Peace Corps Grieves Over Loss of Volunteer Marilyn Foss
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 25, 2007 - U.S. Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter is saddened to report the loss of a member of the Peace Corps family. Marilyn Foss, a Peace Corps Volunteer in China, passed away this morning. Marilyn collapsed earlier this week while teaching English in her classroom, and she had been hospitalized since that time.
"Marilyn was a remarkable lady," said Director Tschetter. "I had the opportunity to meet her when I was in China just last month. She was 74 years old, and it had been a dream of hers to become a Peace Corps Volunteer for many years. After raising her kids, she felt this was the right time. In her motivation statement on her application, she said, 'I want to join the Peace Corps because I think there is something I can do or help with. I also need a new adventure.'"
Ms. Foss was part of the Peace Corps University Education Teaching program in China and began her Peace Corps service on June 28, 2006. She was teaching English at Mianyang Teachers College, in the city of Mianyang, in Sichuan Province.
Ms. Foss's passing is a tremendous loss for her family, the Peace Corps, and for the people of China, especially her students at Mianyang Teachers College. Ms. Foss was from Max, Minnesota. She is survived by three children, six grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.
Ms. Foss was truly a model Peace Corps Volunteer, enthusiastic about her Peace Corps service and an inspiration to her fellow Volunteers. Said Ms. Foss prior to serving, "I plan on using my Peace Corps experience to encourage people of all ages to dare to do something that they never would have thought of doing. Age is no barrier to being a pioneer in something new."
Since 1961, more than 187,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries where Volunteers have served. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.
The Peace Corps China program began in 1993. Currently, there are 97 Volunteers teaching English in the country. A total of 453 Volunteers have served since 1993.
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