The Foreign Service Journal - May 2017
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MAY 2017



and served on the board of directors of

the Fabergé Foundation and The George

Washington University’s Public Diplo-

macy Institute, and as president of the

Public Diplomacy Council.

In retirement, Mr. Russell continued

his involvement with music. He was

active as a bass and helped plan the

Yale Alumni Chorus’ international sing-

ing tours. In 2003, his first season, they

were broadcast live from the Kremlin.

The group performed in South America,

England, the Netherlands, South Africa,

Mexico, Guatemala and, in 2010, Cuba.

Serving on the YAC board from 2003

to 2010, he taught those involved in over-

seas tour planning how to approach and

work with the public affairs teams at the

various embassies and consulates.

Mr. Russell also maintained a lifelong

commitment to Camp Rising Sun, a

camp in Rhinebeck, N.Y., that brings

together young, inner-city Americans

and youth from around the world. Rus-

sell’s attendance at CRS during the 1940s

was a formative experience.

Over the years, he used his contacts

around the world to help facilitate the

travel of young people to the camp,

served on its board of directors and was

always available to camp alumni and

staff, attending many summer and world


Family members and friends

remember Mr. Russell as a lively man of

elegance, eloquence, character, warmth,

wisdom, generosity and kindness. They

recall his

joie de vivre

, love of the out-

doors, and keen skill with languages and

both word and card games.

Mr. Russell was predeceased by

his wife, Lydie, and his granddaughter

Sophia. He is survived by two sons,

McKinney Jr. (“Ken”), and his wife

Athena Koutso, of Leominster, Mass.,

and Kyle, and his wife Nina Manol-

son, of Somerville, Mass.; a daughter,

Valerie, and her husband Neil Emmott,

of Bristol, England; five grandchildren:

Maia, Jeffrey, Kobi, Ruby and Alfred; one

great-grandchild, Noah; and two broth-

ers, Donald Russell of Florida and Keith

Russell of California.

Memorial contributions in his name

may be made to Camp Rising Sun at


Barrett Krausz Stephens,

93, wife

of the late retired Foreign Service Officer

Bart Nelson Stephens, died on March 13

in Lynchburg, Va.

Mrs. Stephens was born in Baltimore,

Md., and graduated from Randolph-

Macon Women’s College in 1945 with

majors in art and biology. From 1946 to

1949 she worked as a photogrammetrist

at the U.S. Army Map Services in Wash-

ington, D.C.

She accompanied her husband

to Foreign Service posts in Greece,

Germany, Poland, Austria and Thailand

from 1950 until 1982, when he retired

from the Senior Foreign Service.

In embassies and consulates in these

countries Mrs. Stephens supported cul-

tural programs for which her husband

was responsible and entertained foreign

government and cultural leaders, often

at large events. The receptions she

hosted for the 110-member Pittsburgh

Symphony Orchestra during its 10-day

visit to Poland in 1964 were particularly


Mrs. Stephens’ art background and

expertise enabled her to design and

decorate the interiors of many cultural

centers and embassies, such as the new

Amerika Haus cultural center in Nurem-

berg in 1957 and the ambassador’s

residence in Bangkok in the 1970s.

In Bangkok Mrs. Stephens also

organized and presented an acclaimed

charity fashion show on the occasion of

the Queen Mother’s birthday in 1980.

Mrs. Stephens was an artist whose

work won prizes in a 1966 Department

of State exhibition. In 1967, she dis-

played her own work together with Pol-

ish paintings she and her husband had

collected during their tour in Poland

at the Lynchburg Fine Arts Center. Her

paintings graced the covers of four

issues of

The Foreign Service Journal


Mrs. Stephens was active in the

Republican Lynchburg City Committee,

and also served as a delegate to state


Mrs. Stephens was predeceased by

her husband in 2015. Survivors include

four daughters, Tracey Stephens of

Nutley, N.J., Schuyler Stephens of Falls

Church, Va., Holly Stephens Tunstall of

Vienna, Va., Sinah Stephens Kostik of

Wixom, Mich.; and five grandchildren.


Anastassia Thamakas,

86, a

retired Foreign Service officer with the

U.S. Information Agency, died on Nov.

18, 2016, in Alexandria, Va.

The daughter of William and Anasta-

sia Chantiles Thamakas, Ms. Thamakas

was born in the District of Columbia on

June 25, 1930.

Ms. Thamakas was a pioneer in

women’s broadcasting, achieving the

position of scheduling coordinator

for Voice of America. She worked with

broadcasting luminary Edward R. Mur-

row, as well as coordinating interviews

with distinguished officials such as

President Lyndon Johnson.

Soon after her retirement from USIA

in early 1985, Ms. Thamakas helped

start Washington News Network, the

largest independent television news

bureau in Washington, D.C., where she

served as assignment editor.

Ms. Thamakas is survived by her