THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
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
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
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 madein 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-
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
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