force member at Embassy Riyadh), Ankit, and Asmit.

George P. Newman, 85, died July 20, in Mitchellville, Md. Newman was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1937. When he was two years old, Newman, his mother, and his aunt escaped the Nazi annexation of Austria and emigrated to the United States, where his father had arrived a year earlier. They settled in Springfield, Mass. After graduating from Springfield’s Classical High School, he attended McGill University and Columbia University. He then served two years in the U.S. Army, stationed in France. Afterward, he served as a reporter and editor. He also served as a public information officer with the U.S. Peace Corps. He retired early from the newspaper business and, in 1992, joined the Foreign Service with the U.S. Information Agency. He served in Austria, Germany, Togo, and Zambia before retiring in 2002. Newman was predeceased by his stepson, Todd. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; a son, Jonathan; three stepchildren, Leslie, Shannon, and Jerry; and three granddaughters.

Diane Williams Shelby, 80, died July 10, in Washington, D.C. Shelby graduated from Howard University and became one of the first women in the field of computer programming. She later attended John Marshall College of Law, graduating in 1973, and served as a lawyer specializing in environmental law compliance while she simultaneously obtained an MBA. Shelby served at the Department of Commerce, then in 1987, she joined the Foreign Service as a political advisor. During her career, she was posted in Korea, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Nigeria. She was a consul and/or a political officer until her retirement in 2009. Shelby was active in her church and was a passionate animal lover. She is survived by three children, Harold, Bonita, and Amelia, and five grandchildren.

Anthony “Tony” Cecil Eden Quainton, 89, died July 31, in Washington, D.C. Quainton joined the Foreign Service in 1959. During his career, he served as U.S. ambassador at multiple posts, including the Central African Republic, Nicaragua, Kuwait, and Peru. He also served as director of the Office for Combating Terrorism, deputy inspector general of the Foreign Service, assistant secretary for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, and director general of the Foreign Service. He worked at posts in Australia, Pakistan, India, France, and Nepal. He retired in 1997 and taught at the School of International Service at American University from 2003-2019. He also served on the boards of Princeton Alumni Corps, St. Michaels University School, Interfaith Council of Metropolitan Washington, Washington Theological Consortium, Lions Club, the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, and La Roche University. Quainton is survived by his wife of 65 years, Susan; three children, Katherine, Eden, and Elizabeth; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Douglas Leslie Tinsler, 79, died June 20, in Lima, Peru. Tinsler joined the Foreign Service and served in the Philippines, Indonesia, Egypt, and Costa Rica. He also worked for Chemonics International, where he continued to support projects around the world. He enjoyed musicals and Civil War history. Tinsler was predeceased by his mother and father; and a sister, Patricia. He is survived by his wife, Rosa; three children, Forrest, Elena, and Ana; three stepchildren, Gian-Piero, Stefano, and Antonella; and seven grandchildren.

Marian L. Tipton, 86, died July 18, in Walla Walla, Wash. Tipton received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. She joined the Foreign Service in 1961, serving in the consular section at posts in Mexico, Bolivia, Guatemala, Chile, and Romania. She met and married fellow Foreign Service officer, John, at her first post in Mexico City; they were subsequently divorced in 1981. Tipton also served as a program officer at UNESCO and as the registrar for the Board of Examiners. She retired in 1988 to Winchester, Va., and later moved to Santa Fe, N.M., and Walla Walla, Wash. She enjoyed traveling and supporting animal welfare causes in retirement. Tipton was predeceased by her husband, Colin. She is survived by two daughters, Alzada and Johnna; her stepdaughter Debbie; and five grandchildren.

August 2023

Roger Christopher “Chris” Nottingham, 76, died May 1, in Washington, D.C. Originally from Muncie, Ind., Nottingham worked at his parents’ Ace Fruit Company and attended Indiana University. He served in the Peace Corps in Korea, International Voluntary Services in Laos, and AmeriCorps VISTA before joining the Foreign Service in 1977. He served in assignments in Korea, Pakistan, Uganda, Germany, Portugal, Lebanon, and Washington. Following retirement in 2005, he tutored at T. C. Williams High School and Charles Barrett Elementary School. He enjoyed spending time with his lifelong partner, Helene, and their golden retrievers Palu and Pippa at their homes in Alexandria, Va., and St. George Island, Md. Nottingham is survived by two siblings, Eric and Emily.

