In Memoriam

Recent Tributes

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Rutherford M. Poats

Rutherford M. Poats– “Rud”– a pioneering designer and director of international development programs, died at his home in New York City on November 10, 2020. Rud was born in Spartanburg, SC in 1922 and graduated from Emory University in 1942 before joining the Army, serving in the Philippines and Japan. He had a distinguished career as a journalist and international development and banking services expert and innovator over his nearly 50-year career spanning posts in Asia, Europe and Washington, DC.  Rud wrote the first published history of the Korean War (“Decision in Korea”) and headed the Far East Bureau of UPI in Tokyo.

He entered civilian government service in 1961, rising through the ranks of the newly created Agency for International Development (AID) to become assistant administrator for the Far East and later Deputy Administrator and Acting Administrator of the agency under Presidents Johnson and Nixon. He took a fellowship at Brookings Institute where he wrote “Technology for Developing Nations” in 1972. He was a key driver in AID’s efforts to promote US private investment, serving as the principal architect of the US Overseas Private Investment Company (OPIC) and as its acting president in 1977.

In 1978 he moved to the National Security Council as an international economic policy advisor to President Carter and remained on the NSC staff during the first year of the Reagan administration.  Rud was elected chairman of the OECD’s Economic Development Assistance Committee from 1982 – 85 in Paris, where he led reforms in aid management by bilateral and multilateral agencies, notably in strengthening program coordination in recipient countries, culminating in his authorship of “Twenty-five Years of Development Cooperation”. In 1986 he returned to Washington as a consultant to the World Bank in the design and launching of its new affiliate, the Multilateral Investment Guaranty Agency (MIGA), of which he was the interim chief at its inauguration in 1988. Rud finished his career as President of International Investment Services, where with other senior partners, he advised governments on creating favorable climates for foreign investment and indigenous private enterprise. Rud was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, the Asia Society, Japan Society, Korea Society and the hereditary Society of the Cincinnati.

Rud took up painting and stone and wood sculpting in his retirement years, assisted wife Lea Sneider, now deceased, with her numerous Korean art exhibits, travelled extensively, and loved gathering with the family. Rud is survived by four children from his first marriage to the late Esther Smith, including Penfield Thompson, Huntley Poats, Rutherford Poats and Grayson Poats, as well as five grandchildren and five great grandchildren, and his faithful, beloved caretakers, Boodnie Pandohie and Rangamah Ramgulan of New York, NY.  Service to be held at National Memorial Park in Falls Church, VA in Q2 2021, pending Covid19 conditions.  Service to be held at National Memorial Park in Falls Church, VA in Q2 2021, pending Covid19 conditions.

Ambassador Edward J. Perkins

Edward J. Perkins, a career diplomat who was born on June 8, 1928, grew up in segregated Louisiana, became the first African American ambassador to apartheid South Africa and opened the ranks of the Foreign Service to minorities as its director general. He was married for 47 years to Lucy Liu Perkins and had two daughters (Katherine and Sarah) and four grandchildren.  He died Nov. 7, 2020 at a hospital in Washington. He was 92.

Ed Perkins served with USAID in multiple overseas roles:  during the Vietnam War period, in Bangkok as an R-5 Assistant GSO (1966), moving to an R-4 status in USAID Bangkok (1969), a management officer (8/70) and followed by an Executive Officer (10/71-01/72).  In early February, he moved from USAID to the State Department, serving as an R-4 Personnel Officer until August 1972.  Dr. Perkins received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Maryland in 1967, and later studied public administration at the University of Southern California, where he received a master’s degree in 1972 and a PhD in 1978.

After serving abroad in the Army and the Marines and working for the U.S. Agency for International Development, Dr. Perkins joined the US Foreign Service in 1972 and rose, despite what he described as ingrained prejudice in the organization, to the rank of career minister.  Under President Ronald Reagan, Dr. Perkins served as Ambassador to Liberia before his posting in South Africa from 1986 to 1989. From 1989 to 1992, as director general of the Foreign Service, Dr. Perkins sought to recruit FS officers from underrepresented areas of the country (including Appalachia) as well as more African Americans and other minorities.  In 1992, President George H.W. Bush named him U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Bush’s successor, President Bill Clinton, appointed Dr. Perkins ambassador to Australia, a posting he held from 1993 until his retirement in 1996.

