Deceased December 25, 2016
In his years after Amherst, Steve Espie developed a love of travel and exploration of the world’s culture. His career in Foreign Service fit nicely. Steve’s life ended on Christmas Day 2016 in Charlottesville, Va., where he had moved in 2009 to be near his son Jason.
Steve grew up in Ridgewood, Queens, and graduated from Grover Cleveland High School. At Amherst, he joined Phi Alpha Psi fraternity, ran cross country and was a member of the Philosophy Club. His senior roommate, Bill Pritchard ’53, recalls Steve pursued a “bookish career,” majoring in English, writing a thesis on metaphors of color in Joseph Conrad’s novels and graduating magna cum laude.
“One remembers his copies of the [Conrad] books well marked-up and highlighted appropriately with different colors,” Bill remembers.
A Fulbright Scholarship took Steve to New Zealand for a year to write a dissertation on 19th-century English novels. On the way home, he toured Europe, developing a passion for fine wines, mountaineering and world travel. Shortly after he became an editor for Time-Life, Steve met Alberta Jackson. They were married in 1957.
Steve joined the Department of State Foreign Service in 1966. His first posting was Manila, working for the U.S. Information Agency. He went on to edit a USIA magazine in New Delhi and serve as director of USIA’s Regional Program Office in Vienna, where much of his time was spent on official visits to Eastern European countries. There was a second posting in New Delhi followed by Pakistan before he retired from diplomatic service with the esteemed rank of counsel.
Steve enjoyed 19 years of retirement in India, having developed a love of the culture and people.
Besides Jason, Steve is survived by another son, Ethan; and a daughter, Serafina Culhane.
George Gates ’53