In Memoriam

Recent Tributes

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Catherine (Tina) Cleland

Catherine (Tina) Forrester Cleland of Kensington, Maryland, passed away peacefully on Friday, November 4, 2022.  She was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and her connection to New Orleans remained strong throughout her life.  Tina graduated from Cornell University and served as President of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.  She moved to Washington, DC where she received her MBA from George Washington University.

Tina led a life of public service. She was assistant to Arthur Fleming and Donald Rumsfeld followed by 18 years at the Department of Health and Human Services.  She spent 10 years at U.S. Agency for International Development as a Project Director and then as Senior Analyst for Performance Measurement and Evaluation. Her career in the US and international health care field led her to become an independent consultant analyzing foreign health care systems and advising governments on health care reform. Throughout her career, an important part of her work was focused on aiding 10 former Soviet bloc countries. Tina was recognized for her professional contributions with numerous awards and honors.

Tina extended her generous heart beyond her vast circle of loved ones in supporting many organizations through her volunteer efforts. She served on the Vestry of Christ Church Kensington, was a Past President of the Junior League of Washington and Chair of the Board for the Visiting Nurses Association. In addition, Tina served as a member of the Boards of Directors of National Rehabilitation Hospital, Medlantic Healthcare Group/Washington Hospital Center, NyumbaniUSA, and Mobile Medical Care.   Of her many philanthropic endeavors, two were particularly close to her heart in recent years: her years of work to improve the plight of AIDS orphans in Africa; Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, where she attended a retreat for cancer patients that was life changing and led to her work as a tireless advocate for improving the lives of cancer survivors.  Following her initial diagnosis of cancer, Tina joined WeCanRow DC in 2006, where she discovered a passion for rowing.  For the rest of her life, she was a tireless advocate for rowing and encouraged many breast cancer survivors to take up the sport.  Tina was an active member of the Potomac Boat Club and a sculling program at Bladensburg, Maryland.

Tina was married to Charles (Rusty) Cleland and resided in Kensington, Maryland for 44 years.  In addition to her husband and their son, David Chalaron Cleland, Tina is also survived by her three brothers, William Forrester, Jr. (Regan), David Forrester (Georgia Wilemon), and Stephen Forrester; brother-in-law Robert Cleland (Molly) and sister-in-law Joan Cleland; nieces Tully Jordan (Paul), Penn Iarocci (T.J.), Erica Cleland Shepard (John), Elsa Cleland (John-O), Alison Cleland (Francesco and their son Alec Mutti); and nephews Will Forrester (Julia) and Thom Cleland (Christiane). Tina possessed a remarkable gift for making and sustaining friendships from varied backgrounds, from every stage of her life, and from all parts of the world – all of whom will miss her dearly.

A memorial service will be held December 10, 2022, at 2pm at Christ Episcopal Church, 4001 Franklin Street, Kensington, Maryland.  Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for donations in Tina’s memory to be made to: Smith Center for Healing and the Arts (www.smithcenter.org), designating your contribution for “cancer retreats”, or to WeCanRow DC (www.wecanrowdc.com).

Martha Welch Rees

Martha Welch Rees, 79, died in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on October 9, 2022.   She lived many years in Bethesda, Maryland, Manila, the Philippines and Bookham, England.  A lady admired by all who shared her love, worked with her and met her.  She grew-up in Alexandria, Virginia was graduated from Pennsylvania State University and received a master’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin.  As a licensed clinical social worker, she joined United States Agency for International Development (USAID) where she had a very successful career counselling people in cross-cultural situations and US Officials surviving terrorist attacks overseas in the Middle East and Africa.  She was given a distinguished career service award for her outstanding and distinguished USAID career in providing exceptional leadership, unconditional devotion, dedication, and sincere loyalty to the USAID Community.  According to the award, she embodied USAID’s vision and its goals while imparting her unique professional skills and personal support, guidance, and finally, love to all who had the privilege and honor of seeking her assistance.   

She was a voracious reader who loved to meet the challenge of crossword puzzle writers and Scrabble opponents.  It was the greatest of ironies that she succumbed to a disease that attacked her brain.  She was always known for her poise, dignity and grace, qualities that remained with her in her final years.  She will be remembered by many and missed by all.  Martha was predeceased by her parents, William H. Welch, Jr., and Bette Welch Schlezinger of Washington, D.C.  She was survived by her long-time partner, J. Thomas Ward, of Washington D.C. and Austin Texas, devoted son Trevor Rees and his wife, Oxana Jeltova, and grandchildren Winston and Carolina, of Toronto, son Ian Rees of Tucson, Arizona, sister Nancy Manke and her husband, Hugh Manke, of Hamden, Connecticut. 

