The Foreign Service Journal - March 2017
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MARCH 2017


Mr. Osterman was born on April 25,

1950, in Indianapolis, Ind., and grew up in

Churchville, Pa. As a high school senior he

became locally famous for staging a suc-

cessful raid, in period-appropriate British

uniform, during the annual re-enactment

of Washington crossing the Delaware


As a young man he also developed

a long-termpassion for do-it-yourself

projects and vintage European sports cars,

several of which were periodically road-


In 1972 Mr. Osterman graduated from

Hamilton College, where he majored in

Asian studies. He traveled extensively in

Asia and was fluent in Japanese, Manda-

rin and Cantonese. He earned a master’s

degree in international economics from

the Johns Hopkins University School

of Advanced International Studies and

certification in Japanese at the Stanford

University Language Program in Tokyo.

Mr. Osterman joined the Foreign

Service in 1977 as an economic officer.

He served overseas in Tokyo, and back in

Washington worked to develop United

States-Japan technical and scientific


After leaving the State Department, Mr.

Osterman studied at Harvard Business

School and consulted “outside the Belt-

way” for numerous companies, including

in the film and entertainment industry.

Mr. Osterman’s creative intellect and

voracious curiosity also drew him to the

finer points of Asian culture, obscurantist

organizational psychology, American

history and architecture, the banjo, a large

German organ and the art of calligraphy.

He had great affection for the life and

works of Mark Twain, inspired by a ques-

tionable genealogical connection.

Family members and friends fondly

recall his wry humor, and his gimlet-eyed

view of life made him an endearing and

wonderfully unpredictable companion.

Nothing was ever settled, something was

always beginning and everything was a

great deal of fun.

Mr. Osterman is survived by his

beloved partner, Wendy Cronin of Balti-

more, Md.; his mother, Barbara Osterman

of Newtown, Pa.; his brothers Dana of

Washington Crossing, Pa., Jeff of Pleas-

antville, N.Y., and Mark of Rochester, N.Y.;

his son, Andrew Palmer Osterman (and

his wife, Lindsay) of Washington, D.C.; his

daughter, Katherine Frances Osterman

of Belmont, Mass.; and a granddaughter,


Donations in Mr. Osterman’s name

may be sent to the Big Life Foundation



Walter Heman Sargent Jr.,

85, a

retired Senior Foreign Service officer with

Diplomatic Security, died of lung cancer

and complications from a stroke on July

24, 2016, in Sarasota, Fla.

Mr. Sargent was born in Merrimac,

Mass., on June 26, 1931. As family mem-

bers recall, he always said that as a teen-

ager, he dreamed of a life of adventure.

He graduated from Swampscott High

School in 1949 and from the University

of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1953. He

majored in forestry, serving with the U.S.

Forest Service as a “smoke chaser” in

Oregon during the summers of his junior

and senior years of college.

After college, Mr. Sargent joined the

U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was

selected for the 902nd Military Intelli-

gence Group, later commanding the 82nd

Airborne Division Military Intelligence


He served in West Germany from 1957

to 1960 and as a military intelligence

adviser in Vietnam from 1962 to 1963. He

resigned from the regular army as a cap-

tain in 1966 and transitioned his commis-

sion to the Army Reserve, where he was

promoted to major.

Mr. Sargent joined the U.S. State

Department Foreign Service as a security

specialist, serving as a bodyguard to Sec-

retaries of State Dean Rusk and William

Rogers, as well as visiting heads of govern-

ment and chiefs of state.

As a Diplomatic Security officer, his

overseas postings included Kinshasa

(1976-1978), Beirut (1978-1980), San

Salvador (1982-1985), Bogota (1985-1988),

Tokyo (1990-1993) andManila (1993-


During his tour of duty in Japan, he was

promoted to the Senior Foreign Service. In

1996 he retired, and the couple settled in

Sarasota, Fla.

Mr. Sargent was very active in retire-

ment. He enjoyed visiting national parks,

bicycling, tai chi and iaido, a Japanese

sword art. A dedicated volunteer at the

Selby Library for more than 15 years, he

was an avid reader who pursued the study

of history, philosophy and New England

family genealogy.

He hiked in several foreign countries,

large portions of the Appalachian Trail

and in various national parks all over the

United States. He climbedMt. Washington

in NewHampshire, Mt. Katahdin inMaine

andMt. Fuji in Japan with his wife, Sharon.

Family and friends remember Mr. Sar-

gent as cheerful and kind. He was known

for his charming smile, charismatic per-

sonality and wry sense of humor. He was a

devoted and loving husband.

Mr. Sargent was very proud of his

children and of having served his country

in the U.S. Army and the U.S. State Depart-

ment’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

Near the end of his life, when asked how

he wanted to be remembered, he said, “As

a soldier.”

Mr. Sargent is survived by his loving

wife of 31 years, Sharon Murphy Sargent;