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    Returned Peace Corps
Volunteers of South Florida

In Memoriam


The pages in this website are dedicated to our wonderful friends and RPCVSF Members who have passed.

Jean Kretchmer, Fiji, 1988-1990

On April 5, 1996, Jean, age 73, flew to Atlanta to meet President Jimmy Carter and receive the Peace Corp's Lillian Carter Award at The Carter Center. Jeannie Erhardt was born in Chicago, where she met and later married Edward Kretschmer during World War II. After the war, they moved to Detroit, where they bought and ran a business school.

Eventually, she moved to Ft Lauderdale as a widow, but soon bought a trawler and sailed the world. At age 67, she joined the Peace Corps and worked in the Fiji Islands. Jean served on the Board of Directors for RPCVSF for a number of years. 

Donna Kelley, Eritrea
Elmer Peter Albert
Al Baird, Philippines
Shelby Bond
Chris Gray
Cristina Prado

Joseph Romance

Joan Mills Siesel, Thailand 101
Barbara H. Smith
Rose Whiteside
David Ripley

Thousands of Peace Corps Volunteers across the globe, and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers nationwide mourn the loss of 29-year old Peace Corps Volunteer, David Ripley of Palmetto, Florida, who was serving in Rwanda and, while traveling in Tanzania, was struck down by a fatal aneurysm.


We wish to extend condolences to his family and friends on behalf of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Gulf Coast Florida, RPCVs of South Florida, RPCVs of Tampa, and RPCVs of SW Florida.


Marisol Snow, July 6, 2015.


Marisa Snow was a Peace Corps Volunteer who was serving in Botswana with her husband Gary Snow until the spring of 2015 when upon the recommendation of their physician in Botswana, they returned home for medical treatment.



RPCV Anita Ashok Dator, 41, was one of 19 people killed Friday, November 20th, in a terror attack on a hotel in Mail. Anita, a mother of a 7 year old, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal. She was with the Palladium Group, an international development organization and focused on family planning and HIV issues. Anita was not a member of our group nor a resident of Florida, nevertheless, our hearts are heavy with her loss.


Basha Hicks, Basha Vianne Hicks, passed away suddenly on February 23, 2017, while residing in Rome, Italy. She leaves her daughter, Emelia Trop of Rome, Italy, her sisters Lynn Santoro of Cape Cod, MA and Robyn Egan of Rochester, NY, and their families, her former husband, Ashley Trop of Key Biscayne, FL, his extended family; many cousins, and friends in the U.S. and the world over. Her parents, Gladys and Louis "Chick" Hicks predeceased her. Basha's joie de vivre, her extraordinary brilliance, her sense of adventure and her everlasting love will be missed by all. Basha earned her J.D. at Harvard (1986). In addition, she earned her Doctor of Education (University of Massachusetts) with a focus on ecology, planning and development. She was a Peace Corps alumnae who did field work and management in Venezuela designing and developing trails and sites for Guatopo National Park under the Ministry of the Environment. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1972); and graduated from Sharon, MA High School (1965). A longtime resident of Key Biscayne, FL, she was a member of the Key Biscayne Zoning Ordinance Review Board, Director of the Peace Research Foundation, past Director of the New Theater (Coral Gables) and past Program Director of the Harvard Club of Miami. She is the author of "Jugando entre gotas..." an international award-winning children's ecology book. There will be private celebrations of her life. Her family asks that you perform good deeds and give to in Basha's memory.


Frederick (Buck) Thornburg, 19 Sep 17


Between graduation from DePauw University, a graduate degree at the University of Notre Dame and a law degree from Indiana University, Frederick F. Thornburg (1940 – 2017) served as a Peace Corps teacher and coach in Colombia. Frederick was appointed as the Law Clerk to the late John S. Hastings, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals in Chicago. He next entered the world of business, serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of the Wackenhut Corporation. The last phase of Frederick’s multi-faceted career came when he served as Vice President of Institutional Advancement and General Counsel for St. Thomas University. During his retirement, Frederick served fifteen years with the Miami-Dade County School System. This work included chairing the budget and finance committee and ethics committee. He also served on the Board for the South Florida-based Public Broadcasting Service radio and television stations.


Garry Pierrot (Guatemala), April 23, 2017 - The Florida Bar News of December 15, 2017, reports the death of Garry Pierrot (Guatemala) on April 23, 2017, at Dulles VA. Garry was a former director and vice president of RPCVSF. He left us and South Florida to become a member of the Foreign Service.

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