Ellen K. Bisson 

She thought of herself as a child of Kansas, who embraced her mother’s Irish heritage and her father’s Welsh ancestry. Ellen Blanche Knowles was born on November 3, 1938, in Poughkeepsie, NY, to Edwin Chandler Knowles and his wife, Allen Blevins Gafney.  She died on October 31, 2022.  Their only child, Ellen was devoted to her parents, and to their Kansas homesteads which she visited often as a child. Her first elementary schooling, in fact, was in Winfield, her mother’s hometown.  Ellen attended schools in Duchess County, NY, graduating from Oakwood Friends School in Poughkeepsie. She received a B.A. from Scripps College, in Claremont, CA. Following college, she worked in Washington, DC, where she met and married Gary B. Bisson, son of Antonio N. Bisson and his wife, Alice (Philippon), of Gorham, NH. Gary and Ellen’s first son, Mark, was born in 1961, followed in 1964 by son Todd. After several years of living in northern Virginia, the family embarked on a series of international moves, first with the CIA proprietary, Air America, to Taipei and Bangkok, and then with USAID to Nairobi, Mbabane (eSwatini, formerly Swaziland), and Jakarta.

Ellen savored each international experience: she studied Chinese for three years and was an enthusiastic participant in art history projects through the Thai national museum; and enjoyed an archaeology study group in Kenya.  Throughout their overseas tours, she held several jobs within the local communities. Ellen always tried to find time to continue her interest in foreign languages. In addition to Chinese, she took Italian and tried to maintain her fluency in French. During stateside years, she was involved with a variety of volunteer activities, frequently while working full-time.

Ellen was a loving wife for Gary, mother and cheerleader for sons Mark and Todd, and doting grandmother for her beloved grandson Dante. She was passionate about her home, steadfastly loyal to her friends. She was a gourmet cook, played a capable game of bridge, and was a tenacious and enterprising genealogy sleuth.  She truly enjoyed and appreciated her memberships in the DAR, all of the New England First Families lineage groups, and the Winthrop Society of Massachusetts. Through the family’s world travels, she treasured their visits to the Buddhist temples of Thailand and Burma, the terraced rice paddies of the Balinese countryside, and the African veldt, but her heart was always in Paris. From her first visit in the summer of 1958, she fell in love with the city’s sights, fragrances, and sounds. If the itinerary permitted, it was always her destination of choice. Over the years, Ellen also did a lot of writing: community newsletters for embassy families, school newsletters for parents.  As a volunteer, for many years she wrote letters for residents in an assisted living center with a portable laptop and printer. If they gave prizes for writing Christmas letters, her carefully crafted annual greetings would be near the top.

She and Gary moved to Shenandoah Valley Westminster Canterbury, a lifecare community, in 2010. She was active in numerous committees and projects through the years, among them hosting a popular book group and organizing the annual Nativity display project.  She was preceded by the death by her beloved husband, Gary, in May 2017. Memorial gifts can be directed to Scripps College, Claremont, CA 91711.

Katherine (Kate) McKee

Katharine (Kate) McKee, 66, who devoted her career to developing and implementing programs to improve the lives of the poor worldwide, especially women, died in Bellevue, Washington, on August 18, 2022, from a ruptured brain aneurysm. Katharine had moved back to her home state in 2020, after more than 20 years in the Washington, D.C., area.

Katharine was a pioneer in two fields – community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and microenterprise finance – that are now cornerstone strategies in the United States and internationally for helping people escape poverty.

Her passion for international development and women’s issues flourished at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, from which Katharine received a Master’s degree in Public and International Affairs, with distinction, in 1978.  Upon graduation from Princeton, she became a Senior Program Officer for the Ford Foundation in Nigeria and New York, focusing on issues of development finance, asset-building, and women’s economic empowerment.  

At Ford and as Associate and Policy Director for North Carolina’s Center for Community Self-Help from 1986 to 1998, Katharine helped foster the CDFI industry’s evolution into a multibillion-dollar sector focused on financing community development in the United States. Subsequently, as Director of the Office of Microenterprise Development at the U.S. Agency for International Development (from 1998 until 2006), she helped solidify USAID’s leadership position as the largest bilateral donor in microfinance, supporting more than 5 million borrowers per year worldwide.

From 2006 to 2017, Katharine was a senior professional at CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), where she led initiatives on pathways to sustainable livelihoods, consumer protection, responsible finance, savings, and client-focused financial services. During the last two years of her professional life, she worked to establish the global Partnership for Economic Inclusion and to pioneer yet another innovative international development strategy – graduation – that focuses on delivering a suite of support services and financial products to the world’s extreme poor.

Katharine grew up in Seattle, leaving to earn a bachelor’s degree Summa Cum Laude from Bowdoin College in 1976 in German and Politics.

Katharine’s friends and colleagues remember her as a proud feminist, gender equality advocate, and, especially, as a mentor for her junior colleagues. She was warm and generous of spirit and time, but suffered neither fools nor jerks. The word cloud associated with the many tributes that poured in after her death also highlights trust, advisor, wisdom, facilitator, engagement, compassion, and consensus builder. 

