Archive | 2015

Roger Ernst

Roger Ernst, passed away in Tampa, Florida on November 17, 2014, surrounded by his children.

Born in New York City to Morris L. and Margaret Ernst, Roger attended City and Country School, George School, Williams College, and the National War College. He served in the US Army, and was Assistant Director for NATO and for Planning in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He started the Peace Corps in India, served as Deputy Director of the US Economic Assistance Mission in Taiwan and Korea, and was Director of USAID in Ethiopia and Thailand. He was a Fellow at the East-West Center in Hawaii, and taught at the University of South Florida.

A lifelong summer resident of Nantucket, MA, his trademark red sail was as well-known in the harbor as his smile was on land. An exercise devotee, he ran 1000 miles a year for 25 years. He loved traveling and dancing with his wife Jean O’Mara Ernst, to whom he proposed on the day they met.

He is predeceased by his wife Jean, and his sisters Constance Bessie and Joan Dauman. He is survived by daughter Debbe Nicholson, her husband Jeff and son Sam; and son David, his wife Jennifer and their children, Ben, Julia and Daniel.

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Larry Rosen

Larry Rosen passed away on January 9, 2015 at his home in Falls Church, VA, surrounded by his loving companion Kim and his immediate family members.

He was born March 30, 1940 at Walter Reed Hospital to Leo Rosen (d. 1992), and Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Wrenn. After earning a B.A. in Economics from McGill, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Sorbonne, Larry worked for several years in Zurich for an international consulting firm. He joined the U.S. State Department and later USAID serving in several overseas stations before an extended term as an economic adviser in the Executive Office Building in Washington DC. He left government service in 1982, going on to become an accomplished and respected real estate investor in Northern Virginia.

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Blaine Jensen

Blaine Wesley Jensen, 75 of Blackfoot, passed away on Sunday, August 31, 2014 at home surrounded by his family.

He was born June 10, 1939 in Blackfoot, Idaho the second child of James W. Jensen and Ruby Parrish Jensen.

He graduated from Idaho State College in 1961 with a Bachelors Degree in Business/Education and a minor in Social Science. He attended Syracuse University in New York under a US Government sponsored program during 1972-73 and graduated with a Masters Degree in Public Administration in May 1973.

He was a volunteer with the International Voluntary Services from 1963-1965 in the Laos, where he taught English, basic agriculture, and worked with the refugee relief program. The remainder of his career was spent working overseas as a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development, an arm of the United States Department of State. During his career, he worked in Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, The Philippines, Washington D.C., Tanzania, Barbados and the Republic of the Sudan. He retired from the federal government in November 1989 and returned to the family farm in Pingree, Idaho.

He enjoyed reading, gardening, fishing, camping, and community service. He was the registrar and chief judge for the elections in Pingree precinct. He also worked on bonds and other elections for the Snake River School District. He was a member of Lions Club International, which is dedicated to helping the community in which that club has been chartered.

He was married in Laos in 1966 and divorced in 1967. He remained single for the rest of his life. He is survived by siblings, Harvey (Marina) Jensen of Pocatello, Barbara Hurst of Blackfoot, Donna (Chuck) Mitchell of Blackfoot, 18 nieces and nephews, 35 great nieces and nephews and 6 great great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister-in-law, Gayleen and niece, Jodie.

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Roma Knee

On January 6, 2015, Roma Knee died at home surrounded by family and friends in Silver Spring, MD. She would have been 80 on January 29th.

Roma was born in Morgantown, WV, and came to the Washington DC area to attend George Washington University. She traveled extensively in her early career with USAID with postings in Thailand, South Korea and Vietnam. In Washington as a Personnel Officer, Roma was known as a champion of those who needed help in fighting for the right treatment by the Agency.

One of her fans told her about a new job posting in the Latin American and Caribbean Bureau dealing with women issues. Encouraged to leave a field in which she excelled, Roma started a new phase in her career in 1975. Her job would be enlarged to include human rights, democracy and the administration of justice. These areas required a high level of skill in developing projects in countries not always receptive to these initiatives. Roma also work closely with the State Department in supporting these programs. Of all the projects she supported, she was most proud of her work in making possible the establishment of the Inter-American Human Rights Institute in San Jose, Costa Rica. Besides a demanding portfolio, Roma was active in Women’s Action Organization that promoted women’s rights in the State Department, USAID, and the USIA.

During her retirement, she continued to work with her Jazz exercise group and the Faithful Circle and Friendship Star Quilting Guilds where she enjoyed exhibiting her own quilts. Roma is survived by her daughter, Leslie A Knee of Silver Spring, MD.