Dr. Curtis R. Nissly

On Saturday, October 8, 2016, Dr. Curtis R. Nissly (77) of Dillsburg, PA passed away in his home surrounded by his wife and family.  “Curt,” was born on May 26, 1939 in Upland, CA to the late Levi C. and Lilly “Landis” Nissly. After graduating high school 1956, Curt attended Westmont College and Upland College (each for one year),and served as a missionary helper in Zambia and Zimbabwe. In 1962, Curt returned to Upland College and earned his Bachelors of Science in Biology. Between 1963 and 1981, he completed his Master’s degree at Cal State (Los Angeles), moved his family to Zambia to teach math and science under the Brethren-in-Church Missions; earned his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Agronomy in 1976; and taught at the Natural Resources Development College (NRDC) and the University of Zambia (UNZA). Curt became a commissioned officer with the USAID in 1981 and moved his family to Nairobi, Kenya serving as Regional Economic Development Services Officer (REDSO). In the summer of 1987, Curt and family moved to Islamabad, Pakistan where they were evacuated at the beginning of the Gulf War. They resided in Springfield, Virginia where Curt worked for USAID in Washington, DC until being assigned to Niamey, Niger as the Natural Resources Officer. He later worked in the Food for Peace (FFP) office in Washington, DC until being assigned to Bamako, Mali as Food Aid Officer in 1999. Curt retired in 2004. In retirement, Curt and his wife operated a small business and organized and led 15 different short term mission teams to New Orleans to assist in the clean-up and rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. Curt travelled with his wife and enjoyed family and grandchildren. He and his wife became a Cumberland County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) advocating for children in the foster care system. In his free time, Curt enjoyed keeping up with home projects and looking for ways to help others.

He is survived by his wife, Vi Nissly; three sons, Curtis (Terri) of Spring Hill, FL, Wayne (Karen) of Severn, MD, Ryan (Lori) of Lemoyne; two daughters, Cheri Small (Roy) of Waconia MN, and Kimberly Henderson (Timothy) of Harrisburg; five grandchildren and a large, loving family.  He was also preceded in death by a son, Carl W. Nissly.  Curt will be greatly missed but his legacy will continue through his children and grandchildren.

Thomas R. Kellermann

On October 26, 2020,  Tom passed away after a five-year battle with cancer. Tom was born July 15, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York. When he was five, his father–a lawyer– was called to Washington, DC and Bethesda became the home of the Kellermann family since then. Tom attended Bradley Elementary and BCC until his father was assigned to Paris as Minister of the UNESCO. In Paris, Tom attended and graduated from the American HS.  Then he got his degree at Indiana University, followed by serving two years as Tank Commander in Bad Kissingen, Germany. He left the military and joined the Foreign Service as a Career FSO.  He served with USAID in Nigeria during the Biafra war, in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), the Ivory Coast and Mauretania – while on home tours, he served as the desk officer for the Philippines and Burma. His favorite tour was in Guatemala and his last tour in Peru. Tom loved Shrimp and Cheese Fondue and was an obsessed Marathon Runner and Golfer. He served under Msgr. Reddy at St.Bart’s Social Concern board, sang in the choir and organized the first Hunger Drive of the Parish. He loved the Redskins. Tom is survived by his wife Theres A. Kellermann-Hammer; his daughter Debbie; his sons, Thomas and Patrick (wife, Laura Mundy); and his best friend, Isabel M. Rodriguez. He has family in Princeton, NJ, and in Switzerland. Due to the Covid, the burial will be private. A Celebration of Life will be held once the Covid is over. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to UNICEF. Please view and sign the family guestbook at 

Reimert (Rei) RavenholtRei Ravenholt

It is with sadness that we inform you of the death of Reimert (“Rei”) Thorolf Ravenholt on Thursday October 1, 2020 at his home in Seattle, WA at age 95.  Rei served as the first Director of USAID’s Office of Population (now Population and Reproductive Health) from 1966-1979.

