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Joseph Limprecht Memorial Website



Joseph Limprecht, a fifth generation Nebraskan, was born and raised in Omaha. He was the son of Marjorie and the late Hollis Limprecht and older brother to Jane. He graduated from the University of Chicago in 1968 and married fellow U of C student Nancy Silverman, also of Omaha, the following year. He subsequently received a doctorate in history from the University of California at Berkeley in History and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard.

Joe began his State Department career in 1975. His initial posting was as deputy desk officer on the Spanish Desk and he cut his diplomatic teeth with the accession of Juan Carlos and the birth of a democratic monarchy in Spain as well as with a twin jumbo jet disaster in the Canary Islands in 1977 . Their daughter Alma was born in 1976, and Eleanor followed in 1977. In between their births he was diagnosed and was successfully treated for Hodgkins Disease . The family accompanied Joe on his first foreign posting to Bonn in 78-80 and then to Boston in 80-81 where Joe earned a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard and published in the Harvard Business Review. After another tour in Washington from 81-85, Joe served as Public Safety Adviser at the U.S. Mission in Berlin from 1985 to 1988, and as Narcotics Affairs Officer in Islamabad from 1988-91. The family accompanied him on all his tours but were evacuated from Pakistan at the start of the Gulf War, leaving Joe to complete the last 6 months of his tour there alone.

Returning to Washington in 1991, Joe was deputy director of the Office of Israel and Arab-Israeli Affairs and later a division chief in State's personnel bureau.

From 1996 until 1999, Joe and Nancy (the girls were in college) went to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where Joe was Deputy Chief of Mission.

In 1999, Joe was named the U.S. Ambassador to Albania, an unaccompanied post. Nancy joined him when the post opened to adult family members in 2000, and he was at the highest point in his professional career and personal happiness, though looking forward to his next assignment as Political Advisor to the Special Operations Command in Tampa, when he died suddenly at age 55.

"Ambassador Limprecht was a career Foreign Service officer who assumed his duties in Tirana in September 1999 and was in the final weeks of a very successful three-year tour," wrote Secretary of State Colin Powell upon hearing the news.

Joe's work offered hope to a country beset by crime and corruption born out of several decades of isolation, a fact that did not go unnoticed by the people of Albania. Albanian president Rexhep Meidani said "His last tour to several towns in the north of the country is significant evidence of his serious and professional commitment."

From assignment to assignment, Joe capably balanced his duties as a diplomat, husband and father. His courage and ambition earned him respect and recognition from his subordinates and peers. His love for his wife was obvious, and his dedication to his family spanned oceans. If the measure of any man is the way in which he is remembered, then Joe's legacy will be every bit as remarkable as his life. He will be greatly missed.

©2003 Nancy S. Limprecht