Aaron L. Benjamin, 78, a retired urban planner who became a development officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development, died June 13 of complications from pneumonia at a hospital in Ashland, Ore. He moved to Ashland from Arlington County in 1998. Mr. Benjamin joined USAID in 1967 and specialized in housing and redevelopment programs while serving in Egypt, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. He retired in 1989. Aaron Leon Benjamin was born in New York City and was a graduate of Brooklyn College. He received a master’s degree in city planning from New York University in 1959. Before joining USAID, he was an urban planner and housing specialist in New York, California and Switzerland. He was director of planning and development in Elizabeth, N.J., from 1965 to 1967. Mr. Benjamin was a member of several planning and foreign service organizations and collected art and antiquities from Latin America. He played jazz bass and Spanish guitar and enjoyed photography. Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Judith Greifer Benjamin of Ashland; two children, Cynthia Benjamin of the District and Robert Benjamin of Ashland; and a brother. Donations in his honor can be sent to Habitat for Humanity. Comments posted here will be sent to his family. (originally written by Matt Strudel, source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/05/AR2010070502614.html)
From USAID: It is with great sorrow that we announce the loss of a dear colleague and friend Dr. Adel Gohar, who used to work for USAID/Egypt’s Education Office for nearly 28 years. He passed away on Monday, August 23rd after a long illness. Those who knew and worked closely with him understood his fine nature and good heart. He was admired for his wisdom, knowledge and passionate approach to development. Dr. Adel was an advocate for all FSNs, whether serving outside or inside the FSN committee, and always provided FSNs with genuine guidance and advice. He treated all people equally, with respect and decency regardless of their age or background. Dr. Adel was loved by everyone and was indeed the main mentor for the FSN community. He will be greatly missed by all but will be remembered for years and years to come. Any questions concerning this notice may be directed to Edel Perez-Campos, USAID/Egypt, 202-2522-7102.
The following was provided by Anna Quandt, Lenni’s loving spouse and UAA alumna: Lenni William Kangas, 78, died of cancer on Thursday, April 7, 2011, at his home in Iowa City, Iowa, surrounded by his wife and children. Lenni began his life in a small Finnish community in northern Minnesota, the only child of Katharyn and Waino William Kangas. He grew up in Superior, Wisconsin, learning English in kindergarten and excelling in school. He earned a degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin, built a raft and floated down the Mississippi Huck Finn style, and organized a nearly successful petition drive to recall Senator Joe McCarthy. When elected President of the class of 1955, the campus newspaper proclaimed,“Superior Man Wins.” As an active alumnus he organized and funded an award for excellence in teaching for outstanding UW professors. After graduation he served in the Navy for three years aboard the USS Yorktown in the Pacific, and later earned a Master’s degree in Public Health at the University of North Carolina. He became Assistant Dean of Men at the University of California, Berkeley, and witnessed hydrogen bombs on Bikini atolls while working for Lawrence Radiation Laboratory. In 1963 he joined the Ford Foundation and began a long and passionate career devoted to solving the world’s population problems. He joined the US Agency for International Development in 1969 as the first Deputy Director of its newly formed Office of Population. Through his work in Egypt, India, and the Philippines, Lenni was part of the pioneering group of “Poppers” who collaborated with governments of developing countries and non-governmental organizations to establish the first international family planning programs. His innovative approaches included month-long vasectomy camps in India and visits to remote villages in Luzon and Mindanao. During a second posting to Egypt, Lenni laughed off the local newspaper article branding him “The American in Your Bedrooms,” and oversaw a significant increase in the use of Egyptian family planning services. After retiring from the Senior Foreign Service in 1986, Lenni continued to work on population and HIV-AIDS prevention from the Agency’s Africa Bureau. He never fully retired, continuing his consulting activities until last year, always returning from Africa with wonderful stories and photographs. Lenni was generous, gregarious, and always optimistic. He was responsible for attracting many professionals to the field of population and supporting them in their careers. He was the author of numerous articles and papers on population and health. While still in California, Lenni married Georgia Lee Clare and in 1963 moved his young family, including daughters Tanya and Sara, to Egypt. Lenni used his overseas postings to pursue his many interests, including scuba diving and archaeological pursuits. He loved sailing on the Nile and once raced a 36′ yacht from Manila to Hong Kong. After Georgia Lee’s death in 1983, Lenni met Anna Spitzer Quandt. They were married in 1989 and bought a home in Washington, DC. Lenni and Anna adopted Peter John Kangas as an infant in 1991 in Romania. The family moved to Iowa in 2002. They owned and operated the “Revolt “ indoor skateboard park in Iowa City for two years. Lenni enjoyed telling stories, discussing politics, watching TV news, playing tennis, listening to NPR, fishing at Lake Vermillion, walking his dog Molly, drinking red wine, and watching the eagles soar over the Iowa River. Most of all, Lenni loved people. His work was his way of helping people and serving the greater good. It also allowed him to become a dashing world traveler while maintaining Midwestern values, to meet people from all walks of life, and to become friends with most of them. The little Finnish boy from northern Minnesota became a world citizen who lived by his own motto: “Bound forward, grab the world, and give it a little shake!” He is survived by his wife, Anna Quandt; his daughters Tanya Paloma Reams (Gary) and Sara Kangas (Peter Mark); his son Peter Kangas; cousins, John Kangas and Paula Wood; and many other loving relatives and friends. Contributions may be made to National Public Radio.
