CANDOER Retirement Group

A World-Wide Organization

Communicators AND Others Enjoying Retirement

CANDOER Blog
September 04, 2020 - Present

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Sunday, Ocober 25, 2020 - 7:25 p.m.

Death of Robert Caffrey

Larry Ward received the following from Mike and Katherine Caffrey re the graveside services:

We were told today to ask guests to meet at 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday at the OFFICE (which is the building on the map up by the gravesite off Burke Station Road) not at the main building.

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Sunday, Ocober 25, 2020 - 9:55 a.m.

Death of Robert Caffrey

Larry Ward sent me the obituary for Bob:

Robert Lee Caffrey, 77, passed away suddenly on October 22, 2020 in Reston, Virginia. Best known as “Bob”, he was born on May 13, 1943 in Ridgway, PA to the late Robert Peter Caffrey and Laura Albina Garell. He met and married Marilyn Caffrey (Shumate) in Ankara, Turkey while on assignment with the Department of State.

Bob proudly served his country, first enlisting in the United States Air Force following high school graduation. He served four years in Alaska and England. He joined the US Department of State, Foreign Service, in 1965, first being assigned to the Embassy in Ankara, Turkey and subsequently Warsaw, Poland; San Salvador, El Salvador; and Bonn, Germany. Upon returning to Washington DC, he received numerous awards including appointment to the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1986. In 1987 he was appointed to the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary. Bob retired in 1993 after completing 31 years of service with the United States Government. Following retirement, he worked as a consultant at AT&T in Oakton, Virginia.

Bob enjoyed golfing and spent many years on the baseball field coaching little league and senior league.

He is survived by his wife Marilyn and son Michael; grandchildren Jordan and Sean; cousins Susan Garell Thompson, Francine Garell Papa, and other family who will forever remember his kindness. He is preceded in death by oldest son, Robert (Bobby), and cousin Juniel Garell Rowley.

Bob will be buried at Fairfax Memorial Park (9900 Braddock Road, Fairfax, VA) on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. A graveside service will be held to allow for proper COVID safety for all participants.

In lieu of flowers, his family requests that you donate to your favorite charity.

The following map is furnished to show the location of the grave site for those wishing to attend Bob's graveside service:

map of gravesite

If you wish to print this map a Microsoft Word version is available here for dowloading and printing Graveside Map

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Friday, Ocober 23, 2020 - 9:15 a.m.

Death of Robert Caffrey

I had in my records an old address for Marilyn. The correct address to send condolences is:

Marilyn Caffrey
1800 Jonathan Way #204
Reston, VA 20190

I do not have an email address or telephone number!

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Friday, Ocober 23, 2020 - 9:15 a.m.

Death of Robert Caffrey

I received word from Larry Ward that he was informed by Bob's son, Mike, that Bob had a heart attack and did not recover. As soon as funeral arrangements are know I will post the information to the web site!

For those wishing to send Marilyn and the family condolences the following is furnished:

Marilyn Caffrey
13305 Pine Forest Place, N.E.
Albuquerque, NM 87111
Tel: (505) 292-3703

RIP Bob!

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Saturday, October 10, 2020 - 10:40 a.m.

I received word from Retired DASC Stu Branch that Bob MCConahy longtime DC, OC employee is in an assisted living facility in Virginia. Bob would love to hear from old friends. His e-mail address is: bob@mcconahy.com. Come on CANDOERs. Let's flood his e-mail inbox.

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Thursday, October 08, 2020 - 3:10 p.m.

Mike Lamberg furnished a new e-mail address. Thanks Mike for helping me keep my records up-to-date!

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Thursday, October 08, 2020 - 3:05 p.m.

I have heard from many of you that you received a request for funds for a child that is sick and his family needs help. AS FAR AS I CAN TELL THIS IS A HOAX REPEAT HOAX. I have not been able to determine who it came from or if they are a CANDOER member. It was not sent through the YAHOOGROUP member e-mail or by me. No one has requested assistance from me. DO NOT DONATE TO THIS GOFUNDME REQUEST! Please note, if there is EVER a request for assistance for one of our members not only will I send out an e-mail but I will also post the request on this Blog. This way you will know it is legitimate!

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Tuesday, September 29, 2020 - 1:15 p.m.

Marguerite Nault furnished an up-dated address and telephone number! Thanks Marguerite for helping me keep my records up-to-date!

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Wednesday, September 09, 2020 - 10:15 a.m.

We have a new member, Lance Bryan! Welcome aboard Lance!

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Tuesday, September 08, 2020 - 5:15 p.m.

Joel Rigby, IPO Athens, posted the below story to Facebook today. For those of you who do not have Facebook I thought you would find this an interesting read:

Most of my friends don’t really know or understand what I do for the Dept of State, I was once told by someone that they thought I was a mailman which made me laugh. The below article about a recent experience I had while carrying out my duty’s was posted today on tech@state an online Information Resource Management (IRM) site that shares news and stores from the field.

