The Foreign Service Journal, March 2021

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | MARCH 2021 81 IN MEMORY n Alexander Akalovsky, 97, a retired Foreign Service officer, died on Nov. 26, 2020, in Bethesda, Md., from complica- tions following a fall. Mr. Akalovsky was born on Sept. 23, 1923, on the island of Rab in what is now Croatia. Though his first interest was music, his parents strongly urged him to study languages instead, a skill that served him very well. He spoke fluent Serbian, Russian, English, German and French. As a young man, he developed a pas- sion for architecture, but the university in Belgrade was closed because of World War II. In 1945, with the encouragement of family friends, Mr. Akalovsky went to the University of Heidelberg to study with hopes that he would eventually return to Belgrade to complete his architecture degree. He never did return but gradu- ated from Heidelberg in 1949. Thanks to his mother’s cousin who sponsored the family’s immigration to the United States, Mr. Akalovsky arrived in San Francisco in 1949. His first job was with the Southern Pacific Railroad, where he earned $1 an hour as a “special diet aide” preparing special food orders and mopping floors. He met his first wife, Maria, in San Francisco, and they settled down in Mon- terey. His first child, a daughter Irene, was born in Carmel. Mr. Akalovsky taught Russian at the Army Language School (now the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center) in Monterey from 1950 until 1955, when he moved with his family to Washington, D.C., to study foreign lan- guage instruction pathology at George- town University. He joined the State Department For- eign Service in 1956. That year, he and his wife had two more children, twins Elaine and Alexander Jr., and ultimately settled in Bethesda in 1959. As an FSO and interpreter, Mr. Akalovsky served five U.S. presidents in high-level disarmament and national security negotiations. He was adviser to the U.S. delegation to the U.N. Disarmament Committee in London (1957), the Test Ban Conference in Geneva (1958-1959), the Ten-Nation Disarmament Committee in Geneva (1960), the U.N. General Assembly (1961) and a member of the U.S. delega- tion to the 18-Nation Disarmament Committee in Geneva (1962-1963). He was senior political adviser for disar- mament negotiations for U.S. Mission Geneva (1964-1965). From 1965 to 1968, during secret talks with North Vietnam, Mr. Akalovsky was chief of the external branch of the politi- cal section at U.S. Embassy Moscow. He then served as special assistant to the ambassador at the U.S. Mission to NATO (1968-1970); chief of Eastern affairs at the U.S. Mission in Berlin (1970-1974); con- sul general in West Berlin (1971-1974); special assistant to the assistant secretary of State for international security affairs (1974-1975); and special assistant to the director for management operations at the State Department (1975-1976). He was involved in such historic events as Vice President Richard Nixon’s Kitchen Debate in Moscow; Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s visit to the United States and meeting at the White House with President John F. Kennedy; the U-2 crisis, when the Soviet Union shot down CIA pilot Francis Gary Powers; and the Cuban missile crisis. Mr. Akalovsky received a Superior Honor Award from the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. He retired in 1978 as consul general in West Berlin but continued to serve the State Department as a consultant until 1997. As a longtime lover of the arts, Mr. Akalovsky rarely missed performances of the Washington National Opera, sym- phony or ballet at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Mr. Akalovsky married Sharon Bag- well, a member of the Foreign Service, in 1977. She predeceased him in 2004. He is survived by his three children: Irene McClendon (Daryl), Elaine Kallay (Thomas) and Alexander Akalovsky Jr. (Brigitte); and five grandchildren: Sasha Chan (Brian), Collin McClendon, Nich- olas Akalovsky, Katherine Akalovsky and Michael Kallay. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Kennedy Center. n Elizabeth C. “Betty” Brook, 101, a retired member of the Foreign Service, passed away peacefully on Nov. 13, 2020, in Sarasota, Fla. Born Elizabeth Carothers Brook on Oct. 15, 1919, in Stronghurst, Ill., to John Cecil Brook and Maude Simonson Brook, she was the “baby” to five older siblings. She graduated from Stronghurst High School and continued her education at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., graduat- ing with a bachelor’s degree in history. She was a lifelong member of TriDelta Sorority. Following college Ms. Brook taught history for a year. But she was already thinking of travel, and during World War II she joined the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Ser- vice), part of the U.S. Naval Reserve, and attained the rank of lieutenant (junior grade), serving in Washington, D.C. After the war ended, Ms. Brook joined the State Department where she worked in various capacities for 28 years. She served in many of the hot spots of the day, including Nigeria, Venezuela, Turkey, Morocco, Kenya, Germany and