Anthony M. Schwarzwalder, former Mission Director and long-time leader in international development, died February 2, after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Tony grew up in Arlington and graduated from Washington-Lee High School. He attended Wesleyan College for his Bachelor of Arts and John Hopkins for his Masters in Public Health. He had a distinguished career in international relief and development, including twenty-three years with the United States Agency for Development (USAID). He began his career with USAID as a Program Officer in the Africa Bureau from 1961-66. His first overseas assignment was as a Capital Development Officer in Jordan from 1966-68. After a graduate fellowship at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, he served as Special Assistant to the Deputy US Coordinator for the Alliance for Progress, providing economic assistance to Latin America. In 1970, following a devastating cyclone in East Pakistan, Tony took over as Coordinator of the USAID Relief and Rehabilitation Office, working both in Islamabad and Dacca. In 1972, he became the first Mission Director to Bangladesh, following the Bengali war for independence. Later that year he was awarded the Arthur S. Flemming Award for Government Service and Leadership. Returning to Washington DC in 1974, Tony became Director of the Office of Near East and Northern Africa Affairs and later the first Deputy Assistant Administrator in USAID’s newly created Food for Peace and Voluntary Assistance Bureau. His last overseas post with USAID was as Mission Director in the Philippines from 1980-84. After leaving USAID, Tony worked for a number of Washington DC-based organizations focused on HIV/AIDS, including a number of years as Deputy Director of the AIDS Control and Prevention (AIDSCAP) program. Tony was at the forefront of USAID strategy development and is fondly remembered by colleagues as a visionary, leader and friend who recognized and mentored many of those who went on to lead the Agency’s work. Services will be held Thursday, February 9, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, 4444 Arlington Blvd., at 2:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests gifts to the Alzheimer’s Family Day Center, 2812 Old Lee Highway, Suite 210, Fairfax, Virginia 222031. Memories, notes and photos are welcome and may be sent to Cecilia Javier, 301 N. Garfield St., Arlington, Virginia 22201 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Milton Freundel, 88, an administration and personnel specialist with the U.S. Agency for International Development from1961 until retiring in 1978, died March 1 at Manor Care nursing home in Bethesda.He had congestive heart failure. The death was confirmed by his daughter, Jane Freundel Levey. In addition to stints in Washington, Mr. Freundel served in Taiwan, Pakistan, Guatemala and Paraguay during his career at USAID. He was in Guatemala during a massive 1976 earthquake that claimed thousands of lives and participated in emergency assistance efforts. In retirement, Mr. Freundel was a volunteer docent with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. He also did volunteer work in Montgomery County with prisoners transitioning back into society. Milton Freundel was a New York City native and was the youngest of eight siblings. His father was a ward healer for Tammany Hall. During World War II, Mr. Freundel served in the Army in Europe. He trained in radio communications with the Signal Corps and later drove in the truck caravan known as the Red Ball Express that kept front-line units supplied with gasoline and other staples. Mr. Freundel graduated from George Washington University in 1949 and spent much of his early career as a personnel specialist with the Navy Department. He was a Washington resident. His first wife, Bernice Wolff Freundel, died in 1993 after 45 years of marriage. A son from that marriage, Mark Freundel, died in 2009. Survivors include his wife of 18 years, Pauline Lubcher-Freundel of Washington; a daughter from his first marriage, Jane Freundel Levey of Bethesda; two step children, Carol Minkoff of Bethesda andJeffrey Lubcher of Rockville; a sister, Shirley L. Green of Bethesda; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.