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Martha Wedeman

Martha Hall Wedeman, wife of USAID alumnus Miles Wedeman, passed away on January 12, 2015 at the age of 90. Born in 1924 and raised in Pontiac, Michigan, Martha graduated from the Western College for Women (Oxford, Ohio) in 1946.

After briefly attending the University of Michigan as a graduate student, she moved to Washington, DC, where she was a government intern. She later joined the Washington Post as a reporter. In 1955, she married Miles George Wedeman. Martha later worked as a reporter for the Montgomery County Sentinel. In 1968, she moved to South Korea after her husband was appointed deputy director of the USAID mission. Thereafter, she accompanied Miles on assignments that took her to live in Thailand, Cambodia, Cote D’Ivoire, Syria, and India.

In 1985, she and Miles returned to the United States and took up residence in Arlington, Virginia. Martha then began a new career editing academic journals for Heldref Press. She remained with Heldref for twenty years during which time she won recognition for her editorial work, including an award for the Journal of College Health Throughout her life,

Martha travel extensively and managed to visit, among other places, China, Tibet, Central Asia, and Iran. She was an avid tennis player and opera aficionado. She was an active member of the community and volunteered at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington for many years.

Martha is survived by her daughter, Sara Wedeman; three sons, Andrew, Benjamin, and Nicolas, and seven grandchildren.

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Bill Joslin

William R. “”Bill”” Joslin, 69, of Campton, NH, passed away on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, at his home after a courageous and lengthy battle with cancer.

Born in Keene on July 9, 1945, Bill was the son of George E. and Marie (Elder) Joslin. Bill grew up in Spofford and graduated from Keene High School.

Following his graduation from Clark University in 1967, he and the love of his life, Karen (Seaver), married and served in the Peace Corps for two years in Bihar, India.

After returning to the U.S., Bill began studies at Georgetown Law School while working part time as Legislative Assistant to U.S. Rep. James C. Cleveland, who represented the New Hampshire Second Congressional District. A year later, he became Congressman Cleveland’s chief of staff while continuing to work his way through law school. During that time, Bill played an essential role as an architect of the compromise that allowed construction of the Franconia Notch Parkway. The agreement ended a 10-year standoff between the state and environmental groups.

In 1981, the Joslin family packed their bags and headed to Bangladesh for four years when Bill became the country deputy director of the USAID programs there. His next assignment as a Foreign Service Officer was to Jamaica for five years as the USAID country director. While there, Jamaica was hit by a devastating hurricane, Gilbert, and USAID was fully engaged in recovery and reconstruction efforts. Bill was awarded a Superior Unit Citation and the Presidential Meritorious Service Award for his dedicated and outstanding service.

Bill continued in his work as the mission director of USAID in Poland in 1990. He then served as senior adviser to the coordinator of assistance to the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union.

The next family move was back to New Hampshire where Bill initiated a totally new project helping to develop science and technology programs suitable for funding initiatives at the University of New Hampshire. Over a 10-year span, these projects brought in $400 million in funding for the university. He was very proud of his work during this part of his professional life and of these projects, several of which have earned national recognition for their excellence and continue to thrive and make a difference. He was especially proud of the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping and the Crimes Against Children Research Center, both of which have earned national recognition for their excellence.

Bill’s life was dedicated to the service of others and to many causes.

When prostate cancer appeared, Bill finally decided to retire. His renewed focus became family and finally a time for some hobbies. Wine touring, sailing, fly fishing, Nordic skiing, snow shoeing, wood working, and Marklin model trains were among the projects he enjoyed and shared with family and friends. His John Deere tractor helped to create a superb two mile trail in his woods, along with soil preparation for Karen’s many gardens.

Memories of some great fly fishing trips with friends, family hiking vacations in mountains near and far, and many travels filled Bill’s last days. He knew he was blessed with a good life, and with the love of his family and his friends.

Bill is predeceased by his parents and brother, Charles Joslin.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 47 years, Karen (Seaver) Joslin, of Campton; three daughters, Sarah Pita and husband Mark, of Estes Park, Colo., Rebecca Hodge and husband David, of Colebrook,and Abigail Joslin, of Clarkston, Ga.; three grandchildren, Lydia and Zach Pita, and Garrett Hodge; he is also survived by two older brothers, John Joslin and George Joslin, both of Keene.

