The Foreign Service Journal, May 2021

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | MAY 2021 69 IN MEMORY n Jeanine Ashton, (née Bayard), 94, the wife of career USAID Foreign Service Officer Norman R. Ashton, passed away on Jan. 16 in Woodbridge, Va., after a short illness. Born in Coucy-le-Château-Auffrique, Aisne, France, onMay 6, 1926, toMichel and Renée Bayard, Ms. Bayard was the eldest of two daughters. She had a won- derful childhood surrounded by several generations of family; after graduating fromhigh school, she left home to go to trade school, where she refined her skills as a seamstress. In 1940, during WorldWar II, the German army invaded northern France, including the Bayard family’s village. Like most French then, they experienced rationing, bombings and occupation by German forces, and were forced to flee when German officers seized the family home. They returned once Allied forces regained control of the region. On Feb. 19, 1945, Ms. Bayard, along with a group of girlfriends, thought it would be fun to try to stop a U.S. Army convoy of the Red Ball Express passing through on its way to the front. The driver of the lead truck was Norman Ashton, a Downingtown, Pa., native. Despite her limited knowledge of English, and his of French, their courtship flourished, and they were married on Dec. 26, 1946. Immediately after the wedding, they moved to Normandy, where Mr. Ashton worked for the U.S. Army in grave registra- tion for both the Normandy and Brittany cemeteries. On occasion, she would join him as he drove truckloads of war casualties to Le Havre and Cherbourg to be returned to the United States for burial. In 1947, along with their newborn daughter, they moved to Germany, where they would live for the next nine years, and where their second daughter was born. In 1952 Mrs. Ashton made her first visit to the United States. Although she carried a U.S. passport, she was never- theless detained and sent to Ellis Island, N.Y. It would take three weeks before she was reunited with Mr. Ashton and their 4-year-old daughter. In 1956 Mr. Ashton joined one of the precursors to the U.S. Agency for Interna- tional Development that had been spun out of the Marshall Plan, and the family was posted to Belgrade (1956-1961). In 1961, when USAIDwas created with the merger of the International Coopera- tion Administration, the Mutual Security Agency and the Foreign Operations Administration, the Ashtons were trans- ferred to Dakar (1961-1962). There followed assignments in Nicosia (1962-1964); Washington, D.C. (1964- 1966); Ankara (1966-1969); and Kabul (1969-1971). Mrs. Ashton became the French tutor at all the posts where she lived. In 1963 she and her daughters were evacuated fromCyprus to Beirut due to the outbreak of war between the Turkish and Greek factions on the island. It took six months before Mr. Ashton was able to join them. In 1971 the family returned to the United States, settling in Bethesda, Md. Mr. Ashton retired fromUSAID in 1976. Despite a life spent abroad, family ties to France remained a constant for Mrs. Ashton, and she never missed an opportunity to return there. She was trilingual (French, English and German), and raised her daughters to be bilingual in English and French. Her extended stateside family credits her influence for their collective love for almost anything French and an unbreak- able emotional connection to Coucy-le- Château-Auffrique. Mrs. Ashton’s family members recall her tenacious character, adaptability and self-sufficiency learned during WWII, which enabled her to handle all the fam- ily’s postings with grace and diplomacy. She was known for her hospitality, incred- ible cooking and sewing skills, which were evident in all the dresses she made for herself and her daughters over the years. She nurtured, encouraged and held high expectations of her daughters, grandchil- dren and great-grandchildren. Mrs. Ashton was predeceased by Nor- man, her husband of 62 years, in 2008; her eldest daughter, Diana Hobson; a sister and brother-in-law, Arlette and Guy Car- magnani; and a nephew, Gil Carmagnani. She is survived by her youngest daugh- ter, Corinne Connor (Daniel); a nephew, Eric Carmagnani; a son-in-law, James B. Hobson; four grandchildren, Michelle Ful- ton (Robert), James Neal Hobson (Sarah), Jacqueline Connor (Steven) and Julian Connor (Angela); and two great-grand- sons, Zachary and Gabriel Fulton. n John Francis Coppola, 73, a former Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Information Agency, died on Feb. 14 in Washington, D.C. Born on July 26, 1947, in New Jersey, Mr. Coppola graduated fromThiel College in Greenville, Pa., and received a master’s degree in journalism fromNorthwestern University in Evanston, Ill. Mr. Coppola traveled extensively for work and pleasure. As a Foreign Service officer for 11 years, he lived inMexico, El Salvador and Tunisia, and directed the U.S. pavilions at the World Expo 88 in Brisbane and the Seville World’s Fair in 1992 in Spain. His consulting work took him to Spain, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Canada. Mr. Coppola was passionate about sharing his knowledge and expertise with other artists andmuseumprofession-