Rei was born and raised on a dairy farm in West Denmark, Wisconsin, one of nine children in a Danish-American family.  He received his M.D. from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of California (Berkeley) from which he graduated first in his class.  Over the course of his career, he served as an officer in the Epidemic Intelligence Service of the Centers for Disease Control (beginning work in its second class); Director, Epidemiology and Communicable Disease Control Division, Seattle-King County Health Department; Epidemiology Consultant, European Region, U.S. Public Health Service, American Embassy, Paris, France; Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine, University of Washington; Director, Office of Population, USAID; Director, World Health Surveys, CDC; Assistant Director for Research and Epidemiology, National Institute on Drug Abuse; Chief, Epidemiology Branch, Food and Drug Administration; and President, Population Health Imperatives, Seattle, Washington.  He also researched and published extensively on topics ranging from epidemiology to preventive medicine, public health, population/family planning, malignant cellular evolution, tobaccosis, and the need for U.S. welfare reform.

When Rei took charge of USAID’s nascent population program in 1966, the program had no staff, budget, or mandate.  Few developing country governments outside of Asia wanted anything to do with subjects as controversial as population growth and family planning, and there was great debate about whether family planning programs worked.  Many doubted that couples would use family planning services and, if couples did use them, that the services would have any impact.  But Rei believed that people would use family planning and that it would have a global demographic impact.  He was right.

During his 14-year tenure, USAID’s global population/family planning assistance program became the world’s foremost population program, providing more than half of all international population/family planning program assistance ($1.3 billion) during those years.  USAID remains the largest bilateral donor of family planning assistance today.  Many of the approaches that were pioneered under Rei’s leadership, such as routine survey data collection (he originated the World Fertility Survey, the precursor of the Demographic and Health Survey, which stands today as the gold standard of household survey data collection in the developing world), working through non-governmental organizations, social marketing, and community-based services, continue today as standards of strong voluntary family planning programs.  He further understood that the available contraceptive methods were not appealing to all users and ensured that the Office of Population established a strong central contraceptive research program.  Almost every contraceptive method available today has received USAID funding or support.

Rei is survived by his wife, Betty Butler Ravenholt and five children:  Janna, Mark, Lisa, Dane, and Matthew.  Funeral services will be private.  Remembrances may be made to West Denmark Lutheran Church, 2478 170th Street, Luck, WI 54853 or to Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands, P.O. Box 3641, Seattle WA 98124.

For those who knew him or knew of him, there is also an excellent obituary for Rei Ravenholt published by The Seattle Times on November 16, 2020.

David Edward Mutchler

David Mutchler obitDavid Edward Mutchler, 79, died peacefully on September 4, 2020, surrounded by his loving family. Born in Lexington KY, he graduated St. Louis University and earned his Ph.D from Washington University in St. Louis. He joined USAID in 1971 and spent the next 30 years as a foreign service officer in Nepal, Barbados, Mozambique, Ivory Coast, Panama and Washington, DC. He served as the USAID Mission Director for Panama and was Director of the Cuba Program (1997-2007), the first USAID program in support of the Cuban people.

After retiring from USAID, David was a visiting professor at Catholic University. Predeceased by his wife Carolyn, parents Jack and Louise Mutchler, brother Dick and nephew Johnny. Survived by daughters: Mamie Wilson (Jeff), Meghan Deerin (JB) and Ana Maria Mutchler; granddaughters: Lilly, Lucy, Tess, Ellie, Grace, Lola and Carolyn; brother Patrick Mutchler (Ann); nephews John (Michele) and Michael Mutchler; and niece, Catherine Louise Mutchler. A private funeral mass will be held at Holy Trinity in Georgetown where David was a parishioner. Donations should be directed to St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, Ohio and Doctors Without Borders.