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Doug Stafford

M. Douglas Stafford died peacefully on Sunday, February 1, 2015 at 12:45 p.m. at age 81 after a lengthy and arduous battle beginning with renal cancer 14 years ago. Born on September 29, 1933 in Syracuse, New York to George Stafford, of New York State, and Jeanette Martin Stafford, of New York State, he leaves a family of relations and friends that spread worldwide, with an influence to match.

After graduating from Cornell’s School for Industrial and Labor Relations, Doug’s remarkable career began with three years in the Navy aboard the USS Cacapon where he met lifelong friends. He began his civilian career at IBM where he stayed for three years before joining the Peace Corps and acting as Country Deputy Director in Liberia and Ghana. After he and his family returned from these two years in Africa he was Director of Administration of Peace Corps in Washington DC. Following this he spent a year with a principal role in Family Health Care, Inc. and then two years as Vice President for Administration at State University of New York at New Paltz College. Doug returned to Washington to work as comptroller at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. After his time at EEOC he went to work at the United Nations Development Program as Director of Finance and Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau of Finance and Administration. Later he was appointed Deputy High Commissioner for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, located in Geneva.

Doug returned to Washington to complete his career of public service at the State Department as a Clinton appointee, where he was Assistant Administrator for Food and Humanitarian Assistance at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Doug met and at times served with dignitaries such as Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, the Queen of Spain and many others.

But it was working with his revered staff and colleagues, sleeves rolled up and in the trenches that fueled his fire. He wasn’t living if he didn’t have an issue to tackle. He brought his intense passion for people, his direct and colorful way of speaking and fearless enthusiasm for championing his staff and what is right to every job, and every situation in his life. His charismatic presence, marked by a deep conviction in bringing a better life to all people, drew in friends from every job and every place he lived, creating a kaleidoscope of devoted, fascinating and loving friends. His pride and abiding love for his family was always crowned by the respect and love he accorded his wife. His sometimes larger than life presence will be remembered and celebrated by many with unbounded respect and the same quick smile he brought to all relationships. It is not the vacuum he leaves, but rather the rich fabric of life that marks his passing.

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Thomas Farmer

Thomas Laurence Farmer, whose Washington career in public service and private law practice spanned 63 years, died February 5, 2015 at his home in Cleveland Park surrounded by his family. He was 91 years old. The cause was neuro-degenerative illness.

Thomas Farmer combined private law practice with a passion for politics and international affairs. He first came to Washington in 1951 where he worked for the CIA for three years as a Covert Operations Officer. He returned to Washington in 1958 as an Associate of the New York law firm of Simpson, Thacher and Bartlett and to work in John Kennedy’s presidential campaign. Appointed by President Kennedy as Chairman of the Advisory Board of the National Capital Transportation Agency from 1961 to 1964, he helped lead a crucial battle that prevented interstate highways from bisecting Washington.

From 1964 to 1968, he worked as the General Counsel for the State Department’s U.S. Agency for International Development, and contributed to the establishment of the Asian Development Bank. From 1977 to 1981 he served as Chairman of the Intelligence Oversight Board during the Carter administration. From 1970 to 1994 he was partner in the law firm Prather, Seeger, Doolittle and Farmer.

Born in 1923 in Berlin, to an American father and a German Jewish mother, Tom Farmer came with his parents to New York City in 1933. He graduated from Great Neck High School in 1940 and from Harvard College (A.B. 1943), where he was a member of the Editorial Board of the Harvard Crimson. He served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946 and worked as a member of the Military Intelligence Division of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, Washington. He then read Law at Brasenose College, Oxford (LL.B. 1948) and at Harvard Law School (LL.M. 1950).

Tom Farmer was deeply involved in developing relations between the United States and Germany in the Postwar era. In 1983 he helped found the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies as a Director and Secretary-Treasurer, and was a Trustee until his death. In 1994, with Henry Kissinger and German President Richard von Weizs??cker, he helped found the American Academy in Berlin, served as its Founding Chairman until succeeded by Richard Holbrooke, and continued as a Trustee until his death. In 1993 he became the only non-German appointed to the Treuhandanstalt, the “Trust agency” of the Federal Republic of Germany after reunification in 1990, and helped implement privatization of the state-owned coal industry in the former East Germany. He received the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1997.