In her free time, Katharine was an avid reader, gardener, and tennis player. She had an encyclopedic knowledge of flowers. On the last hike of her life, she dazzled her friends with her ability to identify native flower species on Mt. Rainier.  She is survived by her husband of 36 years, David McGrady, and her two children, Anna and Charlie, Charlie’s wife Siena Tenisci, and her first grandchild, Emory.   

David, Anna and Charlie invite all of Katharine’s family and friends to come and celebrate a life well-lived and loved. To reflect the joy she brought to the world around her, floral attire and bright colors are encouraged. A reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to a charity of the donor’s choice.  
 
Friday, November 18, 2022, 2pm  
Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church  
9601 Cedar Lane  
Bethesda, MD  
The  celebration will also be livestreamed on Cedar Lane’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/CedarLaneUnitarianUniversalistChurch.  
 

 

George A. Laudato

George A. Laudato, a career Senior Foreign Service Officer and international development advisor, died peacefully on Monday, October 3, 2022, at his home in Washington, DC. He was 81.

In his 40-year career, Mr. Laudato opened US Agency for International Development (USAID) missions in Yemen and Nicaragua, managed the United States’ largest foreign aid mission in Egypt, and later served as Deputy Assistant Administrator for Asia and the Middle East under the Clinton Administration and then Acting Administrator for the Bureau for Asia and the Near East during the Bush and Obama administrations.

George Anthony Laudato was born in Bergen County, New Jersey to Anthony and Alice Laudato. The first of his family to attend college, George graduated from Seton Hall in 1963.

Inspired the international focus of the Kennedy Administration, he joined the Peace Corps and served in Panama from 1963 to 1966, where he developed what would become a lifelong interest the influence of culture, politics and economics on international development.

In 1966, he was recruited by USAID to serve in Vietnam in the Office of Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support (CORDS). There he completed 4,000 interviews with Vietnamese villagers as part of the conflict’s “pacification program.” Mr. Laudato received USAID’s Meritorious Honor Award for managing an evacuation and relief effort for 40,000 refugees under battlefield conditions. Mr. Laudato came to realize how short-term military objectives can undermine efforts to win hearts and minds, a lesson that he later saw the United States struggle with repeatedly in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 1973, Mr. Laudato participated in opening USAID missions in Yemen and in 1976, in Egypt. There he met Janna Magruder and married in Cairo in 1977. In 1980, he was posted to the Philippines as a Program Officer, where he co-led the negotiating team for the $475 million economic compensation package associated with the Base Rights Agreement. In 1984, he returned to Cairo, eventually becoming Deputy Director.

In 1988, he returned to Washington, DC where he was Deputy Assistant Administrator for Program Policy and Coordination and then Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Asia and the Near East. From 1997 to 2007 as Managing Senior Vice President Abt Associates, International Health, Mr. Laudato expanded work in health systems finance to health policy reform and restructuring worldwide, including Iraq. In 2008, he returned to USAID as Acting Administrator for the Near East, working on issues posed by Iraq and the Arab Spring.

After retiring in 2011, Mr. Laudato served on the Board of Seton Hall’s School of Diplomacy, as an advisor to Arizona State University, and on the Board of the non-profit Aid to Artisans.

George loved to promote the careers of young colleagues, entertain and cook. He is survived by his wife Janna; brothers, Anthony and Paul; son Anthony Laudato (wife Lisa Marshall), son Stephen Laudato (wife Rozhin Penjweini), and two grandchildren, Luca and Reven.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the George Laudato National Security Fellowship Endowment, Seton Hall School of Diplomacy and International Relations, 457 Center Street, South Orange, NJ 07079.

A memorial mass and reception will be held at 10:30 a.m. on October 18 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 1315 36th Street NW, Washington, DC.

Howard W. Solomon

Howard W. Solomon of Bethesda, MD, and Bar Harbor, ME, laid down his gavel for the last time September 27, 2022, at the age of 91. A retired federal arbitrator and mediator, Solomon was known as thoughtful and fair, bringing a warm smile into day-to-day life. Unafraid to defy convention, Solomon could get the most bitter disputants to compromise, with clear reasoning, principled compassion, and a well-timed joke. A private family service will take place in Bar Harbor, ME.

The son of prominent New York internist Dr. Harry A. Solomon and Ruth Solomon (née Wulfsohn), Solomon was born on the upper east side of Manhattan in 1931. He attended Friends Seminary, a Quaker institution, and was graduated from Yale in 1952.

His patrician upbringing notwithstanding, Solomon defied convention with wide-ranging interests. An avid amateur athlete, basketball coach, and American Youth Hostels bicycle trip leader of multiple groups to Europe in his late teens and early twenties, Solomon freely admitted that he joined the U.S. Army after earning his juris doctor from Columbia Law School in order to avoid having to pass the New York bar exam (passage was automatically granted after two years of military service). Solomon excelled in his service and received awards for marksmanship as well as the Good Conduct Medal. 