John Henry Huber

John Henry Huber was born in 1929 in San Francisco to Swiss parents. When he was three years old, the family returned to Switzerland.  In 1949, he went back to the US to attend Rutgers University. He received his Masters’ Degree in 1955 and his PhD in Economics in 1957 from Wharton. USAID then offered him a job at USAID/Cambodia as economist in the Planning Office. His next assignment was to the Abidjan regional office for four West African countries. From there he transferred to the Central African Republic where he opened a new USAID post. In Bangui, John focused this fledgling AID mission on supporting friendly missions with US-made reliable trucks and introducing telecommunications. In 1964 the AID budget for Africa was drastically reduced, the USAID office in Bangui closed, and the functions were given to the American Embassy. John and family returned to Washington in the summer of 1964. Morale at the USAID home office was at a low ebb and John eventually moved to the Export/Import bank where he would secure financing for U.S. exports, a post he filled until his retirement.

In retirement, John took a short-term assignment with the World Bank. He also travelled the world for USIS lecturing and praising the benefits of privatization. He was a regular guest speaker at a Swiss Bankers Seminar and had belonged to an economic consulting firm called IDEA.   He succumbed to COVID-19 on Easter Monday, April 13, 2020. John leaves his wife of 60 plus years, three sons, Peter and Pat, Steve and Francis and Vilma and their two children, Jonimaya and Jeremy. He is also survived by his brother, Christopher and wife Erika, in Oregon and was predeceased by his sister, Maria.

Guy Baseler Baird

Guy Baseler Baird of Pittsboro NC, died peacefully at the UNC Guy Baseler Bairdhospice in on June 13, 2020. He was 97 years old. He was born on January 4, 1923, on a small farm in Newland, North Carolina in 1923. After he graduated from high school, he attended Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina State University. His education was interrupted by World War II, during which he spent three years in Europe with the U.S. Army, working as an officer in a medical battalion.  After the war, he attended Cornell University, where he received his Ph.D in Agronomy. While at Cornell, he met and married a fellow grad student, Betty Jane Brooks. After his graduation he was employed by the Rockefeller Foundation’s Agricultural Research Country Programs and he and Betty spent two decades in Colombia, South America and in India, helping those countries (and many others) in their efforts to become agriculturally self-sufficient. During his time overseas he and Betty had three children, Jeffrey, Joel, and Jane. In 1971 the family returned to the United States when Guy became the International Agricultural Specialist with USAID in Washington, D.C. A few years later, he and Betty moved to New York City, where he worked for the International Agricultural Research Service (IADS). Betty died of cancer in 1981.

IADS subsequently moved to Washington D.C. where Guy met Ingrid Edick. In 1984 they were married. Guy and Ingrid spent three years in India where he worked on another agricultural assistance project. Guy retired in 1989 and he and Ingrid moved to Fearrington Village in Pittsboro, NC. They lived there together for more than 30 years. Guy is survived by Ingrid Baird, his sister Jean Lutz, his children Jeffrey, Joel, and Jane, his step-daughter Joanne Hawkins, six grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and dozens of loving members of his extended family.  A memorial service will be scheduled at a later time. Memorial gifts can be made to UNC Hospice online at or by mail to Medical Foundation of NC, 123 West Franklin Street, Suite 510, Chapel Hill NC 27516, or online through the Medical Foundation of North Carolina.

Barbara Bradford Williams

Barbara Bradford Williams made her transition on Sunday morning, August 2, 2020 in Washington DC.  She was the youngest of six siblings, all who have preceded her in death. She is survived by her devoted daughter, Debbie Williams Galiber, her son-in-law, Edward Matthew Galiber, two grandchildren Edward Elisha Galiber and Blair Barbara Galiber and a host of family and friends.

She retired from USAID in 1990 after 30 years serving as an Executive Officer and Executive Management Officer, both in overseas missions and in AID/Washington. During her USAID career she served in Vietnam, Mali, Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, and El Salvador.

Barbara was born on October 19, 1932 in Pensacola, Florida.  In her retirement, Barbara loved to travel, and was an active leader in her church and with various community clubs. If you wish to honor her, the family suggests a contribution be made to Northminster Presbyterian Church 7720 Alaska Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20012

Harold Lubell

Harold Lubell (1925-2015) parted peacefully from this world on December 29, 2015, surrounded by his family. He was born in Manhattan, NY on March 29, 1925 to Fanny (née Bielsky) and Morris Lubell, originally from Novogrodek, Russia. He was preceded in death by his older brother Paul Lubell and his wife, Claudie Lubell née Marchaut, of Saint Denis, France. Harold attended Bard College in NY on a cello scholarship and Harvard University where he got his Ph.D. in Economics.  In France, he met his wife Claudie Marchaut and stepdaughter Babeth while working on the United States Marshall Plan after the war.

