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M A Y 2 0 1 2 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L
ment’s Wilbur Carr Award, the highest
honor accorded retiring ambassadors.
In retirement, Ambassador Boehm
was a voracious reader and loved to
travel for interest and enjoyment. He
had friends all over the world and en-
joyed vacationing each summer with
friends and family at the beach in
Delaware or North Carolina. He was
a skilled raconteur who could enthrall
his listeners with anecdotes that ran the
gamut from his boyhood in Queens to
dining with presidents and kings in ex-
otic lands.
Over the course of his distinguished
career, Amb. Boehm served with flair
and wisdom. Fluent in French and
German, he had an insatiable thirst for
knowledge and loved the arts and na-
ture. He was highly regarded by his
peers as a man of broad education and
sharp wit who was always cool under
pressure. As friends and family mem-
bers recall, Amb. Boehm found his ca-
reer exciting and deeply fulfilling on
both a personal and professional level.
Survivors include his daughter,
Karen Boehm, of Waterford, Conn.;
his son, Stephen Boehm of Bethesda,
Md.; and his granddaughter, Christina
Boehm of Arlington, Va. His wife, Pa-
tricia, passed away in 1971. He was
also predeceased by his sister Betty
Shave of Amityville, N.Y.; another sis-
ter, MarionWolf of Port Huron, Mich.;
and a granddaughter, Veronica Boehm
of Brooklyn, N.Y.
A memorial service will be held at
1 p.m. on Saturday, May 12, at the
DACOR Bacon House, 1801 F Street
NW, Washington, D.C.
Mary Elisabeth von Briesen
, 68,
a retired Foreign Service officer, died
of a stroke on Jan. 8 in Arlington, Va.
Ms. von Briesen was born in Mil-
waukee, Wis., where her family host-
ed many international visitors, and she
and her siblings developed a keen in-
terest in the world about them. She
spent a high school semester as an
American Field Service exchange stu-
dent in Austria. While studying history
at Wellesley College, an internship in
the office of Senator WilliamProxmire,
D-Wisc., established her love of Wash-
ington, D.C., her “second home.”
Realizing a longtime ambition, Ms.
von Briesen joined the Peace Corps,
serving with one of the early groups
and as one of the first female Peace
Corps Volunteers posted in Nepal.
She traversed the country, typically on
foot and toting a backpack, promoting
women’s education and recruiting fe-
male students around the country to
attend the Women’s Training Institute
in Kathmandu. There they studied
home economics, health and hygiene.
Returning to the U.S., she com-
pleted graduate work at the Fletcher
School of Law and Diplomacy, and en-
tered the Foreign Service in 1968.
Ms. von Briesen began her 28-year
career with the State Department as
an Afrikaans-speaking consular officer
in Pretoria. Subsequent assignments
took her to Taipei; Beijing; Taipei
again; Stuttgart, where she directed
the consular office; and Washington,
D.C., where she headed the Office of
Asylum Affairs.
She especially enjoyed two assign-
ments with the Department of De-
fense: a year at the Army War College
in Carlisle, Pa., and a tour as diplomat-
in-residence at Maxwell Air Force
Base in Alabama.
After retirement from the Foreign
Service in 1996, second careers with
Borders Books andWashington Guide
Services suited her passion for books,
her love of Washington, D.C., and her
experience of teaching and sharing
across cultures.
Because she was fluent inMandarin
Chinese and German, Ms. von Briesen
was frequently called on to lead
tourists from China, Taiwan and Ger-
many to Washington’s attractions, his-
toric monuments and neighborhoods.
Chinatown was a favored stop for
lunch on such excursions.
An enthusiastic reader and racon-
teur, Ms. von Briesen was also a col-
lector, specializing in folk art and
handmade treasures. She loved camp-
ing, maple sugar, the Green Bay Pack-
ers and her dogs and cats.
Following her passing, a celebration
of Mary von Briesen’s life was held at
DACOR Bacon House with family, de-
voted friends and diplomatic col-
leagues. Amemorial service is planned
for June 23 in Milwaukee, Wis.
Donations in her memory may be
made to American Field Service In-
ternational Scholarships, the World
Wildlife Federation, the American
Cancer Society or a service organiza-
tion of one’s choice.
Peter Malcolm Cody
, 86, a re-
tired USAID Foreign Service officer,
died on March 2 at Sibley Hospital in
Washington, D.C., from complications
following a cardiac arrest.
Mr. Cody was born on July 30,
1925, in Paris. His parents were part
of the American community there,
known as “The Lost Generation.” His
father, Morrill Cody, was a journalist
and novelist, who later worked for
United States Information Services in
the 1940s. His mother, nee Frances
Ryan, was a novelist and actress.
Two years after Mr. Cody was