He is survived by his wife, Wanda Walton, his three children: Daniel, Sarah and Elspeth, and five grandchildren. A prior marriage to Elizabeth Midgley ended in divorce.*

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Robert Smail

Robert W. Smail, 88, died at his home in Manhattan, KS on February 15, 2015. Bob was born in Aberdeen, SD to Leola (LaSalle) and William C. Smail. He attended local schools, graduating from Aberdeen’s Central High School in 1945. In high school, he played the tuba and sousaphone in the band and was on the football and basketball teams. He joined the army on VE day, before his high school graduation (an American flag was placed on his empty chair), and he served for two years, mostly in Germany. After discharge he returned to Aberdeen and graduated from Northern State Teachers College (now Northern State University) in 1950. Later Bob would continue his education at the University of South Dakota (Vermillion), receiving a master’s degree in education in 1952 and a Doctor 0f Education degree in 1959, the first doctoral degree awarded by the University. Dr. Smail was selected to be the USAID fellow at the Center of International Affairs, Harvard University in 1971-72.

Bob’s entire career was in the field of education and human resources, beginning with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Cheyenne River Reservation, SD, where he taught grades K-6 for 4 years at Iron Lighting Day School , a one-room school house. After earning his doctoral degree, he went to Clarion State College in Pennsylvania as Professor of Education and Director of the Laboratory School from 1959-1962.

In 1962 he joined the US Agency for International Development. With USAID, he managed and supervised contractual groups for all phases of education development and training programs in fields such as irrigation and agricultural development and public administration programs in seven countries. His first assignment was as Teacher Education Advisor in Cambodia from 1962 to 1964 where he developed the education program and physical specifications for a new teacher training college to be built at Siem Reap. Between 1964 and 1970, he worked closely with the governments of the Philippines, Mali, Liberia and Nigeria supervising USAID contractors in the fields of education, university development, public administration, and various agricultural and irrigation programs.

Following assignment in Washington D.C. where he was responsible for policy and programs for Human Resources Development in the African Region and following his time as a Fellow at Harvard, he served in Nepal (1972-73) where he supervised various development programs at Tribhuvan University and the establishment of a management program for the Office of the Prime minister. From Nepal, he went to Bangkok as Chief of Human Resources Development. In the Southeast Asian Regional Economic Development Office, he served as consultant to SEAMEO and was involved in several programs, including public administration and agricultural development projects in Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.

Returning to Washington, DC in 1978, he was Chief of the Office of Human Resources for the Latin American Bureau, overseeing program policy development in twenty countries in Latin America and the Caribbean until his retirement in 1980.

Following retirement, he consulted extensively on USAID and foreign development projects in several countries, including Indonesia, Grenada, Thailand, Pakistan, Egypt, and Jordan. He also had short-term assignments including Education Officer for the Cuban-Haitian Boat Lift project at Ft. McCoy, WI and the worldwide evaluation of the World Scouting Movement. Dr. Smail’s strengths were in the areas of being able to see the “big picture” of a project’s development, identifying the key players, and devising appropriate training paths that would produce results. He worked well with both local and expatriate personnel. Mrs. Smail and their children accompanied him on his assignments.

Bob and wife Lois moved to Manhattan, KS in 1996 to be near their son’s family. They enjoyed many years of their grandchildren’s elementary, middle school, and high school activities. Bob was active in community services, including Bread Basket, Red Cross, Kiwanis, the Men’s Garden Club, and the Senior Center. He particularly enjoyed working with the Library of Congress Veterans’ Oral History Project. He was a voracious reader, an avid golfer, a gentle man, and a gentleman.

He is survived by his wife of over 66 years, Lois; two children, Robin Dietrich (married to Richard Dietrich, D.Min., Ph.D.) of Staunton, VA and Virgil Smail,Ph.D. (married to Nan) of Manhattan, KS; four grandchildren, Christopher Dietrich, Ph.D. (married to Veronica) and Nathanael Dietrich, and Robert Smail and Tyler Smail (married to Vera); and three great grandchildren.*

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Hy Nissenbaum

Herman “Hy” Nissenbaum (87) was born in New York City to Paula Paschkar and Jacob Nissenbaum, and lived in Brooklyn until 1944. Hy served in the United States Army from 1944 to 1945. He attended Syracuse University and the University of Michigan, moving to Washington, DC in 1952.

His public career spanned over five decades, starting at the Pentagon and the Agency for International Development, and including 37 years at the World Bank. He retired in 2004, and in 2012 moved from his Rockville home of nearly 45 years to Ingleside at King Farm. He died from complications of pneumonia.

He is survived by his wife, Claire; daughter, Ellen (Jeffrey); sons, Daniel (Penelope) and John (Gabriella); grandchildren, Nora, Meredith, Gabriel, Gillian and Joshua; his sister, Rachel; three nieces, Gloria (Alan), Barbara (Ira) and Belinda (Steve); and cherished family friend, Staci Houser.

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