After the Army, Solomon joined the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service as a junior attorney, resolving labor disputes between unions and corporations through negotiation and compromise. In a letter to President Lyndon B. Johnson, a union president representing 23,000 workers in a 1967 dispute with tire manufacturer Uniroyal, Inc., wrote that Solomon “worked feverishly in the public interest in attempting to aid the parties in resolving their problems and arriving at an equitable settlement” involving pay and worker protections. Uniroyal’s management also commended the young mediator in a letter. “Your quiet, unobtrusive and persistent involvement was a significant catalyst to resolving the hard core and appearingly unsolvable issues remaining between the union and Company.”

Promoted from a field attorney in St. Louis to a federal commissioner in the midwestern heart of manufacturing, Dayton, Ohio, Solomon met Dolores (“Dee”) Stuerenberg, a Cincinnati native who was society editor of the Dayton Journal-Herald and a former nationally-ranked tennis player. They married in 1965.

Dee urged Howard to accept an assignment with the U.S. State Department’s Agency for International Development in New Delhi, India, in 1968. The couple embraced the rich culture and kindness of their Indian friends and colleagues. Dee relished Embassy social life on and off the tennis court while the couple raised their young daughter Beth and welcomed their son Harrison, who was born in New Delhi.

Returning with the family to Washington, D.C. in the early 1970s, Solomon was given assignments of increasing responsibility in the federal labor relations sector, rising to helm the Federal Service Impasses Panel, a presidential commission charged with adjudicating major labor disputes. While the forward-thinking Solomon privately supported many progressive organizations such as the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, he was respected by colleagues across the political spectrum. Reagan Administration Secretary of Labor William E. Brock commended Solomon, writing, “You are indeed a credit to this Administration.”

Tall and sinewy, Solomon was a lifelong environmentalist, taking public transportation to the office every day from the family home in Bethesda to downtown Washington, a lengthy trip. Howard drew barbs from his wife and his two sisters Nina S. Hyde, the longtime fashion editor of The Washington Post, and Loire Valley, France-based Marquise Suzanne de Brantes, for wearing running shorts during his commute to the office during hot summers. Solomon met those grimaces with a laugh.

After retiring in his late 50s, Solomon began spending more time in Bar Harbor, Maine, eventually luring Dee first to a tent on the beautiful coast inside Acadia National Park, and later a house they built nearby, looking out on Frenchman’s Bay. The couple not only enjoyed Acadia’s natural treasures but actively worked to protect and enhance them for others. Indeed, Solomon and others founded the volunteer corps that built and maintained park trails alongside the National Park Service. Later, Solomon served on the board of directors of Friends of Acadia, supporting initiatives such as the launch of a substantial natural-gas-powered bus fleet to reduce car traffic in the park.

In his “retirement,” Howard studied jazz piano, eventually filling the lounge of the Balance Rock Inn in Bar Harbor several nights each week with the beautiful melodies of jazz standards sung by Sinatra, Ella and Rosemary Clooney. Later in life, Howard’s favorite Sunday activities were listening to Donnie McKethan’s landmark radio jazz show “The American Songbook” on public radio station WPFW while reading the New York Times with Dee on the granite rocks of Sand Beach in Acadia.

After Dee died in 2016, Howard shuttled between Bethesda and Bar Harbor, spending more time at the piano than on the hiking trails and bike paths of Acadia. In his last days, when he needed the assistance of nurses at Suburban Hospital, he kept a twinkle in his eye. “How are you feeling today, Howard?” asked a nurse two days before he drew his last breath. “Fantastic,” he smiled. Trying to make Solomon as comfortable as possible, the nurse said, “Howard, I’m going to put my arm on your shoulder and pull you toward me, OK?” 
“I really like that idea,” he quipped.  Near his last day, Howard was told by his family that his nurse’s name was Ryan, and that Ryan was doing a great job. “This is my lucky day,” he said.

Howard took his last breaths with his family at his side. He is survived by his daughter Elizabeth (“Beth”) Solomon (Gero Geilenbruegge) of Washington and Naples, FL, son Dr. Harrison Solomon, beloved grandchildren Jessica, Sam and James Solomon of Bethesda, cousins Bill and Pat Middlemiss, brother-in-law Richard Stuerenberg and sister-in-law Linda Stuerenberg, and nieces and nephews Jennifer Hyde (David) Bronstein, Andrea Hyde (Andrew Weinberg), Roger (Nikola) de Brantes, Flore de Brantes, John (Marianne) Meyer, Steve (Maria) Meyer (d.), Mike (Melissa Huddleston) Meyer, Jay D. (Jena) Thacker, James (Sarah) Thacker, and Tara (C.J.) Petrou.

Robert H. Nooter

Robert H. Nooter, 96, died from complications of a stroke on September 3, 2022, at his home in Bethesda, surrounded by family.

Bob, also affectionately known as Noot, was an international development leader with the US Agency for International Development and the World Bank, an ethnographic art collector, museum volunteer leader, and an avid tennis player, even into his 90s.

