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American Diplomacy
Opinions and Editorials

January 2008

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In Memoriam: Dick Schoonover

The Associate Editor of this journal and our dear friend and colleague, Dick Schoonover, died on March 12 after a fierce fight with cancer. Six months ago he was playing golf with his neighbors and enjoying his retirement in Chapel Hill along with Brenda, his beloved wife of 40 years. But he had a pain in his back, and shortly thereafter the doctors told him he had cancer of an undetermined origin. The cancer had spread and the diagnosis was grim, but Dick with characteristic resolve was determined to fight it and so he did. And even on bad days after a long bout with chemo he would greet visitors with his characteristic smile and easy laugh.

Dick had a long and distinguished Foreign Service career as noted in the linked obituary. He was a treasured colleague and friend whose advice on matters large and small we greatly valued. He was an Associate Editor of this journal as well as a board member for a number of years and reviewed and edited many articles, always improving them. The former editor Henry Mattox and I relied on his judgment and common sense. He was a great and loyal friend who loved life, and his sudden passing is a profound loss.

One cannot mention Dick without mentioning Brenda. They met in Africa in the late 1960's, were married in Baltimore, and were inseparable. Even at the end they still acted like newlyweds. They had separate careers, but each supported the other. (She is a retired Foreign Service Officer and former ambassador, and is an active member of the American Diplomacy board.) In almost everything they did they were a team, and nowhere was this more apparent than in the parties they gave. They were both excellent cooks and wonderful hosts and their parties were the best.

Dick leaves behind a great legacy, and we will all miss him.



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