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John Peter HummonJuly 23, 1930 ~ October 5, 2017 (age 87)
Potomac, MD – John Peter Hummon, 87, passed away on October 5, 2017 in the loving presence of family. John was the son of the late Floyd and Goldie Hummon of East Aurora, NY; beloved husband of 63 years to Jean Tomion Hummon (who predeceased him by just 26 days); father of Jan Alison HummonWestman (John), Marcus Spencer Hummon (Rev. Becca Stevens), Sarah Tomion Hummon Stevens (Brian), and Gretchen Mary Hummon (Peter Fry). John and Jean had twelve grandchildren (Matt, Carly, Luke, Levi, Caney, Moses, Tess, Anna, Griffin, Trevor, Phoebe, Malcolm), and John was the cherished younger brother of Janet Rankin (Rhinebeck, NY) and the late Norman Hummon, Serge Hummon, and Mary Rankin.
John was born and raised in Ohio and remained a passionate Buckeye all his life, despite completing his higher education in Michigan and going on to live all over the world. He and Jean graduated from Albion College in 1953, and John received his PhD in political science and international relations from the University of Michigan. At college, John was active both musically and athletically, singing in the Albion College Choir and playing football, helping the college win the MIAA championship in 1952. He also was a proud member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, for which he wrote the song “My Delta Tau Sweetheart.” He received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Albion College in 1994.
Soon after receiving his doctorate, John went to work at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). His career at USAID spanned three and half decades, and during that time his work involved managing a wide variety of initiatives, including development in teacher training, agriculture, infrastructure (road- and bridge-building, rural electrification, etc.), literacy and curriculum, public health (nutrition, HIV/AIDS education/prevention, population planning, etc.), disaster/drought relief, refugee resettlement, economic diversification, natural resource management, coordination with the Peace Corps, etc.
His career with USAID began in 1960 when he was hired as an assistant officer on the East and Southern Africa desk. He then brought his young family to East Africa, taking a position as program officer in Tanzania in 1964, where his brother, Norman, was serving as deputy director of the Peace Corps. Upon completion of this posting, the family returned to the U.S. and John served as Executive Secretary, first under USAID Administrator Bill Gaud, and then under Dr. John Hannah. Eventually, John was asked to become deputy director of USAID’s Nigeria office in 1970. The family moved to Lagos, and after two years at that posting, John was chosen to attend USAID’s Senior Seminar in Foreign Policy in 1972, a year spent with professionals from various government agencies (e.g., USAID, CIA, USIA, DOD, and the military), studying and reflecting upon American policies both in the U.S. and abroad.
He went on from Senior Seminar to a posting as Deputy Director to USAID’s program in the Philippines (1973), and in 1976, the Hummon family moved to Riyadh, where John headed up the U.S. Mission to the U.S./Saudi Arabian Joint Economic Commission, working under the auspices of the Department of Treasury. After Saudi Arabia, John returned to the USAID offices in Washington, D.C. as head of the budget office at the Bureau for Policy and Program Coordination.
In 1986, John and Jean were eager for another overseas posting, and John was chosen to become Mission Director of USAID/Botswana in Gaborone. He enjoyed this position for four years, and then returned to the U.S. to work in USAID’s Human Resources office. He became Acting U.S. Representative for USAID to the U.N. in Geneva in 1993, finishing his distinguished career in Washington, D.C. as head of Workforce Planning, and chairperson of the Equal Opportunity Task Force.
As John said, “I had some of the best jobs in the world.”
John retired in 1995 and shifted his focus to church activities, volunteer work, and travel. He served as a deacon at Potomac Presbyterian Church, sang in the church choir, and was often found leading sing-alongs at D.C. area nursing homes with his spirited piano-playing. He wrote and published a beautiful carol entitled “Love Came There,” available at Colla Voce Music, which reflects his personal spiritual beliefs. One of his favorite activities in retirement was sharing his musical gifts as a devoted volunteer at the Old Timers’ Show at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair. John also enjoyed spending time with family and made numerous spontaneous trips with Jean to see a child or grandchild in a performance or sporting event. He cherished the decades-long tradition of Hummonfamily reunions that he grew up with; he and Jean joyfully kept the tradition alive with their own children and grandchildren. John was well-known throughout his family for his dinner-table prayer: “God bless everybody in the whole wide world. NO exceptions.”
The family wishes to make known that due to the recent gathering of far-flung family to celebrate the life of John’s beloved wife Jean, interment and memorial services for John will be postponed. The family also wishes to express their deep gratitude for the love and support with which they have been blessed from extended family and dear friends.
If you are able, please honor John’s life by making a donation to Holy Cross Hospice of Gaborone, Botswana, which provides end-of-life palliative care to those suffering from HIV/AIDS and other life-limiting illnesses. To donate, please mail a check to Holy Cross Hospice, ℅ St. Augustine’s Chapel, 6330b Nashville, TN 37235.