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Gainesville - Ambassador Shurtleff served from 1962 to 1995 in the United States Foreign Services Overseas in Africa and Latin America, as well as in several Washington Assignments. He was married in 1967 to Christine Morrissette, herself a former Foreign Service officer (Tunis, Abidjan) and past President of the Association of American Foreign Service Women.
Born in Boston, June 4, 1940, the eleventh generation of his family to live in the Bay State, Ambassador Shurtleff was a 1958 graduate of Haverhill High School, a member of the National Honor Society and of the basketball and track teams. He work his way through Tufts University as a milkman, telephone operator and dormitory proctor, graduating with a degree in History (cum laude) and Government from Tufts University in 1962 where he was dormitory Head Proctor as an undergraduate. He later attended the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and the graduate school at the University of Chicago.
His service overseas included posting to Caracas, Venezuela; Freetown, Sierra Leone; Douala, Cameroon; Nouakchott, Mauritania; Bogota, Colombia; Monrovia, Liberia; and, Brazzaville, the Congo. He also served in Equatorial Guinea, at the Department of State in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, in the Bureau of African Affairs as Deputy Executive Director and Director for Regional Affairs, as well as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Office of the Under Secretary for Management. He was a member of the of the Department's Senior Seminar in 1986-87.
Retiring in 1995, Ambassador Shurtleff served for many years as an Honorary Vice President of the Western Front Association and was current President of the Association's United States Branch (WWI Historical Association), writing and lecturing on diplomatic, political and economic issues relating to The Great War. He was a member and local President of the Sons of the American Revolution, as well as member of Gainesville's Masonic Lodge #41, the Order of DeMolay, Sojourners, and Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, the American Foreign Service Association DACAR (Diplomatic and Consular Officers Retired).
Interment will be in the Foreign Service area of Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, DC.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Gainesville Sun from Jan. 26 to Jan. 27, 2015.
Memories & Condolences
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37 entries
March 5, 2020
Dear Christine, Greetings from Draveil, France! i just learnt about the passing of Ambassador Shurtleff, a great loss. I hope you remember me. I am Octave Moumpala. I used to work in the commercial section of the US Embassy in Brazzaville, with Nikki Brajevich. I still have fond memories of my time working for Ambassador Shurtleff and I will never forget what a kind and great man he was. Love! Octave Moumpala (email: omoumpala@hotmil.com°
Octave Moumpala
January 20, 2020
went to school with Len was on a debate team with him I liked and admired hin
william corey
April 6, 2015
Dear Christine, I just learned of Len's passing in the DACOR newsletter. I'm so sorry for this sad news and for the huge loss to us all. It was such good fortune for me to have had you and Len play a central and wonderful role in introducing me to the Foreign Service. I've carried the warm memories of my time in Brazzaville with me ever since, along with the many lessons I learned from you both and have applied (albeit imperfectly) in my subsequent postings. Len was a wonderful ambassador, a great mentor, and a fantastic human being. I'm so sad for myself that he is no longer with us, and can't begin to fathom the loss you must be feeling. Kate and I send you our deepest sympathies and warmest wishes.
Mike Raynor
April 3, 2015
Dear Christine, I am so sorry to hear of Len's passing. Pete and I have many fond memories of our time in the Congo, my second posting. Len was a wonderful example and mentor. Best wishes, Becky Thompson
Becky Thompson
March 24, 2015
Dear Christine,

I have always treasured the memory of Len's (and your) kindness and friendship when we first met almost 34 years ago shortly after I joined the Foreign Service. He was a wonderful colleague, mentor and friend and his passing is a loss to us all. Please accept my heartfelt condolences heartfelt condolences. I hope that his passing will be eased with time and with wonderful memories of your life together.
Scott DeLisi
March 22, 2015
Len was a prolific contributor to the Central Ontario Branch WFA magazine and we will miss him greatly.
David Fuller
March 6, 2015
I have been Ambassador Shurtleff's supplier of worldwide new stamp issues depicting WWI since 2009. He and I have have had several interesting discussions by telephone on the subject.

I have just learned of his passing and wish to extend my condolences to the those closest to him.

Ed Davidson
LTC, US Army, Retired
Davidson's Stamp Service
Edward Davidson
February 10, 2015
Please accept my humbleist condolences on the passing of your husband, "Len", as many of us knew him. I am just one of the guys in the World War I Historical Association. I first met "Len" 12-15 years ago when were members of the Western Front Association. "Len" always had a warm personality and made you feel welcome in the organization, especially for new members. As I live in New York, I only saw "Len" at the many regional and national conferences when they were in the northeast. His many speeches were
delivered very professionally at our seminars, and his book reviews were awe inspiring...to the point I did one about a year and-a-half ago using his format. We will ALL MISS him and his
most pleasing demeaner. RIP, "Len".
Bill Gavitt, Jr.
February 9, 2015
Dear Mrs. Shurtleff: Please accept our condolences on the passing of your husband. My wife and I have known him for many years since the beginnings of the Western Front Association. We have spent many evenings with him and I have spent a great deal of time discussing WW1 and goading him into telling stories about the Foreign Service. He was a gentleman, soft-spoken, knowledgeable and a raconteur of the first order. He was also an exceptional author; I admired his devotion to the study of the war and his consistent ability to point out the value of the hundreds of speakers, articles and books that he encountered. Although I was privileged to call him Len, every once in a while "Ambassador Shurtleff" would pop out. It always seemed the right title. We will miss him.

