There is an article in the New York Times this morning (Tuesday, March 9) about a new book, Letters to Jackie: Condolences From a Grieving Nation edited by the historian and professor at the University of New Hampshire, Ellen Fitzpatrick. One of the letters was written by Ann Lounsbery, who in1963 was an Ethiopia I PCV serving in the town of Mekelle. She had written home to her mother after Kennedy’s assassination, and her mother had sent her letter, and one of her own, to Mrs. Kennedy. In Ann’s letter, (now Ann Lounsbery Owens), she wrote “I feel now as if a member of my family had died. In a very real sense he was our idol; he is the reason for us being here–his idealism, his courage.”
Ann did not know her mother had sent her letter to Jackie Kennedy until she was contacted by Fitzpartrick. “It brought tears to my eyes to hear my mom’s words,” she said in the Times article. Ann’s mother died in 1990.