Mr. Nooter worked at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for most of the 1960s and 70s, rising to the rank of deputy administrator and serving as acting administrator for a year. He was mission director in Uruguay and Liberia and was assistant administrator in charge of the economic programs in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos during the Vietnam War. Among other responsibilities, he started the economic assistance programs in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Syria in the 1970s.

In 1980, Mr. Nooter joined the World Bank where he was the resident representative in Tanzania, country officer for Sudan, and deputy department director for East Africa. As a World Bank consultant following his retirement, he worked on assignments in Africa, East Asia, the Caribbean, Ukraine, the Baltics, and the Caucuses.

While in Liberia in the 1960s, he and his artist wife Nancy developed a passion for ethnographic art that continued throughout his life. In addition to an extensive collection of African art, the couple collected traditional art from the Native American peoples of the American Southwest, Plains, California, and the Northwest Coast and Alaska; Ethiopian religious art; Russian icons; Japanese scroll paintings; and traditional art from Tibet, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines. The Nooters often lent their art to museum exhibitions and frequently welcomed visitors to their home collection in Washington, D.C.

He and Nancy donated art to the National Museum of African Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters Museum in Baltimore, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He assembled an extensive collection of Caucasian flat-woven textiles (kilims, horse covers, bags, and sumac rugs) and wrote the book Flat-Woven Rugs & Textiles from the Caucasus, published in 2004.

Robert Harry Nooter was born in Webster Groves, Missouri on July 14, 1926, graduated from Webster Groves High School, and attended Purdue University before entering the Marine Corps in 1944. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1947.

In 1951-52, he served as a Marine Corps First Lieutenant in the Korean War, where he received a medal of commendation for his leadership during combat.

In his early career, he worked at the Nooter Corporation in St. Louis for 14 years before joining the Kennedy Administration in 1962 to work at USAID.

Mr. Nooter was a board member or trustee of the National Museum of African Art for 30 years, twice serving as chairman, the Textile Museum in Washington, and the Museum of African Art in New York. He was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Haji Baba Society, and the Cosmos Club. His papers, including his Korean War letters and USAID materials, are housed at the Library of Congress.

He was also the patriarch of a large family. He was predeceased by his loving wife of 73 years, Nancy Ingram Nooter, and his daughter Mary “Polly” Nooter Roberts. He leaves behind daughter Anne Ruch (Scott) and sons Tom Nooter (Alice), William Nooter (Elissa Free) and Rob Nooter (Barbara), son-in-law, Allen Roberts, 12 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. Noot was the primary caregiver for his wife, Nancy, for the last several years of her life.

A memorial service will take place at the River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 6301 River Road in Bethesda on Sunday, October 9, 2022 at 1:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, https://vmfa.museum/.

Eugene Harold Rauch

Eugene “Gene” Harold Rauch, 80, of 18 Kilmore Road, Drumnadrochit, Scotland (originally from Davenport, Iowa), peacefully left us, surrounded by his family at home, on July 18, 2022.

He was the beloved husband of Catherine and adored father to Sarah and Kevin. Funeral services were held on Friday, July 29, 2022, at the funeral home of William T. Fraser and Son, Culduthel Road, Inverness, Scotland.

After managing a Dude Ranch in Wyoming for several years, Gene joined the US Agency for International Development in 1979 serving as a program support officer in Washington, DC, the Ivory Coast (with support to Cape Verde), Sudan, Tunisia and Egypt. Gene retired from USAID in 1999 and moved with his family to Scotland where he has resided ever since. While in Scotland Gene worked with Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Further Education Unit and Clackmannanshire Council, volunteered for a non-profit Green Routes and enjoyed Scottish Country Dancing with his wife and friends.

Gene will be dearly missed not only by his family and extended family, but by the many friends he made while in USAID and his other work. You may sign the guestbook at this web link: Eugene Rauch Obituary (1941 – 2022) – Inverness, IA – Quad-City Times (legacy.com).

Published by The Washington Post on August 17, 2022.

Townsend Smith Swayze

Townsend Smith Swayze of Tunbridge, Vermont and White River Junction, Vermont died on August 4, 2022, at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in the company of his wife, Felicity Swayze, his son Peter Swayze, and his daughter India Swayze.

T, as he was known, was born in New York City on July 17, 1937.   T was a world-famous rower who competed nationally and internationally into his 80’s.  He began his rowing life at Harvard College as captain of the undefeated 1959 heavyweight crew.  He graduated from Harvard cum laude in 1959.

He subsequently earned Masters degrees at Oxford’s Wadham College and at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School prior to joining USAID in November 1963.  In January 1964 he took up his post in New Delhi as Special Assistant to the USAID Director Tyler Wood, and then for John Lewis. He returned to Washington in March 1967 to be Pakistan Desk Officer.  In 1971, T and his colleagues managed to have aid to Pakistan suspended to prevent it being used in ways detrimental to East Pakistan.  Late in 1971 he resigned from the foreign service in protest over US policy which failed to recognize the genocide occurring in East Pakistan.  He then joined the World Bank where he spent 27 years before retiring in 1998.  He and Felicity then moved to Tunbridge, their second home.

