Page 43 - Foreign Service Journal - December 2012

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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
|
DECEMBER 2012
43
IN MEMORY
n
Melvin T.L. Ang
, 68, a retired For-
eign Service ofcer, died on March 6 in
San Rafael, Calif., following a long battle
with cancer.
Mr. Ang was born on July 29, 1943, and
grew up in a family of Chinese restau-
rateurs and laundrymen in the Roxbury
area of Boston, Mass. He earned a place
at Boston Latin School and then won a
scholarship to attend Dartmouth Col-
lege. After graduating in 1965, he taught
at Chung Chi College in Hong Kong for
two years, where he met his future wife,
Wende Tsang.
Mr. Ang earned an M.A. in East Asian
studies from the University of Michigan
in 1969 and embarked on a career as a
college professor at Salisbury State Uni-
versity in Maryland. He earned his Ph.D.
in history from the University of Pennsyl-
vania in 1983.
Mr. Ang joined the Foreign Service
in 1987. His 23-year career included
overseas postings in Shenyang, Baghdad,
Riyadh, Beirut, Guangzhou and Taipei.
He served twice in Baghdad, from 1989 to
1990 and again from 2009 to 2010; on the
frst occasion, he received the frst of two
Superior Honor Awards for his coura-
geous work in evacuating civilians from
Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War.
He also served in various roles at the
State Department; as a congressional
fellow in the ofce of Senator Diane Fein-
stein, D-Calif.; and as a political adviser
to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.
Mr. Ang intended to return to teaching
after retirement, but was not able to real-
ize that aspiration because he was diag-
nosed with cancer while serving his fnal
tour in Baghdad in June 2010. He was a
faithful Red Sox fan, always enjoyed a
good meal and is fondly remembered for
his wide-ranging curiosity, self-deprecat-
ing manner and dry sense of humor.
Mr. Ang is survived by his wife of 42
years, Wende (Tsang) Ang, of San Rafael,
Calif.; their daughter and son-in-law, Jen-
nifer Ang and Ewan Stein of Edinburgh,
Scotland; and their granddaughters,
Maisie and Rosemary.
n
Peter P. Bielak Sr.
, 91, a retired
FSO with the United States Information
Agency, died on Oct. 10 at Carteret Gen-
eral Hospital in Morehead City, N.C.
Mr. Bielak was born to Frances and
Michael J. Bielak on June 29, 1921, in
Rockville, Conn. An extreme fever at age
17 caused him to lose all of his hair, and
he remained bald for the rest of his life.
Trained in Texas, he was a B-24 Air
Force pilot during World War II. Fol-
lowing the war, he graduated from the
University of Nebraska with a bachelor’s
degree in journalism, later earning a
master’s degree in public afairs at the
University of Oklahoma. He worked as
a reporter in Wyoming and Connecticut
before joining the State Department
and USIA in 1955. He married Helen
Grabowski of Manchester, Conn., shortly
thereafter.
Mr. Bielak’s frst Foreign Service post-
ing was Kabul, where he served until
1959. His next assignment was Addis
Ababa, where he worked with then-
ruler Haile Selassie until 1962. Rosario,
Argentina, where he served from 1962 to
1965, was one of his favorite posts. From
1965 to 1967, he had an unaccompanied
assignment in Saigon where, among
other responsibilities, he was an escort
for the actor John Wayne, who was there
flming “Te Green Berets.”
After serving in Panama City (1968-
1970), he returned to Washington, D.C.,
to help with the Vietnamese relocation
program (1970-1973) and then was
posted to Guayaquil, where he survived
a kidnapping threat from an extrem-
ist group. From 1977 to 1980, he served
as chargé d’afaires in Maseru, cover-
ing Kenya, the Congo, Swaziland and
Botswana.
He returned to Washington, D.C., for
what he thought was his fnal posting,
working with the Organization of Ameri-
can States until 1983. But on the strength
of his extensive experience in South and
Central America, he was asked one week
before his retirement to accept a two-year
posting to San Salvador, which he did.
After retiring in 1984, Mr. Bielak
settled in Chevy Chase, Md., where he
worked with his son at International
Trophy. He was afliated with the Inter-
national Lions Club, Boy Scouts, Miami
Shell Club, N.E. Covered Bridge Pres-
ervation Association, various journalist
organizations and the Catholic Church,
and enjoyed fea marketing and stamp
collecting.
Mr. Bielak’s wife, Helen, passed away
in 1996. He moved to North Carolina to
be with his daughter in 2008.
He is survived by his son, Peter P.
Bielak of Bethesda, Md., and his daugh-
ter, Elizabeth Mary Bielak of Morehead
City, N.C.
n
Samuel V. Brock
, 60, a 29-year vet-
eran of the Foreign Service and minister
counselor for political afairs at Embassy
Ottawa, died on Oct. 24.
A native of Virginia, Mr. Brock joined
the State Department in 1983 and served
overseas in Seoul, Praia, Algiers, Mexico
City, Cotonou, Marseille and Kinshasa.
Assignments in Washington, D.C.,
included service as director of North
American afairs at the National Security
Council from 2002 to 2003 and four tours
in the Bureau of International Organiza-
tion Afairs, including assignments as
interim director of the Ofce of United
Nations Political Afairs and as director of
the Ofce of United Nations Educational,