Bill and Donna Hanigan
February 8, 2015
What a wonderful life he had. Not too bad for a boy from a little high school (Haverhill High) in Mass. RIP
Donna Le Clair Mc Duff
February 6, 2015
I am sorry to hear of your husbands death. My deepest condolences to you and your family.
Sali Raudabaugh
February 6, 2015
Met Len at a couple of the meetings -- what a wonderful man! Enhanced confidence in the US Foreign Service knowing people like him served there. His efforts for WW1 history were fabulous.
Hubert van Tuyll
February 5, 2015
Len you will be missed. Fly high, fly fast, fly forever.
Jeff Ricker
February 5, 2015
I have not been active in the association for a few years, but during the time that I was attending meetings and when I took two trips to France I had the pleasure of many conversations with this fine man. He was a true gentleman, and one of the most knowledgable persons about all phases of history that I have have ever known. Imam truly saddened.

John J. McLaughlin
John McLaughlin
February 5, 2015
Ken, I didn't know you but I know and and admire your work. Your legacy is secure and will continue! God Bless and thank you!
February 1, 2015
Len performed yeoman service for WW1 study. He will be missed at future WW1 events. His presence and sociability graced countless past meetings. George S Mihalik
February 1, 2015
Len will be greatly missed. He was a staunch friend of the WWI historical community and worked hard to get interest in the period established. He was a good friend and a great traveller. Christina Holstein, Kent.
January 31, 2015
With great sadness, I have just learned of Len's passing. We did WWI tours together and we would have dinner each time he came to Boston to visit family. We talked just a few weeks ago and were going to swap books at the Seminar he helped put together in Tampa Feb 6-7th. He will be missed. Mr. Jack
Jack Kavanagh
January 29, 2015
Thank You for helping me be part of the WFA.
January 29, 2015
LS - one of the great WW1 historians.

Doug Gangler
January 29, 2015
Condolences _ Len was a good friend to Flanders Tours and Tony Noyes.
Tim Tawney
January 28, 2015
During 2013 Len was President and I was Treasurer of the World War 1 Historical Association. Len and I attended Western Front tours in France along with many Seminars throughout the United States over the past 15 years. Len and I spoke on the telephone often. Often to talk about various aspects of WWI. I shall miss you Len. You were a good friend.
Richard VandenBrul
January 28, 2015
We toured the WW1 battlefields together. I will miss him.
Jerry Shoaf
January 27, 2015
I am very sorry to hear of Len's passing. He was a good man and I send my condolences to his family.
Ned Cooper
January 27, 2015
We served together in Nouakchott and stayed in touch over the decades since. Still remember how Len played bridge-- like poker. Ha. We will miss him. HR and Betsy Malpass
H.R. and Betsy Malpass
January 27, 2015
Len was a good classmate, remember him well
Richard Dion
January 27, 2015
Len and I were born one day apart and we eventually graduated from HHS on the same day, June 6, 1958. In grammar school we played on the same YMCA junior basketball team. We won a lot of games because Len was the tallest 13 year old in the league. As freshmen and sophomores we shared the same home room and we served together as class officers. Len was a valued friend and his life was filled with major accomplishments. I am proud to have been his friend, teammate and classmate. Ed Wilson
Ed Wilson
January 27, 2015
We shared many classes. What a wonderful career.
Bill Leary
January 27, 2015
Jim Page
January 27, 2015
Len and I were on a debate team in the 8th grade He will be sadly missed
bill corey
January 27, 2015
I remember Len from High School,a very nice classmate; I'm not surprised that he went on to such a stellar career, an Ambassador no less, distressing that he left so soon.
sandra brown
January 26, 2015
We were mates at Demolay and many classes together a high school friend
Alex Knight
January 26, 2015
Len's accomplishments were as impressive as he was as a classmate and high school
Lorraine Badolato
January 26, 2015
Len was a wonderful boss, a generous mentor, & a dear friend. He will be much missed.
Mary Lee Garrison
January 26, 2015
Len was my supervisor for a while when we served together at the U.S. State Department and we became good friends. In his capacity as a member and President of the Western Front Association, Len never failed to contact me when he was passing through the DC area on his way to one of the association's events. I will miss our many lunches and I will miss his friendship.
January 26, 2015
Len was a wonderful mentor and friend. Without his guidance I might never have joined the Foreign Service. I will miss him.
Constance Freeman
January 26, 2015
Len was a good friend of mine for over 60 years. I will miss him and I will always remember him.
George Bejian
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