In 2012 T was one of 60 honored guests invited to Dhaka by the Government of Bangladesh for presentation of a special award recognizing their role in supporting the liberation of Bangladesh from West Pakistan.  T, a very modest man, was particularly proud of this award.

He is also survived by granddaughter Savitri Mann, of Tacoma, Washington and grandson Ivan Mann, of Minneapolis, Minnesota.  A memorial service will be scheduled for the fall of 2022.

Margie C. Jaspersen

Margie C. Jaspersen of Bethesda, MD, died peacefully after a brief illness on June 3, 2022. She and her husband, Frederick Jaspersen, lived in Bethesda for many years after living abroad for his career as an economist.

A 1981 graduate of Georgetown University in linguistics, Margie worked for the U.S. Government in several different agencies. She retired early in the 1990s from USAID, where she specialized in Middle East reporting.

Early in her married life, Margie lived for several years in Latin America, supporting her husband during his State Department and subsequent World Bank postings. Upon returning to the States and after retiring from her professional life, Margie and Fred enjoyed extensive travel and an active social life.

Margie is survived by her sisters, Betsy in Maine and Melissa in South Carolina, as well as Fred’s daughter, Katharina, of Guatemala. Her sisters-in-law, Lucy and Barbara, live in California. Locally she is survived by Fred’s niece, Alida Anderson, and nephews, Frederick Anderson and Eric Anderson.

Margie will be interred in Maine with her husband later this summer. She was a beautiful soul, within and without.

A memorial service is planned for 11:30 a.m. on August 19 in the Auditorium at Brookside Gardens Visitor Center in Wheaton, MD.

Published by The Washington Post on Jul. 23, 2022.

David Shear

David Shear, of Alexandria, Virginia, died on July 5, 2022, at the age of 90.  Born in New York City, he grew up in northern New Jersey — still rural at that time — where he developed a deep love of the environment and became an avid fisherman and outdoorsman.

After working his way through NYU, David received a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship to Harvard University, where he earned an MA in history.  His keen interest in Africa, particularly the history of colonialism there, led to his role as a researcher at Boston University’s African Studies program.

Recruited by the Kennedy administration, he joined the nascent U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in 1961. During a distinguished 23-year career, with postings to Nigeria, Tanzania, Côte d’Ivoire, and Senegal, he became known as an innovative leader in development planning and management.  He served as director for Africa programs and policy and established the first Regional Economic Development Services Office (REDSO). His leadership of drought relief in the eight African Sahelian states resulted in the creation of the Sahel Development Program, which included the Club Du Sahel, an international consortium of donor countries and development agencies.  For this effort, he and AID colleague Don Brown shared the prestigious Rockefeller Public Service Award.

David’s last State Department assignment was as USAID Mission Director in Dakar, Senegal, where he was promoted to career minister, then the highest grade in the U.S. Foreign Service.  The U.S. Ambassador to Senegal at the time, Charles W. Bray, described him as “the single most impressive career public servant I have met in 23 years in government … having a rare — almost unique — capacity to combine profound knowledge of his subject matter, and a rigorous and analytical intellect, with purposeful energy and a strong managerial hand.”

Following these years of public service, David joined the International Management and Development Group, where he served as president. He led a program to alleviate widespread unemployment among Senegal’s youth.  He also helped create the New Nigeria Foundation, which established community-based health clinics in over 80 villages, treating more than a million people.  The foundation continues to serve the Nigerian people today.

In 2008, David worked with the UN Foundation to help establish an overall management plan for the Friends of the Global Fund Africa to fight HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis throughout the continent.

As a visiting professor at the (then) Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, he taught graduate courses for eight years, emphasizing the practical, problem-solving applications of development economics.  Most of his students chose careers in public service and went on to leadership roles, a legacy which pleased him immensely.

In 2005, David’s love of nature and commitment to sustainable international development converged when he joined the Jane Goodall Institute in the U.S., first as a board member and then as its chair, positions he held for 15 years.  In 2012, learning of a planned highway that would have bisected the Serengeti and disrupted the annual animal migration in that rare and essential ecosystem, he worked closely with Goodall to mobilize international support that saved the Serengeti by proposing an acceptable alternate route.

David was an avid (maybe even slightly obsessive) fisherman, casting his line in waters on every continent but Antarctica.  His house and garden in the mid- century modern community of Hollin Hills provided him, his wife, Barbara, and their family with a strong sense of community.  He was a founding member of the Friends of Hollin Hills and toward the end of his life, he devoted himself increasingly to the community in which he and Barbara had lived, off and on, since 1968, with many dogs, cats, and visiting grandchildren.

David is survived by his wife of 67 years, Barbara (whom he met in first grade); his two daughters, Elizabeth (John Bredin) and Jessica; grandchildren Phoebe, Stephen, and David Bredin; brother Morris and sister-in-law Lucille; as well as cousins, nieces, and nephews.  David’s life will be celebrated at 3:30pm, October 30, at the Hollin Hall of Mt. Vernon Unitarian Church.

