The Foreign Service Journal - July/August 2014 - page 70

70
JULY-AUGUST 2014
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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
American appreciation for sushi.
In 1962, after the Berlin Wall went up,
Mr. Mahoney was posted to West Berlin as
deputy director of Radio in the American
Sector, which beamed into communist
East Germany.
Topping off his Foreign Service career,
he served as public affairs counselor in
Kuala Lumpur, where he handled the
media during a kidnapping by the Japa-
nese Red Army.
Mr. Mahoney retired in 1976 and
settled in Cape Cod, where he plunged
into scholarship on the old Cape whaling
families, interviewing their descendants,
publishing a booklet on the Cape Cod
packets and riding his bicycle to Histori-
cal Society meetings.
In his final years, his daughter, Ann
Pinkham, lived with him and accompa-
nied him on his naturalist adventures
along the Cape’s coastal marshes and the
Atlantic beaches.
Mr. Mahoney was predeceased by
his wife, Catherine M. Mahoney. He is
survived by his daughter, Ann; his son,
Haynes Mahoney III, also a Foreign
Service officer, and daughter-in-law
Sossi; five grandchildren: Douglas and
Kim Pinkham; and Karina, Dominique
and Colette Mahoney; a great-grandson,
Alaric; and a sister, Eleanor Mahoney of
Jacksonville, Fla.
In lieu of flowers, donations may
be made to the Yarmouth Port Library,
297 Route 6A, Yarmouth Port MA 02675
(
.
n
John Alden Mason Jr.
, 91, a retired
FSO with the U.S. Information Agency,
died on April 14 in Kittery, Maine.
Mr. Mason was born in Illinois. His
younger years were full of fascinat-
ing work and adventure. At age 16, he
hitchhiked across the country by himself
with $30 in his pocket. At 17, he spent a
month in Panama helping his father on
an archaeological dig sponsored by the
University of Pennsylvania. And at 18,
he joined the U.S. Navy and taught naval
aviation to pilots during World War II.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from
the University of Pennsylvania in 1948,
and spent several years in the newspaper
business in the Philadelphia area before
joining the U.S. Information Agency in
1960.
Mr. Mason’s overseas postings
included tours in Brazil: as a publications
officer in Rio de Janeiro, as information
officer in São Paulo, and as branch public
affairs officer in Salvador. He then served
as cultural affairs officer in La Paz before
returning to Washington. His final assign-
ment was as branch public affairs officer
in Guayaquil.
After retirement, Mr. Mason and his
wife, Wendy, settled in Kittery, where they
lived happily for more than 30 years. An
avid reader, thinker, writer and storyteller,
he had a marvelous sense of humor and a
great interest in politics, art, literature and
the environment.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years,
Wendy; daughters Wendy, Leslie and
Robin; and son John Alden Mason III.
n
Tibor Nagy Sr.
, 93, a retired FSO
with USAID, died on April 25 in Washing-
ton, D.C.
Born in Budapest, Hungary, on Aug. 14,
1920, Mr. Nagy served as a career engi-
neering officer in the Hungarian Army
and participated actively in the country’s
brief quest for freedom in 1956. Because
of his anti-Soviet activities, combined with
an earlier term of political imprisonment,
he knew he would face execution after the
uprising was crushed.
Instead, he escaped with his young
son, Tibor Jr., into Austria, eventually
arriving in the United States as political
refugees in 1957. Penniless, Mr. Nagy
worked menial jobs until he learned
English and received his U.S. engineering
license.
After gaining recognition in private
practice, Mr. Nagy was hired by USAID
in 1969 as a civil engineer. He worked in
South Vietnam on infrastructure devel-
opment and repaired war damage in
the Mekong Delta region. In 1976, he
was assigned to Haiti to help design and
repair roads and bridges in that severely
underdeveloped nation that experiences
frequent hurricanes.
After Italy suffered devastating earth-
quakes in 1980, Mr. Nagy was transferred
to Naples to help implement a massive
U.S. relief program to repair the damaged
infrastructure. He also managed projects
in other Mediterranean and Middle East-
ern countries out of Naples.
Mr. Nagy retired from the Foreign
Service in 1987, but returned to work for
USAID under contract in El Salvador after
that country’s civil war.
In 1993 he retired again, but was again
called back in 1995—this time to help
revive Bosnia’s infrastructure after the Bal-
kan civil war. He stayed in Sarajevo until
2000, when he retired for the last time and
returned to Washington after being diag-
nosed with a rare form of blood cancer.
Because of his expertise in working in
war zones and areas of devastation, Mr.
Nagy earned the nickname “disaster mas-
ter” among USAID’s engineering corps.
One of his proudest moments came
in 1998, when he was invited back to
Hungary by the post-communist govern-
ment to a ceremony in his honor. There
the Hungarian government nullified Mr.
Nagy’s 1956 treason conviction and death
sentence, promoted him retroactively
to full colonel and awarded him one of
Hungary’s highest honors—“Hero of the
Revolution.”
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