These days, Theresa Anne Tull splits her time between homes in Sea Isle City and Washington, D.C. But for much of her life, she moved to a new spot around the globe every few years.
Tull, 76, is a retired diplomat. She was assigned to Vietnam from 1968 to 1970, and 1973 to 1975. She arrived in time for the war’s Tet Offensive, and left as the Paris Peace Accords failed and the communists took over. Her final posts were as ambassador to Guyana in Africa and Brunei in Southeast Asia.
She grew up in Runnemede, Camden County, and couldn’t afford college. So she worked and took night classes. Tull took the rigorous Foreign Service exams before she had a college degree, after reading an article in Good Housekeeping magazine encouraging women to apply. She passed on her second try.
She recently wrote a memoir, “A Long Way from Runnemede: One Woman’s Foreign Service Journey,” published by New Academia Publishing in the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training memoirs series. It’s $26 on Amazon and BN.com.
Tull never had children, but brought a South Vietnamese general’s three children, ages 9 to 15, to the U.S. with her in 1975. Their parents joined them after two years, and all have remained close to Tull. They are “the light of my life,” she said.
While the Charge D’Affaires in Laos in the mid 1980s, she negotiated and conducted the first joint plane-crash excavation and recovered remains of missing U.S. service members at two sites.
“We were walking around past unexploded ordinance,” she said. “I would have appreciated having some Congresspeople with us. The ones that called us partygoers.”
Going to China
Atlantic City High School guidance counselor Henry Winkler is one of four high school educators selected to travel to China for a week next summer with Arcadia University.
Winkler was nominated by former student Alexandra Mazzo, of Brigantine, a student at Arcadia who said Winkler encouraged her to challenge herself. Arcadia is a private university in metropolitan Philadelphia.
Four-legged Sandy victim
Little Egg Harbor Township resident Dorothy Mathis counts her dog Luke as another victim of Hurricane Sandy. She and her family moved to Barnegat Light temporarily after their home flooded, and while walking Luke he slipped from his collar and was hit and killed by a car. At home he had a fenced-in yard, she said.
“He was our forever dog and there will always be a hole in our heart for him,” Mathis wrote. “It may seem small in the grand scheme of things, but it’s the small losses that hurt the most sometimes.”
More stories to tell
Michelle Brunetti Post writes about the lives, careers and good deeds of southern New Jersey residents Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays in ‘Everyone Has a Story.’ To share your story, call her at 609-272-7219 or email her at MPost@pressofac.com