John Roy Oleson

John R. Oleson, a retired US Foreign Service Officer and Development Advisor, died on July 6, 2022, in Towson, MD, of complications related to dementia. He was 91.

He was born on October 12, 1930 in Waukesha, WI, to Emil Oleson, a dairyman, and Arline Oleson (née Wittig), and was raised with a sister, Monica Steger. His family then moved to New Jersey where he attended the public schools of Elizabeth and Cranford. He went on to attend Harvard College where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated with high honors in Economics in 1952. After attending the University of Copenhagen for a year under a Fulbright fellowship, he entered Harvard Law School where he was elected to the Board of Student Advisors and graduated with honors in 1956. He was then admitted to the Illinois bar and became an associate of a major Chicago law firm.

While at law school, he met Mary Elizabeth Russell of Saco, ME, then attending Wellesley College, and they married in 1957.

In 1958, he joined the career foreign service of the Department of State. He had assignments in the Bureau of Economic Affairs in Washington, DC, and in its overseas missions in Bilbao and Mexico City. In 1965, he transferred to the Agency for International Development. He initially was an Attorney Advisor to the Bureau of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs and then became the regional legal advisor to the USAID Missions in Colombia and Ecuador while stationed in Bogota. He later became the Assistant Director for Operations in the USAID Mission to Colombia until his return to Washington in 1970 to attend the Department of State’s Senior Seminar in Foreign Policy. Upon graduating the following year, he undertook a series of overseas assignments as Director of the USAID Missions to Paraguay (1971 – 1973), Bolivia (1973 – 1976), and Honduras (1979 – 1981) and as Deputy Director of the USAID Mission to Egypt (1976 – 1979). His time in Egypt spanned the several years leading to and just after the Camp David Accords during which time the US assistance program to Egypt was increased enormously.

John and Mary returned to the DC area early in 1982, residing in Chevy Chase, MD. After serving as Director of the Office of Central American Affairs and of the Office of Andean Affairs in USAID’s Bureau of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs, he became that Bureau’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for Program.

He retired from the Senior Foreign Service in 1985 with the rank of Minister Counselor. Remaining in the DC area, he undertook an active career of consulting on various aspects of development work. He was particularly active in efforts in Latin America involving reforms to the justice sector. He retired from consulting work in 2000 whereupon he and his wife moved to Baltimore.

John and Mary loved to visit museums and attend theater, concerts, and opera in Baltimore, Washington DC, and New York City; they maintained their life-long love of travel both throughout the US and abroad; and, they delighted in attending and following the activities of their three beloved grandsons.

John has been predeceased by his parents and his sister, Monica Steger Rusk, as well as her husband, Daniel Rusk. He is survived by his wife of sixty-four years; his daughter, Lisa Meagher, and her husband, Brendan; his sons, Neil and Eric Oleson; and his grandsons, Declan and Finnian Meagher and Jasper Davenport.

In keeping with his wishes, a memorial service will not be held. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation either to Harvard University or the educational institution of your choice or to one of his favored charities: AMFAR, AFSC, the ACLU, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the United Way.

(Published by The Washington Post on July 17, 2022.)

Richard N. Blue, who had an illustrious and wide-ranging international career in the Senior Foreign Service and numerous other roles in international development, died at 86 on June 22, 2022, at home in Vero Beach Florida with his wife, Susan Holloran, his son Daniel, and grandsons Finn and Enzo Blue by his side.

Blue had his first international career exposure in Germany with the Army Signal Corps during the Korean conflict. His international interests continued over a lifetime, in academia and in the U.S. Agency for International Development and beyond. He lived in India and Thailand, worked throughout South and Southeast Asia, and later in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, representing the best of U.S. assistance efforts, creating positive relationships wherever he went. His home base was Washington, DC and the Blue Ridge in Loudoun County Virginia.

Richard Blue earned his PhD at Claremont Graduate University and began his career as a Professor of Political Science, South Asian Studies at the University of Minnesota.  He was, above all, a teacher, an exceptional mentor, colleague, friend and inspiration to many whose lives he touched, professionally and personally.

A natural, charismatic leader, voracious reader, lover of classical music and student of history, he was always curious and interested in people and their personal histories and connected easily with everyone with engaging conversation.  His genuineness, kindness, open heartedness and respect for others amplified a formidable intellect and shone through all his personal relationships.

In 1975, Blue was recruited to lead a faculty supporting USAID officers’ professional development.  Subsequently, he led an Agency-wide impact evaluation initiative, the Impact Evaluation Series, worked on Capitol Hill drafting content and strategy for revision of the Foreign Assistance Act, directed the Office of Egypt Affairs and served in other leadership roles.

After his retirement from USAID he joined The Asia Foundation where he served as Representative for Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. In recognition of his work in Thailand he was appointed by the King of Thailand as an “Officer of the Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand,” a highly unusual honor. He returned to Washington and helped grow a global management consulting firm, and worked with others in the field, traveling extensively in Eastern and Central Europe. His stories are legend.

