THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
Martin-Donley of Houston, Texas; his
brother and family, William, Linda and
Justin Martin of Manvel, Texas; and his
sister and family, Nancy, Matthew and
Stacy Matula of Atlanta, Ga., San Antonio,
Texas, and Houston.
Donations in Mr. Martin’s memory
can be made to Planned Parenthood, the
American Civil Liberties Union or the
National Brain Tumor Society.
Vernon “Ray” Meininger,
retired Foreign Service officer and the
husband of FSO Laurie Meininger, died
unexpectedly on Nov. 4, 2016, in Free-
town, Sierra Leone.
Mr. Meininger was born on Aug. 18,
1950, in Wickenburg, Ariz., and grew up in
Northern California. He graduated from
Piner High School in Santa Rosa, Calif.,
and volunteered for service in the U.S.
Army in 1968, serving in Vietnam.
He received his B.S. in facilities engi-
neering from Pacific Western University.
In 1974, Mr. Meininger married Laurie
He worked for several years in hospital
administration and facilities management
in California, Hawaii and Arizona until
1999, when he and his wife joined the
Foreign Service as a tandem couple with
the State Department.
Mr. Meininger served abroad in the
Marshall Islands, Cameroon, Guyana,
the Democratic Republic of the Congo,
Romania, Iraq and the Central African
Republic, managing embassy facilities in
He retired from the Foreign Service in
2015 after receiving numerous Superior
Honor Awards and other recognition for
his service. He then accompanied Mrs.
Meininger on her assignment to Sierra
Leone. There, he was consulting with the
United Nations on rehabilitating health
care centers that had been devastated by
the Ebola outbreak of 2014-2015.
Friends and family members recall
that Mr. Meininger made friends wher-
ever he went; always with good cheer, a
broad grin, witty humor and kindness.
He was a true gentleman and diplomat,
and a funny and prolific writer. He lived
a life full of love, laughter and adventure,
and was never without a handkerchief in
his back pocket.
Mr. Meininger enjoyed teaching his
craft to local staff, being the community
grandpa or playing Santa Claus at embas-
sies, orphanages and hospitals around the
world, dispensing hugs and small gifts with
a “Ho Ho Ho” and a twinkle in his eye.
He is survived by his wife, Laurie, and
her family; their son, Jason, and daughter-
in-law, Deven; grandchildren, Jordan and
Travis; his mother, Vi Nordman; his broth-
ers Rick, Greg, Gary and TomMeininger,
and their families; and numerous cousins.
Chester Edward Norris Jr.,
retired Foreign Service officer of Lamoine,
Maine, and Naples, Fla., died on Nov. 15,
2016, in Naples after a brief illness.
Mr. Norris was born on Dec. 1, 1927,
in Winterport, Maine. He graduated from
Winterport High School and the Univer-
sity of Maine at Orono.
Early in his life Mr. Norris worked
alongside his father, brother and uncle
in the family businesses including car
dealerships, real estate holdings, a small
public utility and a construction company.
Mr. Norris joined the Foreign Service in
1968, with guidance from the late Senator
Margaret Chase Smith (R-Maine).
His first posting was as commercial
attaché to Tel Aviv, where he met his future
wife, Ulla. Assignments to Sydney, Lon-
don, Jeddah, Lagos and the U.S. Mission to
the United Nations in New York followed.
He was selected to attend the National
War College, class of 1976.
In March 1988, President Ronald Rea-
gan appointed Mr. Norris U.S. ambassador
to Equatorial Guinea. His tenure there
saw the first contracts negotiated between
American energy interests and Equato-
rial Guinea, starting a process that would
transform one of the poorest countries in
Africa into a major gas and oil producer.
Ambassador Norris retired from the
Foreign Service at the end of 1990. He was
subsequently approached by Houston-
based Walter International to represent it
as a consultant in Equatorial Guinea.
This eventually led to Mr. Norris’ third
career, working for a succession of oil
companies like CMS Nomeco and Mara-
thon Oil. In recognition of his contribu-
tions to the energy industry, in 2000 a
methanol tanker was christened “Ambas-
sador Norris” in the town of Beppu, Japan.
Aman of great wit and humor, Amb.
Norris often regaled family and friends
with reminiscences of early family life
in Maine and adventures abroad, such
as driving a motor home from Jeddah to
Athens with his wife and a good friend.
Although he traveled the world, he
found the most joy in time spent at his
home on the coast of Maine, where he
watched the deer and the eagles in the
company of his wife and his two little
For many years Amb. Norris served on
the board of the Maine Seacoast Mission,
in Bar Harbor, an organization that has
served the needy along the coast of Maine
for more than 100 years and for which he
Amb. Norris is survived by his wife,
Ulla; a brother and sister in Maine; and
many nephews and nieces in Sweden and
WilliamAndrew “Andy” Oster-
66, a former Foreign Service officer,
died suddenly on Sept. 3, 2016.