Herbert Rathner, 96, died June 16, in Las Vegas, Nev. Rathner served with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division during World War II. In 1951, he graduated from the University of Maryland and went on to work with the Washington, D.C., and Prince George’s County Recreation Departments as a recreation supervisor, and with the Departments of the Army and Air Forces in Europe as a civilian sports consultant and recreation supervisor for the U.S. forces in Europe. He joined the Foreign Service in 1965 and served as a general services officer in Freetown, Seoul, and La Paz; conference attaché in Geneva; administrative counselor in Kingston; and at the U.S. Information Agency as the Department of State representative to the U.S. Olympic Committee. Under the Department’s Pearson Program, he served as assistant to the mayor of Natchez, Miss. He also held assignments in Washington as an international narcotics officer, international conference officer, and deputy examiner with the Foreign Service Board of Examiners. He retired in 1990, and served as a reemployed annuitant until 2007. Rathner was predeceased by his wife, Norma. He is survived by three children, William, James, and Kathryn.

George A. Trail III, 86, died May 13, in Pinehurst, N.C. Trail earned a bachelor’s degree from Franklin and Marshall College. He then served in the U.S. Navy for six and a half years, the last two spent teaching naval science at Rice University where he earned an additional bachelor’s degree in economics. Joining the Foreign Service in 1965, Trail’s first assignments took him to Munich and Bonn, followed by a tour as political officer in Sierra Leone in 1968. Returning to Washington in 1970 as Liberian desk officer, he subsequently spent a year as a congressional fellow in the offices of Congressman Lee Hamilton and Senator Lee Metcalf. Trail served as consul general in Kaduna in 1973 and as a political-military officer covering the Vietnam conflict from Bangkok in 1975. On his return to Washington in 1978, he served as deputy director of the Office of West African Affairs. He was consul general in Johannesburg in 1980 and deputy chief of mission (DCM) in Nairobi in 1984. He served as ambassador to Malawi from 1988 to 1991. In 1991, he was the DCM in Nigeria, where he oversaw the embassy’s transfer from Lagos to Abuja. Retiring in 1993, he returned to South Africa where he formed a consultancy with three retired newspaper editors. From 2000-2010, Trail and his wife divided their time between South Africa and North Carolina before settling permanently in Pinehurst. Trail is survived by his wife, Sharon; three children; and 12 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

July 2023

Frank Bates III, 84, died March 29, in Gainesville, Fla. Bates joined the Foreign Service in 1982 as a regional security engineering officer with the Bureau of Diplomatic Security. He served in Romania, Greece, Turkey, and Russia. Bates retired in 2003, and enjoyed reading and traveling. He is survived by his wife, Hikmet; two daughters, Robin and Mary; a sister, Mary; two grandchildren; and a niece.

Harry C. Blaney III, 85, died May 11, in Bethesda, Md. Blaney had a B.A. from Allegheny College and an M.A. from Yale University. He also did graduate work and research at Johns Hopkins University and at the London School of Economics and Political Science. As a Foreign Service officer, Blaney served as a member of the policy planning staff in the offices of Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Cyrus Vance. He served twice overseas in Brussels at the U.S. Mission to the European Communities, and at the U.S. Mission to NATO where he was economic and science counselor. Blaney was a White House staff member and special assistant to the counselor to the president. While at the White House, Blaney served as coordinator for the United States in NATO’s Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society and he was also special assistant to the chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality. After retiring in 1988, Blaney volunteered as president and CEO of the Coalition for American Leadership Abroad. He was also a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy.