Harold worked as an economist for various governmental and non-governmental agencies including the Rand Corporation, Ford Foundation, U.S. Federal Reserve, U.S. Agency for International Development, and the International Labor Office. He took his family on his various assignments to Vietnam (where son Martin was born in 1963), Turkey (where daughter Diane was born in 1967), as well as India, Egypt, Senegal, Switzerland, France, and the U.S. His greatest joy in life, however, was playing the cello in various chamber orchestras and quartets.

After having lived the last 25 years in Paris, France, he moved to Wooster, Ohio to be close to his two grandsons, Julien and Xavier Lubell. He is survived by stepdaughter Babeth Angot, daughter Diane Lubell, son Martin Lubell, daughter-in-law Beth Muellner, grandsons Julien and Xavier Lubell, sister-in-law Thelma Lubell, and nephews Mark and David Lubell.

David Gregory Mathiasen

David G. Mathiasen, 84, died from heart ailments on June 13th  at his home in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Oberlin College and then received a Master of Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton. An economist, he worked for the federal government for 34 years.

He began his career at the Bureau of the Budget in the Kennedy administration and then worked for the US Agency for International Development in Turkey, India and Pakistan. He was especially proud of his work on the Green Revolution in South Asia. When he returned to the United States in 1972, he went back to the Budget Bureau, which had become the Office of Management and Budget. He was for many years head of OMB’s Fiscal Analysis Branch, and then was Deputy Director of the Office of Budget Review. He was very proud of the teams that he nurtured as a manager.

In 1998, he took leave from OMB to be executive director of the bipartisan National Economic Commission, which Congress established in an effort to get the federal budget deficit under control, a job he particularly enjoyed but which was scuttled by George H.W. Bush’s “no new taxes” pledge. He ended his federal government career as special assistant to the director of the General Accounting Office and then spent two years in Paris at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. After returning to D.C., he taught graduate courses at American University and the University of Maryland; during his OMB years he periodically taught at the at the Yale School of Management.

He was married to Carolyn Swisher for 60 years. In addition to their Kalorama apartment, they owned a house in Castine, Maine, where they spent about half the year. In addition to his wife, he is survived by daughters Karen and Jocelyn Mathiasen, daughter-in law Kathryn O’Brien and son-in-law Curt Dawson and four grandchildren. David was a committed, life-long Democrat and a enjoyed a close cadre of friends who loved nothing more than a night of political discourse and a gourmet dinner. He was a strong civil rights advocate, hosting Martin Luther King Jr. at Oberlin College and joining the March on Washington in 1963. He was a voracious reader and talented, albeit untidy chef. Having spent several of his pre-college years abroad in Switzerland and London, David was a great travel enthusiast and took enormous pleasure showing his children and grandchildren places that he loved, introducing them to Paris, London, Greece, Tuscany and the Swiss alps. His own travels later in life took him to Antarctica, Australia, Madagascar and Fiji. He was generous, had a warm sense of humor and told terrible puns, a legacy his daughters are unlikely to carry forward.

Carl John Hemmer, Jr.

Carl John Hemmer, Jr., 88, whose career included serving as a member of the Society of Jesus for 15 years and as a Jesuit priest for six years, a widely-respected international family planning expert for 30 years, a City of Fairfax Councilman for three terms, and as an officiant of marriage for almost 50 years, died May 24, 2020 at the Ashby Ponds retirement community in Ashburn, Virginia. The cause of death was Alzheimer’s disease.  He is survived by Patricia Hemmer, his beloved wife of 51 years, their two children Christopher and Laura, six grandchildren, his sister Claire (Hemmer) O’Reilly, and sixteen nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sisters M. Virginia “Ginnie” (Hemmer) White and Beatrice (Hemmer) Crescenzi.

