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Linda Jewell — Additional Appreciations

by Greta Morris

I first met Linda Jewel and her husband, John Walsh, in 1978 in Jakarta, Indonesia. They were on their first Foreign Service tour with the U.S. Information Service. I was in Jakarta as a Foreign Service spouse. Linda and John and my late husband and I became friends and shared some fascinating excursions to different parts of Indonesia. I learned from John and Linda about the work of USIS and the challenges and rewards of being a “tandem couple.” I was searching for a purpose and a career, and it sounded like exactly the kind of work I would be interested in. I took the Foreign Service exam and in 1980, I entered the Foreign Service—the U.S. International Communication Agency, as USIA was called at that time. John and Linda and my husband and I never served together again, but we saw each other between postings and on Washington assignments. In 1992, when my husband died suddenly, Linda and John became my support network. They invited me over for dinner on a regular basis. We were all in language study that year: Linda and John in Polish and I in Thai. Linda called me on a weekly basis to see how I was doing and share stories of the challenges of learning a “hard language.” I looked forward to those calls: they provided a lifeline.

As a fellow woman FSO, Linda was my role model. She was smart, dedicated to her career, and worked hard, but she always had time for other people. After we both retired in 2008, we served together in PDAA and PDC.

After Linda’s diagnosis with cancer, we stayed in touch. I was fortunate to see her a few times between her treatments and family get-togethers and travel. The last time I saw her was right before she and John took a trip to France and Belgium. I had just returned from France and shared tips about hotels, restaurants, museums, and other attractions in Honfleur, where I had spent a week. I was delighted to receive a couple of e-mails from Linda during their trip; she seemed to be having a wonderful time. It was such a shock, and a great sadness, to learn of her passing shortly after her return to Washington. I will greatly miss her friendship, her dedication to public service and the highest American values, and her joie de vivre.


Ambassador Morris and other members of the PDAA Board of Directors.

Ambassador Greta Morris was previously President of PDAA.

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