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Memories & Candles

“EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICALISBON, PORTUGALALLAN J. KATZ AMBASSADORNovember 30, 2011It was with great sadness that I learned of the...Read More »
1 of 12 | Posted by: Allan Katz - Lisbon

“To the family of Ambassador Richard Bloomfield, As the current WHA/PPC Director, I would like to express on behalf of the Western Hemisphere Bureau's...Read More »
2 of 12 | Posted by: Francisco Palmieri - Washington, DC

“Quito was my first Embassy posting, with Amb. Bloomfield at the helm. What a great impression his leadership, intelligence, wit, and hospitality...Read More »
3 of 12 | Posted by: Julien LeBourgeois - Washington, DC

“I grew up in the same neighborhood in northwest Washington, D.C. with Dick and have known him since I was a child. When he was Ambassador to Portugal...Read More »
4 of 12 | Posted by: Gerald McKenna - Chevy Chase, MD

“I grew up in the same neighborhood in northwest Washington, D.C. with Dick and have known him since I was a child. When he was Ambassador to...Read More »
5 of 12 | Posted by: Gerald McKenna - Chevy Chase, MD

“Although I did not know Mr. Bloomfield personally, I am a good friend of his son, John. Through John's words, there is no doubt that Mr. Bloomfield...Read More »
6 of 12 | Posted by: Heidi Fischer - Glen Burnie, MD

“Dick was my late-in-life discovered cousin. Our fathers were first cousins but never close. Our newly found relationship was one I cherished. We...Read More »
7 of 12 | Posted by: Sylvia Bloomfield Brenner - MA

“Dick was my late-in-life discovered cousin. Our fathers were first cousins but never close. Our newly found relationship was one I cherished. We had...Read More »
8 of 12 | Posted by: Sylvia Brenner - Chestnut Hill, MA

“With regret I saw Ambassador Bloomfield's obituary in today's "Washington Post." I was privileged to serve under him as a Political Officer in Lisbon...Read More »
9 of 12 | Posted by: Marc Nicholson - Washington, DC

“With regret I saw Ambassador Bloomfield's obituary in today's "Washington Post." I was privileged to serve under him as a Political Officer in...Read More »
10 of 12 | Posted by: Marc E. Nicholson - Washington, DC


11 of 12 | Posted by: Ann Duvall

“Rest in peace and love, Da.Your daughter, Ann. ”
12 of 12 | Posted by: Ann Duvall - Newton, MA


Mr. Bloomfield died November 22, 2011, in Belmont, MA of complications from Alzheimer's disease. Mr. Bloomfield was born in 1927 in New Haven, Connecticut, to Alice and Jack Bloomfield. His father was a pioneer in Industrial Hygiene, performing some of the leading research on silicosis or Black Lung Disease, which eventually led to the establishment of Industrial Hygiene programs in the U.S. and abroad. Mr. Bloomfield grew up in Washington, D.C., attending Blessed Sacrament School until the eighth grade when he won a scholarship to Gonzaga High School. He eventually transferred to the Woodrow Wilson public high school, graduating in 1945. He often said that this transfer to a public school led to his wider exposure of people with different backgrounds. This gave him the keen ability to take two opposing viewpoints and synthesize them into outcomes satisfying to both sides, a skill that would be of great use during his career as a U.S. diplomat. The end of WWII cut short his service in the United States Coast Guard. Taking advantage of a program for veterans, he was accepted to Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, graduating in 1950. He passed the Foreign Service Exam in 1952 and, as he wrote in his memoirs, "For the next three decades, I served the country as a diplomat. It was a career that had its share of professional frustrations, but it was also personally fulfilling, almost always challenging, and at times exciting. I loved it." In 1952 Mr. Bloomfield's Foreign Service career began in La Paz, Bolivia as the Assistant to the Agriculture Attaché, eventually leading to his promotion to Political Officer during a time of social conflict in that country. It was during this time that Mr. Bloomfield grew to feel a kinship with the people of Latin America and their struggles for social justice. Over the next three decades, he ascended the ranks of the Foreign Service with varied postings in Austria, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, and Washington, D.C., culminating in his appointment as U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador in 1976. Then, two years later, he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Portugal, where he was the longest serving U.S. Ambassador from 1978-1982. As the U.S. envoy to Ecuador he helped that country transition from rule under a military tribunal to a pluralistic liberal democracy, and won U.S. Department of State's Superior Honor Award for his service there. He arrived in Portugal soon after the non-violent overthrow of the autocratic Salazar regime during the Carnation Revolution, which ushered Portugal into the nascent European Union. Over thirty years as a Career Minister in the U.S. Department of State, he also served as: Deputy Director, Office of Regional Economic Policy, Department of State (1964-67); Department of State Country Director, Ecuador and Peru (1967-68); Counselor of Embassy for Economic Affairs and Associate Director, USAID, Brazil, (1968-71); and Director of Office of Policy Planning and Coordination, Bureau of Inter-American Affairs, Department of State (1972-76). Between postings, he earned his Master of Public Administration at Harvard University in 1960, and was awarded a Fellowship at Harvard's Center for International Affairs from 1971 to 72. During his fellowship at Harvard, he produced a paper that came to be known as one of the most authoritative and most frequently quoted unpublished papers on U.S.-Latin American relations of the 1970's. (The U.S. Department of State refused permission to have the paper published.) In 1982, upon his retirement from the Foreign Service, Mr. Bloomfield accepted the position of Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation (WPF), an international affairs research institute established originally as the International School for Peace in Boston by the late publisher Edwin Ginn. During his tenure at WPF, Mr. Bloomfield published three books: Alternative to Intervention: A new US-Latin American Security Relationship, Regional Conflict and US Policy: Angola and Mozambique, and Puerto Rico: The Search for a National Policy. After retiring from the World Peace Foundation in 1992, he became Senior Visiting Fellow at The Watson Institute for International Affairs at Brown University. Mr. Bloomfield took great delight in teaching his young protégés the nuances of foreign policy and in exhorting them to take the viewpoint of people of foreign lands. At the end of a career that spanned almost five decades, he returned to his alma mater as an Affiliate at the Center for International Affairs, Harvard University. The nattily attired Bloomfield was an oenophile who would often smile at the Catholic prayer, "Fruit of the vine, work of human hands." during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. His love of fishing, food, wine, music, cinema, and humor was infectious, often leading to impromptu serenades of Latin American folk songs or a discursive analysis of the latest episode of Seinfeld. His later years were devoted to family and to writing his memoirs at his home in Cambridge, with summers at Martha's Vineyard and in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Mr. Bloomfield is survived by his wife Carey Goodson Bloomfield of Cambridge; his five children, Thomas Bloomfield of Westminster, MD, John Bloomfield of Crofton, MD, Ann Duvall of Newton, MA, Richard Bloomfield of Madison, WI, and William Bloomfield of Fairfax, VA; his five grandchildren, Ryan, Kristen, and Joanna Bloomfield and Ben and Olivia Duvall; his two stepsons, Eric and Christopher Goodson; and his former wife Patricia Koepfle of Chevy Chase, MD. His first wife, Jean Duvall, died in 1965. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, December 1 at 3pm in Christ Church Zero Garden St. Cambridge. Relatives and friends kindly invited. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Mr. Bloomfield's memory to the Working Boys Center in Quito, Ecuador, online at http://www.workingboyscenter.org or by mail, payable to Family Unity International, Inc., 12750 Stephen Place, Elm Grove, WI 53122

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