Carl was born March 7, 1932 in Syracuse, New York to Carl and Beatrice Hemmer, the youngest of four children. He graduated from St. John the Evangelist High School and attended Le Moyne College and St. Louis University, where he received a BA, PhL and an MA. He later received a Licentiate degree in Sacred Theology at Woodstock College.  He joined the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1952. In the late fifties, he taught Economics at Fordham University and Boston College. He was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1962. His assignments included parish work in Mexico City; Salamanca, Spain; New Jersey; and Long Island, NY.

Carl believed that celibacy for priests should be an option and petitioned the Vatican — without success — for that permission. He left the Jesuits in 1967 and married Patricia Harris on June 15, 1968 at Columbia University, where he was studying for a doctorate in Economics.  He was a founding member of the National Association for Pastoral Renewal, a group of former priests who worked towards making celibacy optional in the Roman Catholic priesthood. With his wife, he coordinated the 1994 Corps of Reserve Priests United for Service (or CORPUS) Annual Convention, held in Northern Virginia. He also authored a chapter in “Why Priests Leave, The Intimate Stories of Twelve Who Did.”  (His chapter was called “A Priest Who Didn’t Leave”.) He also wrote a number of articles for CORPUS Reports, a monthly newsletter.

Carl served as the Chief of Policy Division and Branch Chief for Family Services Planning within the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in the Office of Population Policy from 1968 until his retirement in 1998. By an unusual coincidence, the USAID job had him — a retired Jesuit priest — procuring condoms for family planning programs around the world. He also served as a United States delegate to the 1975 International Year of the Women Conference in Mexico City, one of only a handful of men to be selected. He received USAID’s Outstanding Career Achievement Award upon his retirement.

In 1969, Carl was licensed to perform marriages and officiated at almost 250 weddings for couples who wanted a personalized non-denominational civil ceremony. As he once said, “by making myself available for people, I can continue to do service.”  From 1978-1984, Carl served three elected terms as a City of Fairfax, VA Councilman. Among his accomplishments were his efforts to commence the CUE bus system which went from George Mason University throughout the City of Fairfax to the Vienna Metro.

He will be remembered for his intelligence, sense of humor, quick wit, and loving devotion to his many relatives. Upon his death, his body was donated to the Georgetown University School of Medicine’s Anatomical Donor Program following his wishes to be of service, even in death, to help train medical students.  Carl John Hemmer, Jr. — a life well-lived.

Daniel Ian Stoll

Daniel Ian Stoll, age 53, passed away on July 6, 2020. The cause of death was Glioblastoma.  Dan was born on December 16, 1966 in Silver Spring, Maryland to Jane Stoll and the late Edward S. Stoll. Besides his mother, he is survived by his brother Adam (Anita), and his three young children, Ethan, Jason and Margaret Ann, plus his nieces and nephews and his cousins. He is also survived by Mary Nguyen who he married toward the end of his life, and by his first wife Theresa Stattel.

Dan graduated from the University of Texas, and was a proud longhorn. In Austin he became a music enthusiast, a passion that stayed with him for life. Dan worked for the federal government in multiple capacities in a career spanning nearly three decades. Most recently, he worked at USAID as an Ethicist, where he cherished his friendships with many colleagues.  Dan travelled extensively and loved to plan trips for he and his family. Without doubt, Dan’s greatest pleasure was the time he spent with his three children. He rarely missed any of their events or activities.  Those who knew Dan well appreciated his sense of humor, his enthusiasm for doing whatever he took on, and the joy that he brought to their lives. In the time he was with us, he lived a very full life.

Private graveside services are being held at Judean Gardens Cemetery in Olney Maryland in a manner that complies with COVID-19 restrictions.  Contributions may be made in Dan’s name to the American Brain Tumor Association, 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Suite 550, Chicago, Illinois 60631-3225, or to Cure Glioblastoma, 578 Washington Blvd. #639, Marina Del Ray, CA 90292.

Richard J. “Dick” Pond

Richard J. “Dick” Pond, 95, passed away peacefully on Monday, January 27, 2020 at the Hospice Care Center in Brooksville, FL after being in home hospice care since the beginning of October 2019.