James Maurice Ealum, 92, died April 8, in Norman, Okla. In 1953, Ealum graduated from the University of Oklahoma. In June of that year, he reported for active duty and served on two aircraft carriers—USS Sitkoh Bay and USS Boxer—before receiving a master’s degree from Harvard University. In 1957, he joined the Foreign Service and served in Tel Aviv, Moscow, and Tehran. In Washington, he managed assignments to Europe, served as director of the Operations Center, deputy director of management operations, director of the Office of Iranian Affairs, and special advisor for Afghanistan. He was consul general in Dhahran, chargé d’affaires in Kabul, and served as diplomat-in-residence in Stillwater, Okla. Prior to retiring in 1990, Ealum enjoyed stamps, fly-fishing, horses, polo, and his family. He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Shirley. Ealum is survived by two children, Sydney and James; and two grandchildren.

Sharon Mary Flood, 83, died April 26, in Wichita, Kan. In 1991, at the age of 52, she joined the Foreign Service as an administrative assistant. She served in France (twice), China, Canada, and Austria before retiring in 2004. After she retired, she volunteered with Sutter Coast Hospital for many years, and enjoyed watching “Antiques Roadshow” and reading suspense novels. Flood is survived by her siblings, Bob, George, and Jenny; two daughters, Bonnie and Chriss; and her grandchildren.

George Cox Macon, 82, died April 21, in Bowie, Md. Macon served in the U.S. Air Force for 26 years before retiring from military service. In 1986, he began working for the Department of State as a contractor, later converting to Civil Service. He served in many offices within the Bureau of Administration, including their Acquisition Management Branch as a logistics management specialist, working on their customer service team. He retired in 2008 after 22 years with the Department. Macon is survived by his wife of 33 years, Jacqueline; five children, Gaylen, Keisha, Bernadette, Lorna, and George Jr.; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Marion Carolyn Naifeh, 95, died May 20, in Aiken, S.C. Naifeh graduated from Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., and spent her junior year abroad in Mexico. In 1949, she studied at Johns Hopkins, which is where she met her Foreign Service Officer husband, George. They spent nearly 30 years at posts in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Washington. While at post, Naifeh taught everything from literacy to graduate school. She was also a published author. Naifeh was predeceased by her husband; and a son, Roger. She is survived by two children, Steven and Carolyn; a “second” son, Esteban; many nieces and nephews; and a large extended family.

June 2023

Malcolm Richard Barnebey, 95, died March 19, in Dallas, Texas. After high school, Barnebey joined the U.S. Army just before the end of World War II. He received a B.A. and an M.A. from North Texas State University, and went on to serve on the faculty of Weatherford Junior College before being accepted into the Foreign Service in 1952. He served in Austria, Bolivia (twice), Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru, and as the last consul general to the then-British colony of Belize. In 1981, he was appointed as the first U.S. ambassador to Belize when it was granted independence. He also served in other leadership positions in Washington. Barnebey retired in 1985, and he worked as a consultant and taught at the University of Houston. He volunteered as an election worker, was active in his homeowners association, and enjoyed playing bridge. Barnebey was preceded in death by his wife of 75 years, June. He is survived by a sister, Mary; sister-in-law, Carolyn; three sons, Malcolm, Wright, and Avery; two grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Ellen Brugger, 97, died April 3, in Athens, Ga. Brugger joined the Foreign Service in 1954 as a secretary. During her career, she served at posts in Switzerland, Belgium, Canada, Zaire, France, Yugoslavia, Cambodia, Israel, Morocco, and Luxembourg. She retired in 1979 to Alexandria, Va., where she spent her time with her Foreign Service friends. Brugger loved traveling, knitting, and crafting. She is survived by many nieces and nephews.

Department of State Seal

Robert Thomas Burns, 98, died April 16, in Orlando, Fla. In 1943, Burns served in the infantry in the European theater during World War II. He rose to the rank of staff sergeant and was discharged in 1946. Post-war, Burns joined the Foreign Service and served at posts in Berlin, Vancouver, Paris, and Bonn. He retired in 1979, and enjoyed reading, painting, and tending his bonsai garden. Burns was predeceased by his wife, Junella. He is survived by five children, 13 grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren.

