THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
Charles Sidney Blankstein,
retired Foreign Service officer with the
U.S. Agency for International Develop-
ment, died on April 30 at the Washington
Home in Washington, D.C., of congestive
The son of Russian-Jewish immigrants,
Mr. Blankstein was born in the Bronx,
N.Y., the youngest of three children. He
was raised in Greensboro, N.C., where his
family moved during the 1940s.
Mr. Blankstein was an avid bibliophile
from a young age, absorbing the adven-
tures of Herman Melville, Alexandre
Dumas and others. He became a regular
newspaper reader at age 8 when his par-
ents kept him indoors for two consecutive
summers due to the polio epidemic that
swept through the South.
As a young boy during World War II,
he would spread out large maps of Asia
and the Pacific, as well as Europe, in his
bedroom to track the progress of the
Allies. His uncle, Guy Dembo, was a U.S.
infantryman who fought to liberate Italy.
After attending Riverdale Country
School in the New York City area, Mr.
Blankstein attended college at the Uni-
versity of North Carolina, graduating with
a degree in economics in 1957. It was the
same year that UNC’s basketball team
won its first national championship, and
Mr. Blankstein remained a lifelong Tar
Heels fan and an avid college basketball
He went on to attend Harvard Law
School in a class that included the late
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin
Scalia, Massachusetts governor and
1988 Democratic presidential candidate
Michael Dukakis and Attorney General
William Ruckelshaus. He graduated with
a J.D. degree in 1960, and later spent a
year as a Sloan Fellow at the Massachu-
setts Institute of Technology, where he
earned a master’s degree in management.
Mr. Blankstein began working for
the federal government in 1962 as a
lawyer for the Securities and Exchange
Commission. He subsequently spent
four years as an attorney in the General
Counsel’s Office of the National Aero-
nautics and Space Administration.
In 1967, Mr. Blankstein joined the
USAID Foreign Service. He was posted
in Bolivia and Ecuador in the late 1960s,
and traveled extensively for this work in
Africa, Asia and the Middle East during
Mr. Blankstein’s diplomatic career
was shaped by the expanding fortunes—
and global role—of the postwar United
States, as well as by President John F.
Kennedy’s 1960 Inaugural call for Ameri-
cans to serve their country.
He was grateful for the opportunity
to expand his knowledge and participate
with extraordinary colleagues at a time
when the United States lent its resources
and expertise to help emerging nations
realize their potential.
He worked to stabilize foreign govern-
ments by helping impoverished farmers
improve their businesses, which would
allow them to feed growing populations
and better their own lives and that of their
families. He also contributed to rural
development programs, including the
massive Caribbean Basin Initiative during
President Jimmy Carter’s administration.
Mr. Blankstein retired from USAID in
the mid-1980s, after spending four years
in the Dominican Republic. He contin-
ued working as a consultant.
He is survived by his wife, Lucy; his
daughter, Amy; and his son, Andrew,
daughter-in-law, Beth, and granddaugh-
In lieu of flowers, contributions may
be made to the Rock Creek Conser-
vancy, 4300 Montgomery Ave., Suite 304,
Bethesda MD 20814.
John Harmon Clary,
81, a retired
Foreign Service officer with the U.S.
Agency for International Development,
died on April 24 at Frederick Memorial
Hospital in Frederick, Md.
Born on Sept. 26, 1934, in Osceola,
Iowa, Mr. Clary was the son of the late
Orvelle M. and Mary King Clary. He
served in the U.S. Army from 1955 to
1957, and then entered college, graduat-
ing from the University of Iowa in 1960
with a bachelor’s degree.
In 1966, Mr. Clary joined the USAID
Foreign Service, beginning what would
be a more than 40-year diplomatic
career. His first posting was to Saigon
during the VietnamWar, where he
sustained shrapnel injuries. In this
four-and-a-half-year assignment he
progressed from assistant provincial
representative to area development
administrator, and also received a supe-
rior honor award.
Mr. Clary also served in Paraguay,
where the couple’s two daughters,
Heather and Hillary, were born. Assign-
ments to the Dominican Republic, Nepal
and Panama followed.
The Clarys retired to Braddock
Heights, Md. In retirement, Mr. Clary
worked for several years at Bon Ton
department store in Frederick, Md.
Friends and family will especially
remember him for his dry sense of
humor. An avid student of the Civil War
and son of a World War I veteran, Mr.
Clary had recently joined American
Legion Post 297.
In addition to his wife, Barbara O’Neil
Clary, he is survived by his daughters,
Heather Clary and her husband, Sebas-
tian Silvestro, of Annapolis, Md.; and
Hillary Hawkins, and her husband, Kevin
Hawkins, of Smithsburg, Va.; two grand-
children, O’Neil Silvestro and Penelope
Hawkins; and a brother, James Clary, of