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David Lee Bleyle

, 66, a retired For-

eign Service officer, died on July 2 in Port-

land, Ore., of complications from Crohn’s

disease and acute myeloid leukemia.

Mr. Bleyle was born and raised in

Tonawanda, N.Y., a suburb of Buffalo, by

his grandparents Willard and Eva Bleyle.

He graduated from the State University

of New York College of Environmental

Science and Forestry with a bachelor’s

degree in polymer chemistry and an

ROTC commitment to the U.S. Army

starting in 1970.

While in the Army, he completed an

MPA through Brigham Young Univer-

sity and finished his career in 1976 as a


Mr. Bleyle’s career continued in the

Foreign Service, where he served in Len-

ingrad (1977-1979), Sydney (1979-1981),

Beijing (1982-1984 and 1988-1991),

Stockholm (1984-1987) and Taipei (1987-

1988 and 1996-1997). In Washington,

D.C., he had assignments at the Foreign

Service Institute (1981-1982 and 1991-

1994) and the Office of Oceans, Environ-

ment and Science (1994-1996).

From 1997 to 2000, Mr. Bleyle served

as science counselor in Beijing. That was

followed by a stint in Portland, Ore., at

the U.S. Center for Sustainable Develop-

ment and service as consul general in

Chengdu from 2001 to 2003.

Mr. Bleyle retired to Beaverton, Ore.,

in 2003. He served on the boards of trust-

ees for three nonprofits: the Oregon Col-

lege of Oriental Medicine, the Northwest

China Council and Kham Aid.

His love of travel and new experiences

continued in retirement with motorcy-

cling. He rode his neon-yellow Can-Am

Spider throughout the Northwest and

Western states and Canada.

Mr. Bleyle is survived by his wife, Kathy

Hobson Bleyle; two daughters, Dawn

and Lisa; two grandchildren, Holden


and Madeline; dogs Murphy, Daisy and

Ripley; and cats Ginger and MeiMei, who

all live together in Beaverton.

Memorial contributions may be made

in Mr. Bleyle’s name to Mercy Corps

International (

) or

the food bank in your area.


James Davis Burns Jr.

, 72, a retired

FSO, died in May at his home in San Anto-

nio, Texas, of complications from diabetes.

Mr. Burns was born on Aug. 15, 1942,

to Katheryn Amanda (Flynt) Burns and

James Davis Burns Sr. He graduated from

Gardiner High School in Laurel, Miss.,

and went to Jones County Junior College,

Mississippi State and then the University

of Missouri, where he graduated with

degrees in history and journalism.

He married Jeanne Ellen Michael on

Sept. 3, 1966, and they had two children,

Erin Renee and Shaun Michael.

Mr. Burns joined the Foreign Service

in 1967 and served for 27 years at posts in

Thailand (two tours), Chile, Bolivia, Peru,

Guyana and Pakistan. He felt at home in

all cultures and loved learning everything

about them, including their languages.

While he enjoyed all his posts, Mr.

Burns’ favorite assignment was Bangkok,

where he was director of the American

University Alumni Language Center

during the 1980s. He retired in 1995 and

settled in San Antonio, Texas.

Mr. Burns loved baseball, reading,

fishing, music, all animals, politics, an

energetic debate and a good cigar. His

friends and family remember him for his

great stories, his love of the written word,

his sense of humor, his strong convictions

about right and wrong and his special

spaghetti sauce.

They recall his practical jokes and

teasing, and the laughter these episodes

elicited from him. He was a friend to

strangers, and made a significant differ-

ence in the lives of those he touched.

Mr. Burns is survived by his mother,

Katheryn Burns; his sister, Sue Burns;

his children, Erin and Shaun Burns; his

grandchildren, Cass Ardell, Madeleine

Burns and Cassidy Burns; and his former

wife and friend, Jeanne Michael Burns.

Memorial donations may be made

in Mr. Burns’ name to the Diabetes and Wellness Foundation.


Oliver Sexsmith Crosby

, 94, a

retired FSO and former ambassador to

the People’s Revolutionary Republic of

Guinea, died of heart failure on Oct. 25,

2014, surrounded by his family.

Mr. Crosby was born on April 27, 1920,

in Philadelphia, Pa., to Henry Lamar

Crosby and Olive Williams Crosby. After

attending Penn Charter School, he gradu-

ated from the University of Pennsylvania

and received a master’s degree from the

Johns Hopkins School of Advanced Inter-

national Studies.

Mr. Crosby served as an officer in the

U.S. Navy during World War II, with 19

months of duty on a destroyer escort in

the North Atlantic before being trans-

ferred to a cruiser in the Pacific in 1945.

He ended his tour as a lieutenant.

In 1947 Mr. Crosby joined the Foreign

Service. His first overseas post was

Athens, where he married his first wife,

Eleanor S. Crosby. Subsequent postings

included Tel Aviv and the American con-

sulate in Tabriz, Iran, where he climbed

Mt. Ararat.

After a four-year assignment in Berlin,

he became a U.S. government observer

with the Belgian Antarctic Expedition

from 1958 to 1959. Following an assign-

ment in Washington, D.C., he served in

Nicosia, Bamako and Lagos.

In 1977 President Jimmy Carter

appointed Mr. Crosby U.S. ambassador

to the People’s Revolutionary Republic of