John A. Mercurio Sr., 95, died April 5, in Hamilton, N.J. Mercurio served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He graduated from Rider University and joined the Foreign Service, where he served in the Office of the Inspector General, traveling around the world. He retired in 1979. Mercurio was predeceased by his wife, Rosie. He is survived by three children, Joanne, John Jr., and Elaine; a sister-in-law, Olga; five grandchildren; a great-grandson; and many nieces and nephews.

Christine O’Connor Fulena, 71, died Dec. 23, 2022, in Geneva, Switzerland. Fulena received a bachelor’s degree from American University and a paralegal diploma from Georgetown University. In 1977, she joined the Foreign Service as an office management specialist (OMS) and her first assignment was with the U.S. Delegation to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (now World Trade Organization) in Geneva. During her career, Fulena served at posts in Bogotá, Port Louis, Brussels, Mogadishu, Paris, Port-au-Prince, Rome, and she held assignments with the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva. In Washington, she served in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and as an instructor at the Foreign Service Institute. She proudly served as an OMS to six ambassadors in five posts in three different geographic regions. In 2017, Fulena retired and relocated with her family to Geneva. She enjoyed touring museums, scuba diving, downhill skiing, and sculling. Fulena is survived by her husband, Poolust; a daughter Yasmine; three siblings, Valerie, Amy, and Christopher; five nieces and nephews; and numerous in-laws.

Dirk Gene Richards, 66, died March 22, in West Jordan, Utah. In 1989, Richards joined the Foreign Service as a financial specialist in Kinshasa. That assignment was followed by tours in Austria, Nepal, Vietnam, Malaysia, Russia, and the United Kingdom, plus a total of seven years in Washington before retiring in 2011. In retirement, Richards engaged in humanitarian work in Madagascar and served with his church in Mexico, Ecuador, and Texas. He enjoyed genealogy, reading, art galleries, and insisted on using water-wise plants. Richards was predeceased by one son. He is survived by his wife, Claudia; six children, and twenty-one grandchildren. 

May 2023

Thomas “Tom” Warren Greene, 90, died Feb. 3, in Washington, D.C. In 1954, Greene received a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College. He spent one year as a Fulbright Scholar at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, and in 1958, he earned a Ph.D. from Princeton University. In 1960, Greene joined the Foreign Service and served at posts in Afghanistan, Iran, India, Morocco, Brazil, and Pakistan. He retired in 1990, but came back to work for the Department of State declassifying documents. In retirement, Greene enjoyed traveling with his wife, Margaret, and singing and playing the trombone in a number of musical groups. Greene is survived by his wife of 61 years; three children, Margaret, Thomas, and Marion; six grandchildren; two sisters; and seven nieces and nephews.

Judith “Judy” Heumann, 75, died March 4, in Washington, D.C. In 1969, Heumann graduated from Long Island University. Denied a teaching license due to her disability, Heumann sued the Board of Education, winning the landmark case and going on to teach for three years. In 1975, she received a master’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley. Shortly thereafter, Heumann led a historic sit-in, resulting in the successful signing of meaningful regulations for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Serving on the international front for more than 30 years, Heumann worked for organizations and with governments helping to advance the human rights of people with disabilities. She represented then-Education Secretary Richard Riley; was a U.S. delegate to the fourth United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing; and co-founded the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley and the World Institute on Disability in Oakland, Calif. From 1993 to 2001, Heumann served in the Clinton Administration as assistant secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the Department of Education. From 2002-2006, she served as the World Bank’s first advisor on disability and development. In 2010, Heumann was appointed as the Department of State’s first special advisor for international disability rights, a position which she served until 2017. She later served as a senior fellow at the Ford Foundation, authored a memoir, and produced a bi-weekly podcast. Heumann is survived by her husband, Jorge.

