Vara Lee “Sam” LaFoy died November 13, 2018, after a brief battle with melanoma. Sam was born in Fort Rucker, Alabama on August 20, 1943 to Jack and Vara C. LaFoy. She started school in Paris, France where she gained fluency in the French language. She attended the University of Madrid for her first year of college and then graduated with honors two years later from Wichita State.
After college, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she joined the Office of Public Safety in USAID’s predecessor agency. From there, she moved to the Foreign Service, working as a secretary with USAID/Vietnam. After Vietnam, she transitioned into the Career Foreign Service. serving as a Food for Peace Officer with USAID in Senegal, Haiti, Paraguay as well as many other African countries, particularly, while she was assigned to the Regional West Africa Office in the Ivory Coast.
After retirement she settled into what she considered “a perfect life in Fayetteville, Arkansas.” She studied classical guitar, as well as Ancient Greek language, Greek literature and many eclectic classes at the University of Arkansas. While she was studying at the University, she also provided accommodations to exchange students. Always believing that education never ends, she was a stalwart member of her book club. A truly wonderful human being, she will be dearly missed by family and friends.