Page 65 - Foreign Service Journal - February 2013

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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
|
FEBRUARY 2013
65
visit of Jacqueline Kennedy.
Mr. Brackman served in Budapest
when the U.S. was represented through a
legation and Hungarian Cardinal Mind-
zenty received political asylum. He liked
to tell this story of that time: When the
cardinal, who often worked at night, found
out that Brackman was good with numbers
and also a good typist, he would ring the
bell for himon nights when Brackman was
on duty at the embassy and ask, “Could I
molest you?”Te cardinal’s English was
self-taught, and what he meant to say was
“May I
bother
you?”
In Belgrade, Mr. Brackman joined the
diplomatic hunting club and hunted for
boar at the hunting grounds of President
Tito. Having been born and raised inWest
Virginia, he felt very much at home in
Nepal. He loved to trek in the Himalayas
and trekked to the Everest Base Camp.
His assignment in Cairo coincided with
the assassination of President Anwar Sadat
in 1981, andMr. Brackman participated
in the preparations for all the VIPs and
presidents attending the funeral. While
in Beijing, he helped prepare President
Ronald Reagan’s 1984 visit.
After a tour at the U.S. Mission to the
United Nations in New York in 1991, Mr.
Brackman retired with the title of frst sec-
retary, having received numerous honors
and awards for exemplary performance.
In retirement, Mr. Brackman accompa-
nied his wife, Stella, also a Foreign Service
employee, to her posts in Rome, New
Delhi, Moscow, Bridgetown and Brussels.
He worked as a retiree at the embassies
in NewDelhi andMoscow, where he was
assigned to train newly hired Russian
employees in administrative and budget
matters.
Mr. Brackman was an enthusiastic
sportsman. An avid tennis player, he was
a menace at the net. He loved golf and
kept working to lower his handicap. In
Barbados he played golf daily; he used to
say his ofce hours are “from 7 to 11 at the
Rockley Golf Club.” InMoscow he played
at the opening of the frst golf course and
won the initial tournament. He also kept
up withmany baseball and football teams
and relished discussing games with his
grandchildren.
Proud of his West Virginia roots, Mr.
Brackman loved returning to his home-
town to visit family members and to play
golf with old friends and nephews.
Te Brackmans made their home at
Watergate at Landmark in Alexandria,
Va., where Mr. Brackman was an active
member and former president of the
Watergate Lions Club and the Watergate
tennis group.
He battled lung cancer from 2000 to
2005, which stayed in remission until
shortly before he passed away. His doctors
used to call him “the wonder boy.”
Survivors include his wife of 54 years,
Stella Brackman, of Alexandria, Va.; their
daughter, Gloria Brackman Nussbaum,
and son-in-law, Peter Nussbaum, of
Westport, Conn., and two grandchildren,
Stephanie and Daniel.
n
Michael Alan Bricker,
54, Foreign
Service specialist, died on Oct. 21 inWash-
ington, D.C.
Mr. Bricker was born on July 22, 1958.
He joined the State Department in August
1990, one of the frst hearing-impaired
members of the Foreign Service. During
a 22-year diplomatic career as an infor-
mation technology manager, Mr. Bricker
served inWarsaw, Monrovia, Seoul (two
tours), Kingston, New York with the U.S.
Mission to the United Nations, London
and Vienna. When diagnosed with cancer
earlier in the year, Mr. Bricker had been
serving as Embassy Ottawa’s information
management ofcer.
Mr. Bricker is remembered by col-
leagues and friends for his kindness and
good humor, his professional excellence
and commitment to diplomacy, and his
devotion to family and country. He was
also a lifelong champion of people with
disabilities.
As retired Senior FSO Timothy C.
Lawson, who was deputy chief of mission
in Seoul when Bricker, on his second Seoul
tour, was the deputy information resources
management ofcer, recalls: “He brought
creativity, innovation and world-class sup-
port to our large operation and to the goals
and objectives of the mission. His sense of
local Korean dynamics, service standards
and technology infrastructure proved
pivotal to our success. And this was during
some truly trying times for the embassy,
the U.S. Army garrison and our alliance
with the Republic of Korea.”
“But, beyond those challenges,” Lawson
continues, “the most commendable and
memorable thing about Michael, tome,
was his ready concern for the welfare of
others—and not just his talented staf.
“Despite managing his heavy ofce
workload and studies for a demanding
Army War College curriculum, Michael
was always quietly committed to a very
special group. He was a frequent visitor to
a small Seoul orphanage, where he would
take the time to visit, play with and present
small gifts to Korean children who sufered
from severe physical andmental handi-
caps and had been largely abandoned
by their own families. Michael Bricker
became their champion. For the few, like
me, who became privy to his special act of
compassion, Michael became our cham-
pion, too.”
At every post, he sought out opportuni-
ties to connect with and assist the disabled
population. He did volunteer work for the
disabled in Poland and at orphanages in
Liberia and Korea, and also volunteered at
a church in New York City. He was a friend