Larry Ikels, spouse of Judy Ikels, long time member of AAFSW and recipient of the 2017 Champions of Career Enhancement for Eligible Family Members Award, passed away suddenly at his Bethesda home on February 28, 2018. Judy and family hosted a touching memorial at Dacor Bacon House on June 2.
Larry was a USIA employee who retired in 1997 after a 31-year career in Washington and 6 overseas postings. Dacor Bacon was filled with USIA and State friends and colleagues from near and far to honor this talented, kind, patient, and generous man and his family.
Judy and Sam Celestino, her youngest grandson, shared the podium to welcome guests. Sam read a poem he had written to honor his grandfather. Joe Johnson and James Morad, USIA friends, shared anecdotes about Larry and his earlier professional experiences. Steve Buck, a Washington friend, mused about Larry’s penchant for a well-maintained car and his talent for selecting restaurants for their all-male dinner group! His eldest grandson, Benjamin Celestino, a talented pianist, performed a jazz piece he had been practicing to share with his grandfather.
Judy Ikels, through the support of Hala Buck, who spoke Judy’s words, shared personal remembrances about Larry, and the enormous pride he took in his family’s accomplishments. As a true patron of the arts, the Ikels were season ticket holders to the Symphony and the Opera. This love of music has been passed to their grandsons.
Daughter Catherine Celestino wrote: “He was our world and he gave us the world. A diplomat through and through, we all counted on his wisdom, counsel and steady hand.”
Son David Ikels wrote: “Dad was a gentleman and a gentle man. He had a heart of gold.”
AAFSW Oral History Project