In 2013, Richard shifted his focus to preserving the legacy of his brother, James Blue, another story-teller and an innovative, award winning film maker who died at age 49, leaving an impressive body of work now archived at the University of Oregon. Richard created, with his son Daniel, The James Blue Alliance, to preserve, restore and promulgate his brother’s films including The March, The Olive Trees of Justice (re mastered and released in 2022), and Who Killed Fourth Ward?  At the time of his death, Richard was working to develop and fund a teaching syllabus for his brother’s films, including many made for the USIA in the 1960s and 70s, to be part of the curriculum at various grade levels in schools throughout the country and the world.  A memorial fund to honor Richard will be set up to promote this work.

Richard Blue was the son of Harry and Pauline Blue of Portland Oregon.  He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Susan Holloran, daughter Michelle Blue Benedict, son Daniel (Jodi) Blue, and his grandchildren Sarah Benedict, Todd Benedict, Finnigan Hawley-Blue, Rio Blue, and Enzo Blue.  A gathering in memory of Richard will be held in the afternoon of September 24, 2022 at Susan and Richard’s home in Bluemont, Virginia.  If you would like to attend please contact Susan Holloran at richardnblue36@gmail.com.

Jack Heller

Jack Heller of Washington, D.C. died on Saturday, July 2, 2022, at the age of 90. He was the beloved husband of the late Naomi Birnbaum Heller, devoted father of Michael (Deborah Cahn), Dan (Eli Penberthy) and Rafael (Michal Avni) Heller, and loving grandfather of Ellie and Jonah Heller, Joelle Dong-Heller and Hannah Heller and Eitan and Gilad Avni-Heller. Graveside funeral services will be held on Sunday, July 10, 2022, 10 a.m., at Judean Memorial Gardens, Olney, MD. Arrangements have been entrusted to Torchinsky Hebrew Funeral Home, 202-541-1001.

Jack Heller served at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from 1962 to 1972 in various positions, including Director of Programs and Policies for Latin America, Legal Advisor and Director of Operations, USAID/Brazil, and Senior Tax and Fiscal Advisor for Latin America.

Before joining USAID he was a teaching fellow and research associate (1958-1961) at the Harvard Law School’s International Program in Taxation. His other academic experience includes Lecturer and Co-Director, Special programs in International Transactions for Latin American Public Sector Attorneys (1976-1984) and International Transactions for the Peoples Republic of China (1982-1987).

Mr. Heller practiced law in Washington, DC from 1974 specializing in international matters until his retirement. He was General Counsel and a member of the Board of Directors of the Pan American Development Foundation (1981-1998) and served as the Foundation’s President 1998-2000.

He was a founder in 1993 of the Fund For Democracy and Development (FDD), a US Foundation that provided emergency commodity (food and heating oil) assistance and technical assistance to Russia, Armenia, and other former Soviet Republics. In 1995 he co-founded and was President until 2000 of the FDD’s New Russia Small Business Investment Fund, a Moscow-based not-for-profit corporation, which provided training to Russian bankers and extended supervised financing to Russian banks for small business lending. Mr. Heller co-founded the Ukraine-United States Business Council in 1995 and served as its General Counsel for many years.

Mr. Heller received his BA from the University of Chicago and an LL.B from Columbia University Law School.

Joanne Marie McPherson

Joanne Marie McPherson (age 75) died on June 23, 2022, at her home in McLean, Virginia surrounded by family. She is survived by her husband, Peter McPherson; children, Susan McPherson Shea (Jack), Marc Bielawski, Bruce McPherson (Hanh), Michael Kircher (Donna); and seven grandchildren.

The daughter of Patrick and Catherine Paddock, she was born October 22, 1946, in Washington, DC. Joanne attended the University of Maryland at College Park.

Joanne accomplished many things in her lifetime. Peter served as MSU’s president from 1993 to 2005, and Joanne served as First Lady of Michigan State University. During that time, she founded Safe Place, the first shelter at any university to house and protect victims of domestic violence and stalking, and their families. Joanne was awarded the Honorary Alumni Award from the MSU Alumni Association. She also was known for revitalizing Homecoming at the university, helping to transform many traditional celebratory events to focus on student academic and public service achievement. While at MSU, she was known for opening the President’s residence, Cowles House, to numerous fund-raising, alumni, and faculty and student events. Joanne was also appointed by Gov. John Engler to the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission.

Visitation will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 30, 2022, at Roth-Gerst Funeral Chapel, 305 Hudson, Lowell, Michigan 49331. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, July 1, 2022, at Vergennes United Methodist Church, 10411 Bailey Dr. NE, Lowell, Michigan 49331. Interment Bailey Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to MSU Safe Place, 155 Service Road, Room 113A, East Lansing, MI 48824.

(Published by The Washington Post on Jun. 26, 2022.)

 

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