The Foreign Service Journal, September 2023

74 SEPTEMBER 2023 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL IN MEMORY n Thomas Millard Coony, 86, a retired Foreign Service officer, passed away peacefully at his home from complications of heart disease on May 21, 2023. His wife, Jane Comeau Coony, 84, passed away on June 19, 2023, after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease. Mr. Coony was born in Los Angeles to Thomas Edmund and Helen (Billings) Coony. He spent much of his youth in Germany, completed high school at Culver Military Academy in Indiana, and, in 1960, graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in economics. He served as a lieutenant (junior grade) in the U.S. Navy at Naval Base Kenitra, Morocco, as part of the Fleet Intelligence Center for Europe, known as FICEUR, from 1960 to 1963. In April 1961, Mr. Coony married Jane Comeau, who then joined him for the rest of his time in Morocco, six months in Europe, and in New York City where he spent some time working for IBM. In 1966, the couple embarked on a career in the Foreign Service with postings in Spain, Pakistan, Greece, Curaçao, and Belize. Both Tom and Jane Coony threw themselves into Foreign Service life. They appreciated, respected, and took great joy from the countries they lived in. Returning from their posting in Islamabad, the couple traveled by car with their then 7-year-old son, Tom, through the Khyber Pass into Afghanistan, through Iran and Turkey into Greece. While stationed in Thessaloniki, Mr. Coony bought a wooden sailboat, the Gauchucha, which he sailed throughout the northern Aegean. He took up scuba diving and windsurfing in Curaçao and had many wonderful adventures (and misadventures) exploring the jungles and cays of Belize. Upon retirement, the Coonys bought a home in Castine, Maine, where they spent more than 20 summers, enjoying tennis, golf, socializing, and family. Both were enthusiastic tennis players and served as co-chairs of the Tennis Committee of the Castine Club for many years. Later, Mr. Coony was club president. The wooden benches he built are still being used courtside. An avid runner, he could often be seen jogging the streets of Chevy Chase in Washington, D.C., at dawn. His friends remember him as an enthusiastic squash player. At least one of his Foreign Service friends continued playing squash with him until they were both decades past the age when most men give it up. Tom and Jane Coony are survived by their sons, Thomas and Jonathan; their grandchildren, Elsa and Benjamin; and seven nieces and three nephews. Tom was predeceased by a sister, Anne Hunninghake, of Stillwater, Minn. n Robert L. Fretz, 70, a retired Foreign Service officer, died on May 26, 2023, of pulmonary fibrosis. Mr. Fretz was born in 1952 in Camden, N.J. He received a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University in 1974 and then served with U.S. Customs and Border Security in Nassau, Miami, and Key Largo. Mr. Fretz joined the Foreign Service in 1978. Specializing in consular affairs, he also served as political officer on the Cuba desk and as deputy chief of mission twice, in Guinea-Bissau and Belize. Other posts included Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Denmark, the United Kingdom, and Barbados. He worked in the Operations Center and as chief for Europe in Overseas Citizen Services, as well. He received the 2004 Thomas Jefferson Award for outstanding service in Barbados and the Superior Honor Award for managing the evacuation of 600 Americans from Grenada after Hurricane Ivan, as well as the Secretary’s Career Achievement Award from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. After retiring in 2005 to Edmonds, Wash., Mr. Fretz obtained a teaching certificate at Seattle Pacific University. He taught for 11 years at King’s High School, a prestigious Christian school in Shoreline, Wash. Mr. Fretz traveled to all 50 states and more than 150 countries. He spoke Spanish, French, Portuguese, Danish, and German, and was the first FSO to test in Melanesian Pidgin at the Foreign Service Institute. He was a member of the Fretz Family Association, which holds America’s oldest family reunion, dating back to 1888. He is survived by his daughter, Sarah Fretz, of Mill Creek, Wash., who was adopted at birth in Belize. He will be buried in Deep Run West Mennonite Church in Perkasie, Pa., alongside seven of his ancestors, the oldest of whom were born in the 1720s before immigrating to the U.S. from Germany. n Clarence Steven McGann, 71, a retired Foreign Service officer and former ambassador, passed away on May 24, 2023, at his home in Arlington, Va. Mr. McGann was born on June 28, 1951, in Harlem, N.Y., to Evangeline Marshburn McGann and Clarence Duke McGann. After spending his early years exploring and absorbing the vibrant culture of New York City, he made the first of many trips across the country and around the world when he relocated with his mother to Los Angeles, Calif. There he completed his schooling at Mount Carmel High School. In 1973, guided by a strong intellect and keen interest in international affairs,