The Prime Minister and I

September 8, 2020


Foreign Service officers and specialists serving overseas have many stories to tell, but ask around and you will discover that our colleagues usually have one they love to tell above all others. Information Programs Officer (IPO) Joel Rigby at U.S. Embassy Athens just experienced his most memorable event.

Joel says, “We’ve all had that moment during our careers that we’ll never forget. You know, the one that makes you feel like it was worth all the hardships and dragging the family across the globe to live in sometimes harsh conditions. That moment began with a 10 pm telephone call on August 25, 2020. I was notified that I would have to establish a secure call between the Prime Minister of Greece, Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and the White House on the following evening.”

Like so many in his position, Joel has supported many POTUS and Secretary of State visits, and attended their accompanying meet & greets throughout his career. However, this was the first time he would establish a secure call between two heads of state and remain alone in the room with one of them. He was notified that he should arrive at the Prime Minister’s office at 7 pm – one hour before the scheduled call with President Trump. That hour gave Joel the time to install the secure phone, coordinate the connection, and test for voice quality. When he arrived, he was greeted by the office’s technical member and was asked to remain in the room during the call to ensure his assistance was readily available if needed. This gentleman also advised the Prime Minister would arrive just before the scheduled call.

Joel told Tech@State how the evening’s activities proceeded. He was first escorted into the Prime Minister’s office. “I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised at just how accommodating the Prime Minister’s staff was. I was not subjected to any kind of security search. I immediately began to set up the device so I could test and make certain it was ready for the Prime Minister’s arrival. I noticed that my counterpart, whom was escorting me, suddenly rose to his feet. Then I heard from behind someone in perfect English with a Greek accent say, ‘Is it going to work?’ I turned to see the Prime Minister walking into the office towards me and take a seat next to where I was working. My anxiety level immediately shot through the roof like a tween at a Justin Bieber concert. Never in my 22 years with the Department have I ever been this close to a foreign leader. At that same moment, I realized he represented the country known as the cradle of democracy – something I feel deeply about and believe my efforts help promote. Keep in mind, I still had to set up the equipment, test it with the Department, and there was still almost an hour before the scheduled call. What was I going to do with the Prime Minister sitting right next to me for all that time?”

Let’s take a short break and mention that there’s no reason to be surprised that Joel heard Prime Minister Mitsotakis speaking fluent English. The Prime Minister attended Harvard University for a Bachelor Degree in social studies. At Stanford University, he received a Ford Dorsey Master’s in International Policy and later attended the Harvard Business School to earn an MBA.

Joel went on to say, “So here I was thinking that I was going to become one with the wall wood paneling with almost an hour to go and the Prime Minister just a few feet away. I hadn’t been this nervous since the birth of my son. He must have felt my anxiety because he immediately started making small talk while watching the news, which featured the speech he had just given in Parliament. He asked me if I liked Greece and we talked about the scorching hot weather. Really, the time flew by in a blur. I’m not sure why, but I never thought a leader of a country would be so down to earth and friendly. He seemed just as cordial in his interactions with his own staff.”

Ten minutes before the call, the Prime Minister was joined by the Ambassador of Greece to the United States, Alexandra Papadopoulou, and the Head of the Prime Minister’s Diplomatic Office, Ambassador Eleni Sourani.

“The call finally began and I melted into the background trying to be as unobtrusive as possible. As reported in the press, the discussion focused on tensions between Greece and Turkey. When it concluded, I commenced to packing up the gear while the Prime Minister chatted with some of his staff. He noticed I was preparing to leave and stopped the conversation to express his gratitude to myself and the U.S. Mission to Greece for facilitating the call. Afterwards, my counterpart escorted me out and once out of earshot, I asked him if the Prime Minister was always this nice and he replied, ‘Yes, he treats everyone with respect and is just down to earth.’ I have found this trait in almost every Greek citizen that I have met.”

Joel and his family have several years remaining in Athens. Whenever diplomats in the embassy discuss the host nation’s Prime Minister, Joel will only smile and think to himself, “Yeah, great man.”

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Tuesday, September 08, 2020 - 12:35 p.m.

Jane Florence furnished a new snail-mail address. Thanks Jane for helping me keep my database up-to-date! Her e-mail address and phone number remain the same!

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Friday, September 04, 2020 - 1:35 p.m.

Received word from Tim Lawson this afternoon. He indicated that he has been having some health issues that have impacted his activities, including email communications. He said he is still proud to be a CANDOER and enjoys reading all the material therein. I am saying Prayers for him to overcome his health issues.

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Thursday, September 03, 2020 - 1:15 p.m.

No one has heard from Tim Lawson, who retired in Thailand, for months. Several of us have tried to contact him with no results. This morning I sent an e-mail to the RSO and IPO in Bangkok and asked them to assist in the welfare and whereabouts of Tim. When I hear from them I will let you all know what is going on!