Lucille (Grove) McElhoe (1925 - 2013)

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Lucille Grove McElhoe, a retired budget officer with the United States Department of State, died on Monday, October 28, 2013 at Lynn Care Center.

A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, November 5, at 2:00 p.m. at Reliance Cemetery conducted by Rev. Denise Bates.

Mrs. McElhoe was predeceased in 2007 by her husband, Chester Wilson McElhoe, also a budget officer with the State Department. After their marriage in 1968 in Vietnam, they were one of the first husband and wife teams in Foreign Service.

Born in Cedarville, Warren County on October 1, 1925, she was the youngest daughter of John William and Lena Carper Grove.

She was predeceased by a brother, John W. Grove, Jr.; and two sisters, Martha W. Grove, and Agnes Grove Hoskins Creasy.

She is survived by nephews Doran D. Hoskins of Goose Creek, SC, David R. Hoskins of Herndon, and Durwin D. Hoskins of Vancouver, WA; and several great nieces and nephews.

Mrs. McElhoe graduated in 1944 from Warren County High School in Front Royal and attended Radford College. She was first employed in the accounting and payroll office of the American Viscose Corp. in Front Royal.

In 1957 she joined the U.S. Department of State and served for 30 years until her retirement as an assistant budget officer with the Near East Bureau in 1986. When in 1986 she received the State Department's John Jacob Rogers Award, the Secretary of State, George P. Schultz, commended her: "In the course of almost three decades of government service, you have served with distinction in eleven countries on five continents. Your performance has been characterized by the highest standards of professional competence, personal dedication and grave under pressure. Your willingness to serve in the most difficult locations under the most trying circumstances has been of incalculable value to the Foreign Service of the United States."

She served in administration in American embassies in Tripoli, Libya; Belgrade, Yugoslavia; Santiago, Chili; Yaounde, Cameroon; Sana'a , Yemen; Saigon, Vietnam; Mogadishu, Somalia; Accra, Ghana; Tunis, Tunisia; New Delhi, India; Colombo, Sri Lanka; and Kathmandu, Nepal. She also served temporary postings in Egypt, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Poland, and Saudi Arabia.

She sometimes recalled being held hostage briefly with a small group of other American embassy personnel in Yemen in 1966.

In 1984 she was airlifted by helicopter to the American embassy in Beirut, Lebanon shortly after the siege of the embassy had been lifted where she received special commendation for her "service to the U.S. Embassy in the aftermath of the bombing on September 20, 1984."

Mrs. McElhoe retired to her home in Front Royal, VA. She was a member of Front Royal United Methodist Church and the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE 180 in Winchester).

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to C-CAP, 316 North Royal Ave., Front Royal, VA 22630 or to Front Royal United Methodist Church, 1 West Main St., Front Royal, VA 22630.

Arrangements are by Maddox Funeral Home, Inc. in Front Royal, VA.

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Published in Northern Virginia Daily on Nov. 2, 2013
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