John Lamar Mills, 96, died Jan. 16, in Springfield, Va. In 1950, Mills joined the Foreign Service. He served in El Salvador, Libya, Venezuela, Bolivia, Iran, and Panama. After retiring in 1981, Mills worked part-time as a senior reviewer for the Department of State’s Freedom of Information Act office. He officially retired in December 2011, and enjoyed genealogy, reading, hiking, and gardening. Mills also loved to travel and lived in, or visited, 73 countries throughout his life. He is survived by three children, Dorothy, John Jr., and Robert; three granddaughters; and six great-grandchildren.

William “Bill” C. Mithoefer, 91, died March 6, in Woodbridge, Va. Mithoefer earned a bachelor’s degree from Wooster College and a master’s degree from Duke University. He joined the Foreign Service and served at posts in Madrid, New York, Kigali, Ibadan, and Douala. He served as principal officer, acting ambassador, and deputy ambassador in Yaounde; political advisor to the ambassador in Monrovia; political, economic, and commercial advisor to the ambassador in Accra; acting ambassador and deputy ambassador in Conakry; and acting ambassador in Malabo. In Washington, he served in the Department of State’s Office of Human Rights and Women’s Affairs; as special assistant in Munitions Control and officer in charge of Iraq, Libya, Somalia, and Yugoslavia sanctions programs; and as an subject matter expert for Africa and Nigeria analyst. Mithoefer loved art in every form and collected African art which is now on display at Wooster College, Brown University, and Michigan State University. He is survived by his wife, Reneé-Paule; a daughter, Sarah; and a grandson, Roscoe.

William Max Plummer, 86, died Oct. 11, 2022, in Falls Church, Va. Plummer joined the Foreign Service in 1986, after a 26-year career with the U.S. Air Force. As a Foreign Service specialist, Plummer served two tours in Saudi Arabia (Riyadh and Jeddah); as well as postings in Yemen, Israel, Kuwait, and Tunisia. He retired in 2006, relocated to Houston, Texas before returning to Washington in 2019. Plummer was predeceased by his second wife, Katerina. He is survived by a daughter, Marion; former spouse, Zarina; a sister, Carol; and several nieces and nephews.

Marvel Virginia Schafer, 91, died Feb. 7, in Seattle, Wash. In 1952, Schafer graduated from Washington State University. Pursuing her dream to travel in Europe, she entered the Foreign Service. Her first post was in the Philippines, working as a secretary in Manila. Over the course of her career she also served in Moscow, Vienna, Bucharest, Conakry, Sydney, and Beijing. Schafer served as special assistant to the assistant secretary for administration and program officer for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. She was a graduate and instructor at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Ft. McNair. In 1984, she retired from her final post as the ambassador to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. In retirement, she relocated to Seattle, where in 1987, she was named director of the newly created Office of International Affairs. In retirement, she divided her time between Seattle and Arizona, and enjoyed golfing.  

Department of State Seal

Fred H. Sheppard, 85, died Feb. 13, in Annapolis, Md. In 1961, Sheppard began his Foreign Service career in Khorramshahr, Iran, as a communications officer. During his career, he served as a general services officer in Tehran, Enugu (Nigeria), Beirut, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Cairo; and as a management counselor in Taipei and Nairobi. He also served as the office director for the Office of Career Development and Assignments, a position from which he retired from in 1989. Sheppard also served two years in Stuttgart, Germany in the U.S. Army. He enjoyed traveling. Sheppard is survived by his wife, Peggy; two children, Suzanne and Kenny; and six grandchildren.

April 2023

Robert Dean Barber, 94, died Jan. 17, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Following military service and college, in 1954, Barber joined the Department of State where he served as a special agent. In 1962, he transferred to the United States Information Agency. There, Barber held the position of director in the Office of Security until he retired in 1980. In retirement, he first moved to Asheville, N.C., then in 1993 moved to Palm Beach County, Fla. His retirement years were centered around his family, but he also enjoyed drawing and painting, reading history, and taking part in church, civic, and charitable activities. He was also a dedicated Chicago Cubs fan. Barber was predeceased by his wife Dorothy, and son Ralph. He is survived by three children, Janet, Nancy, and Joseph.