Dick was born in Massillion, OH on May 19, 1924, son of the late Albert and Martha Pond.  Upon high school graduation in 1943, Dick joined the U.S. Army at age 18.  Instead of basic training, he spent a year learning every aspect of communications.  He was chosen and flown to London as the nucleus of the 3118 Signal Corps.  Dick was assigned to SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces) under the direction of General Dwight Eisenhower, the supreme commander.  He ended up in Rheims, France where Dick was given the honor of handling the final message from the German surrender.  He was present when General Jodl came to surrender at the building the Americans dubbed the Little Red Schoolhouse, May 7, 1945.

A few months later, Dick was being processed for top secret clearance to free him for work as a civilian with the State Department in Washington, D.C.  He applied for the Foreign Service and this began his life as a world traveler.  His first assignment was in Copenhagen where he met and married his first wife.  They had two sons and a daughter in the years that followed.  Tragedy struck in Bangkok, Thailand, in July 1969, when their 13 year old daughter was killed in a car accident.  A few years later Dick and his wife divorced.

After being in Foreign Service, Dick retired and worked for USAID serving in Blantyre, Karachi, Hawaii, Saigon, Rio de Janeiro, and Amman.  While in Amman, Dick took up oil painting.  In December 1972, his paintings were part of an exhibition presented by the Diplomatic Club in Amman.  After 30 years of service with the Department of State, Dick retired from Kabul, at age 50, in 1974.  Dick said, “The countries I enjoyed the most had the least”.

In January 1975, while celebrating the Pittsburgh Steelers 1st Super Bowl win, he met his 2nd wife, Saundra, and they married in September of that year.  Their son, Jason, was born in January 1977.

Dick and the family moved to Spring Hill, FL in 1979.  Throughout the years, he enjoyed serving in various church capacities.  His other interests were playing bridge along with other card games, solving Sudokus, and going on cruises with family.  He and his wife had been on a total of fifty cruises together.  Dick was fun loving, had an infectious laugh, was a faithful, loving husband and servant of the Lord.  He is preceded in death by his father, mother, and brother.  He is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Saundra Dize Pond and three sons, Eric (Goslar, Germany), Peter (Lynda; Eugene, OR), Jason (Melinda; Spring Hill, FL), 8 grandchildren, 4 great-grandsons, nieces, nephews, along with many caring friends.

James Edward Blackwell

James Edward Blackwell, PhD,  departed this life on Thursday, January 16, 2020, at the age of 93.  He was preceded in death by his wife, Myrtle Dapremont Blackwell, his parents,and five sisters and six brothers. He is survived by a host of loving nieces and nephews and will be fondly remembered by many colleagues, neighbors and friends.Dr. Blackwell was a sociologist, educator and consultant who specialized in the study of the sociology and economics of the Black community and the desegregation of higher education institutions in the United States.  Long-time professor and chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Boston (1970-1989), Dr. Blackwell focused his research on the structure of inequality within major social institutions, particularly in the areas of economics, professional marketplace, and education.Dr. Blackwell was extensively involved in various professional organizations and was the first President of the Association of Black Sociologists (1970) and received the American Sociological Association’s Dubois-Johnson-Frazier Award in 1986.He was born in Anniston, Alabama.  He received his Bachelors of Science and Masters of Arts degrees from Western Reserve University (1949) and his PhD in Sociology from Western State University (1959).  He held several university teaching positions, as well as a number of high level administrative positions throughout his career.He was Deputy/Acting Director of the US Peace Corps in Tanganyika (Tanzania) from 1963 tp 1964, Director of the Peace Corps in Malawi (1964-66), and Director of the Division of Public Administration and Community Development for USAID in Kathmandu, Nepal (1966-69). In Nepal, he taught English and sociology at the University of Nepal in Katmandu.  He also traveled through the country working with the local population on community development programs, helped to relocate Tibetan refugees in Nepal, and was instrumental in sending 12 Nepalese college students to the US for training in community development and public administration for advanced leadership positions.  Until 1969, Dr. Blackwell divided his time and assignments between Tanzania, Nepal and Malawi.