Francis M. Kinnelly ’57

Francis M. Kinnelly ’57 died on January 24, 2012, in Plattsburgh, New York.

He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on October 11, 1935, and prepared for college at Fryeburg Academy. He was a James Bowdoin Scholar and member of Alpha Rho Upsilon fraternity. He graduated cum laude with history department honors, a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He later studied at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs at Princeton University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Johns Hopkins University, where he earned a master’s degree in international relations in 1959. He also studied for a year at the Bologna Center of the School for Advanced International Studies. He joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1962 after a two-year stint in the Army, where he served to specialist fourth class. He served the Foreign Service in Italy, the Netherlands, the Philippines, and Germany, specializing in economic affairs, and then became the science attaché at the embassy in Madrid. He later directed the Office of Nuclear Technology and Safeguards in Washington, D.C., where he worked on creating safeguards for the plutonium stockpile of the Soviet nuclear arsenal. He retired from the State Department in 1993 after 31 years but remained involved in a number of international issues, organizing forums and conferences and continuing to track down Nazi gold that was stolen from Holocaust victims. In addition to his work with the local Underground Railroad, he worked with the Battle of Plattsburgh Association and had a strong interest in the Peru Free Library. He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Yolanda Maria Groba Kinnelly; five daughters, Siobhan Kinnelly, Lara Jacobs, Yolanda Borner, Ana Afzali, and Cristina Brogue; three sons, Marc Kinnelly, Fernando Perez, and Miguel Perez, and two grandchildren. He was predeceased by a brother, Thomas F. Kinnelly.

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