The Foreign Service Journal, May 2024

86 MAY 2024 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL from King Savang Vatthana in 1968, the kingdom’s highest knighthood order. While serving in Laos, he met his beloved wife, Phaythoune (neé Sengchanh), who was by his side throughout his life and at the end. They were married in Sam Thong in 1969. In 1995 he was interviewed by the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training as part of their oral history project. Mr. Kuhn was an adventurous traveler, avid photographer, bird watcher, and fisherman. He freely provided photographs for a guidebook to Egypt, supported eagle conservationists in the Philippines, hosted a team of National Geographic wildlife experts for two weeks at his home, and competed in deep sea fishing competitions. He took his family on rugged weekslong trips to discover and explore the countries they lived in, including the terraced rice fields of Mindanao, the Sahara Desert in western Egypt, the Sinai, and Hindu and Buddhist temples on the islands of Java and Sumatra. Mr. Kuhn taught his daughters how to develop film in the dark room he built and supported their interests as budding photographers. He also greatly loved returning to Ohio during summer home leaves and spending time in the family cabin that his parents built with him and his brother when he was a teenager. He gave authors and television producers not only his time but also photographs and film recordings about Laos. The Ernest and Phaythoune Kuhn Image Collection—a curated collection of photographs of Laos and Thailand during the 1960s and 1970s—is available online at the University of Wisconsin–Madison library. Mr. Kuhn was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Hallene (Fulke) Kuhn, and his brother, James Kuhn. He is survived by his wife, Phaythoune Kuhn; daughters Christine Kuhn-Patrick (and spouse Jonathan) and Kimberly Kuhn (and spouse Brian Kaplan); grandchildren Imogen Kuhn-Patrick and Quincy Kaplan; sister-in-law Emily (Chin) Kuhn; and nieces Bailey and Taylor Kuhn. Condolences can be shared with the family on the memorial website at n David Henry Mandel, 82, a retired USAID Foreign Service officer, passed away on Jan. 24, 2024, in Tucson, Ariz., from pneumonia. Mr. Mandel was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on April 29, 1941. He was an Eagle Scout, played table tennis and softball, enjoyed Scottish country dancing, and loved to travel, having visited more than 100 countries. Mr. Mandel joined USAID in 1965 and in a 35-year career served in Nepal, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Colombia, Lebanon, Oman, Côte d’Ivoire, Botswana, and Uzbekistan. He retired in 1998. In retirement he volunteered with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Tucson Botanical Gardens, and as a U.S. Forest Service patrol member. Mr. Mandel is survived by his wife of more than 60 years, Jill; their children Jennifer, Elizabeth, Douglas, and Duncan; and grandchildren Nova, Jack, Alex, Lila, and Soleil. n Alexander “Alex” Durham Newton, 79, a retired USAID Foreign Service officer, died on Jan. 15, 2024. Mr. Newton was born on Aug. 6, 1944, in Madison, Ga., where the Newton family had lived and led their community for more than 200 years. He attended Morgan County High School in Madison and then transferred to Emory at Oxford boarding prep school to finish his secondary education. He Amb. Kornblum continued to write, advise, and teach until not long before his death. In March 2023, he was named Vanderbilt University’s first distinguished ambassador in residence. He is survived by his wife, Helen, and sons Alexander and Stephen. n Ernest “Ernie” Clarence Kuhn, 83, a retired USAID Foreign Service officer, passed away peacefully after a long illness on Dec. 29, 2023, in Washington, D.C. Born and raised in Newark, Ohio, a place he returned to regularly throughout his life, Mr. Kuhn was an avid traveler at heart, immersing himself in the history, cultures, and languages of Southeast Asia and the Middle East over decades of devoted international public service and love of history. Mr. Kuhn served as a tour director on excursions to Asia, Europe, and the Middle East during his undergraduate studies. Upon graduating from Ohio State University with a B.A. in history, he joined the Peace Corps as part of Group VII and served in Thailand from 1963 to 1965. He then spent more than 30 years as a Foreign Service officer with USAID in Laos, the Philippines, Egypt, Indonesia, and finally in Washington, D.C. Mr. Kuhn was posted to Laos in September 1965, assigned to the Rural Development Division, where he worked in the refugee relief program. From 1971 to 1975, he headed the Division of Refugee Relief countrywide from Vientiane. Mr. Kuhn had a passionate and deep interest in the history and culture of the places he lived—but most particularly Laos, whose language, culture, and history he loved and studied throughout his life. In recognition of his services to Laos, Mr. Kuhn received the Order of the Million Elephants and the White Parasol