David Bloch, 80, passed away on Sunday April 14, 2019, at George Washington University hospital in Washington, DC.
David was born in Boston, the son of Charles and Alice Bloch. The family moved to Queens, New York when he was 5. He attended PS 150 (Sunnyside) and Long Island City High School. He received his Bachelor of Arts in History from Queens College and a Master's degree in Balkan History from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
He had been accepted at Brandeis University into the doctoral program to study under philosopher Herbert Marcuse with the intention of pursuing a career in academia. With the draft looming, he decided to join the army. In the meantime, the Peace Corps was created, and upon his discharge from the army, David joined the Peace Corps. He served two years in Ceyhan and Kozan, two villages in southeast Turkey. He credits this experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer as the impetus to joining the Foreign Service. In fact, he took the Foreign Service exam in Adana, Turkey, while still a Volunteer. The relationships he formed in Turkey remained with him throughout his life. The group of cohorts developed into Arkadaslar (Friends of Turkey), a return Peace Corps volunteer group who met annually for a reunion and who supported various community and educational projects in Turkey. He was on the Board of Directors at its early stages. It is to their credit that though the Peace Corps in Turkey ended in 1970, Arkadaslar continued to remain vibrant.
Upon returning to the US, David got a job teaching history in Hewlett High School on Long Island, New York, while waiting for an appointment into the Foreign Service. It was here that he met Barbara Baker. They were married nine months later, at which time they moved to Washington, DC, where he began his Foreign Service career.
David had a long career in the Foreign Service as both a political and consular officer. From 1968 to 1993 he served variously in Guatemala, Brazil, Turkey, Sicily, Afghanistan, and the US State Department in Washington, DC. During this time, he received several meritorious honor awards for service, and he was known for freely giving his time to help those asking for his guidance. His diligence, quick wit, and compassionate nature brought him the admiration and respect of the State Department as well as the American and foreign-born individuals who benefitted from his kindness, sincerity, and friendship.
In 1993, David retired from the Foreign Service. He studied to become a paralegal at Georgetown University, and then joined the State Department Grievance Staff. He also served in the Inspector Corps and in Declassification. He maintained his working association with the State Department until 2014.
David was an avid reader. He was interested in all things international, and loved to travel. With his wife Barbara, David shared a full life, having many friends, keeping up with relatives, engaging in cultural pursuits, and supporting the arts. David was a member of the Board of Directors of the Van Ness North Cooperative, Inc. where he and his wife reside, and was Board president for three years.
David is remembered for his warm smile, his intelligence, his lovely voice, his desire to be truly helpful, and his engaging spirit. He is also remembered for his pet wolf, Virginia, who he raised with two dogs while in Kabul. As a loving, humorous, and generous man, his inherent goodness endeared him to all.
David Bloch is survived by his wife of 52 years, Barbara Bloch (nee Baker), his sister Benita Bloch Jackson of Salt Lake City, Utah, cousins, sisters- and brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews, several godchildren, and many many friends from all over the world who consider him family.
A celebration of David's life will be held at a future date.
Memorial contributions may be made to Doctors Without Borders (https://donate.doctorswithoutborders.org/onetime.cfm), Greenpeace (www.greenpeace.org/usa/), Defenders of Wildlife (https://defenders.org/), or another organization of your choice.