Page 74 - FSJ_03_12

This is a SEO version of FSJ_03_12. Click here to view full version

« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »
F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / M A R C H 2 0 1 2
ice in 1967, serving until 1987. During
his 20-year diplomatic career he was as-
signed to Venezuela, Romania, Italy, Sri
Lanka, West Berlin and Washington,
On retiring from the Foreign Serv-
ice, he began a third career in the Of-
fice of International Programs and
Development for the State University
of New York. After 10 years in that ca-
pacity, he retired again, and subse-
quently devoted his time to various
boards and organizations, including the
Aging Services Foundation of Greene
County, the Mid-Hudson Library Sys-
tem Board and the Haines Falls Free
Library Board.
Mr. Oppen is survived by his wife of
43 years, Pamela Jaeckel Oppen; his
two children, Jessica Oppen of Boulder,
Colo., andMax Oppen of Hunter, N.Y.;
his sister Joyce Dyer of New York, N.Y.;
his cousins Nancy Worssam of Seattle,
Wash., and June Andersen of Chicago,
Mr. Oppen was predeceased by his
sister, Yvonne Golding.
Donations may be made in his name
to Doctors Without Borders at
www. or
1 (888)
Catherine “Kay” Peaslee
, 89,
widow of the late FSO Alexander
(“Sandy”) Peaslee, passed away at
Westminster Village North in Indi-
anapolis, Ind., on Jan. 10.
Mrs. Peaslee graduated cum laude
in 1944 fromMiami University. There
she met her husband while they were
both members of the political club.
After graduation, she was an intern
with the National Institute of Public Af-
fairs and served in the office of Repre-
sentative Jerry Voorhis, D-Calif. She
was subsequently employed as a re-
search assistant for the Senate Postwar
Committee and by columnist Walter
Later, in 1963, Mrs. Peaslee earned
anM.A. fromGeorgeWashington Uni-
versity in political science. She lectured
at National Taiwan University, Dal-
housie University, and Mt. St. Vincent
University, and taught at Mount Ver-
non Academy, Georgetown University,
Yorktown University and George
Mason University. At various times,
she taught literature, history, govern-
ment and international affairs.
Mrs. Peaslee accompanied her hus-
band, Alexander, who joined the For-
eign Service in 1946, on his first tour,
to Shanghai. In 1949 she was evacu-
ated with their two young daughters,
Sarah and Ann, to Joliet, Ill., to live
with her parents while her husband
spent many months as an involuntary
guest of the Chinese Communists.
Once he was released, Mrs. Peaslee
and the girls rejoined him at his next
posting, Brazil. A third daughter, Peg,
was born in Hong Kong, and the fam-
ily also spent time in Taiwan and
While in Hong Kong, the couple
opposed a State Department edict
prohibiting criticism of U.S. foreign
policy on the grounds that department
personnel needed to be free to report
whether policy initiatives were having
the intended effect. This landed Mr.
Peaslee on the enemies list of Sen.
Joseph McCarthy, R-Wis. After the
birth of their fourth daughter, Eliza-
beth, Mrs. Peaslee accompanied her
husband to his last Foreign Service
posting, as consul general in Halifax.
The couple settled in Charlottesville
in 1967, whenMr. Peaslee retired from
the Foreign Service and entered law
school at the University of Virginia.
There they were staunch supporters of
Common Cause and the Democratic
Party. Mrs. Peaslee helped establish
the Memorial Planning Society of the
Piedmont and the Funeral Information
Society of the Piedmont to help fami-
lies who had been charged exorbitant
rates for funeral services.
She served on the boards of the Sal-
vation Army, Downtown Charlottes-
ville, Inc., the League of Women Vot-
ers, and the National Organization for
Women local branch, which named her
Woman of the Year in 1995.
From 1978 until she sold the busi-
ness in 1988, Mrs. Peaslee was pub-
lisher and editor of the
, through which she and her
husband fearlessly pursued the cause of
open government.
Mrs. Peaslee produced a prize-win-
ning documentary on the housing
shortage in the area and hosted the
local radio station’s public affairs pro-
gram, “Community Conversation.”
She served on boards of the North
Downtown Residents Association and
the McGuffey Homeowners’ Associa-
tion. An active member of the
McGuffey Readers, a book discussion
group, she also volunteered with the
Albemarle County Historical Associa-
She received fellowships from the
Virginia Foundation for the Humani-
ties in 1990 and the Virginia Center for
the Creative Arts in 2000 to pursue
work on a biography of the Virginia
novelist Ellen Glasgow.
Mrs. Peaslee lived a full life of com-
mitted service to mankind on a big-
picture as well as a personal level, even
home-schooling two grandsons. She
lobbied the Virginia General Assem-
bly for ratification of the Equal Rights
Amendment, attended Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr.’s historic march on