Thu Van Tran Thi

Thu Van Tran Thi, 71, who served in the foreign ministry of South Vietnam, died Oct. 20, 2010, in Wilton.

Born on Nov. 2, 1938, in Saigon, Vietnam, she was the daughter of the late Dr. Tran Cong Dang and Vo Thi Minh.

She was educated at the Couvent des Oiseaux in Vietnam, the Lycee Francais in London and the Lycee La Fontaine in Paris. In 1961, she earned a diploma in international relations from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris.

In 1964, she began working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Vietnam in 1964 as special assistant to the foreign minister. From 1965 to 1970, she was first secretary of the Vietnamese Embassy in Washington, D.C., and for the next two years was undersecretary of the foreign minister's cabinet. From 1972 to 1973, she was first secretary of the Vietnamese Embassy in Rome, Italy and from 1973 to 1975, she was charge d'affaires for Vietnam in Athens, Greece. In 1975, she was general consul at the Vietnamese Embassy in Paris, France and helped Vietnamese refugees in France at the end of the war.

She emigrated to the United States in 1977 and joined the French Embassy in Washington, D.C., as special assistant to the Office of the Defense and Cooperation Attaché where she remained for 26 years until her retirement. For her service, she was awarded officer of the National Order of Merit by the President of the French Republic.

She is survived by a daughter, Thuy Tranthi Rieder and her husband Mitchell Rieder of Westport; a son, Canh Tran and his wife Beth Wilson of Chicago, Ill.; two brothers, Tran Cong Duc of Silver Spring, Md., and Tran Cong Danh of Potomac, Md.; a sister, Le Thi Thu Hoa of Silver Spring, Md., and three grandchildren. In addition to her parents, she was pre-deceased by a brother, Tran Cong Chanh.

Services will be private. The Harding Funeral Home in Westport is assisting with the arrangements. Memorial contributions may be made to support research and education at Norwalk Hospital, Section of Pulmonary Medicine and Rehabilitation, 24 Stevens St., Norwalk, CT 06856.