At the age of 77, John Heard passed away November 8th, 2018 in Miami, Florida, surrounded by his loving family.Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on August 17th, 1941, John had the innate wonder and curiosity about the world that reverberates within members of the international community. Raised mostly by his mother, Rosamond Gregor Heard, John learned the values of honesty, hard work, the need to face challenges head on and to be bold when facing adversity, and most importantly, the importance and the power of love.
These values served him well during his forty-year career in international development with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Peace Corps, and the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF). Highlights of his career include five years as USAID Associate Mission Director for Operations in El Salvador during the civil war, implementation of a business recovery program for Bosnia, and co-direction with his wife, Anne of the Peace Corps program in Paraguay. John ended his career on a high note as the founder and executive director for over four years of the PADF Colombia office, a large program dedicated to displaced Colombians and farmers intent on leaving the coca trade. Other long-term assignments included Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and the Philippines.
John continued to be involved with the development community in his retirement first as a trustee of PADF and then board member of the USAID Alumni Association, where he participated actively in USAID’s Mentoring Program. In New Mexico, he and Anne were also co-presidents of Friendship Force, a non-profit organization focused on promoting understanding, cultural education and citizen diplomacy through homestay journeys and personal friendships across more than sixty countries.
John lived a tremendously full life, one in which he found his soul mate, explored the world, helped thousands of people, and raised a strong, united family. His quiet and witty sense of humor, a well-placed quip always on the tip of his tongue, combined with kindness and humanity, charmed and inspired the people around him.
John met his wife Anne in 1959. Thirty-six years later he wrote of her, “I am the luckiest guy in the world, and I know it”. After fifty-seven years of marriage their love for each other remained true.
The reality is, we were all lucky to have John Heard in our lives as he always presented a shining example of what a good, kind, responsible, and loving person should be. These examples will live on in his sons, daughter-in –law, grandchildren, and all the people that he came in contact with.
A memorial service will be held on December 19th at 4pm at the East Ridge Retirement Village in Miami, FL.