Jim “Beaumont” B. Marshall, 88, died Jan. 19, in Clarksville, Tenn. After attending Clarksville High School and Davidson College, Marshall joined the Foreign Service. During his career he served at posts in Canada, Brazil, India, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and in Washington. He graduated from the Royal College of Defence Studies in London and received a Ford Foundation Fellowship to attend Princeton University where he studied population demographics. He was a delegate to the United Nations’ Population Commission. Marshall retired to Clarksville, where he was active in his church, the local theater, library, and other charitable organizations. Marshall is survived by a brother, Jack; four nephews; five nieces; and many grand-nieces and nephews.

Giovanni Palazzolo, 94, died Nov. 18, 2022, in Brunswick, Ga. Originally from Taormina on Sicily’s eastern coast, Palazzolo attended an Italian university and began work as a Foreign Service National employee at the U.S. Consular Agency in Palermo. In 1969, he emigrated to the United States following his marriage to Dell, a U.S. Foreign Service officer. He taught Italian at the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, Va., while completing a master’s degree program at American University. After obtaining U.S. citizenship, he became a Foreign Service officer and went on to serve in Washington, and several countries in the Caribbean. Palazzolo and his wife served as a tandem couple at a number of posts overseas, including: Paris, Algeria, and at the U.S. Mission to NATO in Brussels. Palazzolo retired in 1987, and he and his wife divided their time between Jekyll Island, Ga., and his hometown in Italy. He enjoyed traveling, tennis, and water activities. Palazzolo is survived by his wife of 53 years, Dell; and several nieces and nephews.

LeRoy “Lee” R. Schultz, 90, died Jan. 27, in Boulder City, Nev. After graduating from high school in 1950, Schultz served in the U.S. Army, and was stationed in Japan and Korea. He graduated from the University of Minnesota and Sacramento State, and went on to further his education in Mexico City. Schultz joined the Department of State as a courier, and traveled thousands of miles worldwide during his career. He was an avid hiker and mountain climber, and ran many marathons. He was also a big fan of Minnesota football teams, the Gophers and the Vikings. Schultz was predeceased by five siblings, George, Rosella, Violet, Florence, and Lillie; and four nephews, Billy, Randy, David, and Jimmy. He is survived by seven nieces and nephews, Rose Marie, Vickie, Shirley, Larry, Jesse, Diana, and Jim; and many great and great-great nieces and nephews.

Gwynne Lee Strader, 89, died Jan. 11, in Sarasota, Fla. After high school, Strader attended commercial art school in Nashville, Tenn. In 1960, she joined the Foreign Service and served primarily as an executive secretary to U.S. ambassadors at posts in Madrid, Kingston, London, Bridgetown, Port-of-Spain, Santo Domingo, Nassau, and Washington. Strader also served in roving positions for two years in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as a short stint in Peshawar, Pakistan. She retired after 37 years of service in 1997 and moved to Sarasota, where she was active in her church and was a member of the Allapattah Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Strader is survived by four siblings, Rachel, Ann, Alexis, and James; and many nieces and nephews.

Stephen P. Zappala, 89, died Jan. 13, in Ormond Beach, Fla. Zappala served two years as an active duty U.S. Marine and four years in the Marine Corps Reserve. He graduated from both Harvard University and Georgetown University, and received an honors certificate from Sorbonne University. Zappala joined the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute (FSI) in 1960 as an education specialist. He served as a supervising linguist in Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Vietnamese; chairman of the Vietnamese Language Division; chairman of Romance Languages; and chairman of Languages of Europe, Central Asia, Africa and the Americas. Zappala authored and co-authored several of FSI’s language texts and served as a language consultant. He retired after 38 years of service and enjoyed tutoring, piano, and poetry. Zappala was predeceased by his wife, Inabell, and three children, Sabrina, Stephen, and Guy. He is survived by a daughter, Annabelle; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.  

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. 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 State Magazine.

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