Ambassador Malcolm "Mac" Toon, 92, passed away Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009, in Pinehurst.
He is survived by his children, Barbara Lindenbaum, of Marietta, Ga., Alan Toon, of West End, and Nancy M. Toon, of Southampton, N.Y., as well as grandchildren, Rachel Bruce, Sarah Lindenbaum and Gordon Toon.
The son of first generation Scottish immigrants, he was born in 1916, in Troy, N.Y. He was a graduate of Tufts University (1937), Fletcher School of Law and Diplomancy (1938) and after the war, continued his studies at Middlebury College and Harvard University. He married Elizabeth Jane Taylor in 1943, and they enjoyed a 53-year marriage until her death in 1996.
During World War II, he very proudly served in the U.S. Navy from ensign to lieutenant commander of PT 155 in campaigns in the South Pacific.
From 1946-60, he continued to serve his country as a foreign service officer in a variety of posts including post-war Warsaw, Budapest and Berlin. In 1960-63, he was assigned to the American Embassy in London. During the Cold War, he was known as a Soviet "hardliner" and from 1963-67, he served as counselor/political affairs in Moscow, returning to the State Department in Washington, D.C., 1967-69. He served as American ambassador to Czechoslovakia (1969-71), to Yugoslavia (1971-75), to Israel (1975-76), and to the USSR (1976-79).
During his diplomatic career, he participated in the Nuclear Test Conference, in Geneva (1958-59); the Four Power Working Group, in Washington, D.C., London and Paris (1959); the Foreign Ministers Conference, in Geneva (1969); the Ten Nation Disarmament Commission, in Geneva (1960); the SALT II delegation (1977-79), and the U.S.-Soviet Summit conference, in Vienna (1979).
After retirement to Pinehurst, he not only golfed and traveled extensively, but also served on various boards of directors, awarded honorary degrees and served on educational chairs. He also served as Tufts University trustee emeritus and was a member of Fletcher School Board overseers. Later in retirement, Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton requested he leave the golf course and chair the American delegation to the joint U.S.-Russian Commission on POWs and MIAs.
Ambassador Toon will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, with his beloved wife, Betty.
Condolences may be made to www.powellfuneralhome.com.
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