Albert Frederick Padley, Jr., a Connecticut native and long-time resident of Pasadena, California, died on Tuesday, May 21st, 2013, at his residence in Irvine, California after a long and full life. He was the only child of Charlotte Isabelle Strople and Albert Frederick Padley, Sr.
A 1933 graduate of Mansfield (Massachusetts) High School, Mr. Padley attended the American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts, for two years, during which time he served as President of the Freshman Class. He transferred to George Washington University to study in preparation for a career in the Foreign Service and was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Relations in June of 1939. To support himself during his undergraduate studies and beyond, Mr. Padley secured his first paying job as a clerk in the Federal Alcohol Administration where he worked for four years. He completed a full year of graduate studies at George Washington University before entering the military in late 1940.
In 1940, Mr. Padley was drafted into the U. S. Army and was assigned to the Ninth Reconnaissance Troop, the Ninth Infantry Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in the 2nd Cavalry. He was accepted into Officer’s Candidate School and was promoted to the rank of Captain in November of 1944. He served in North Africa and Italy during World War II, eventually overseeing tours for service personnel in Switzerland. He was discharged in March, 1946.
After the War and a year of travel, he returned home and was employed as an intelligence officer with the Department of State where he would spend the remainder of his long and distinguished career. He spent most of his career in the Los Angeles area, serving on protective details for at least five Secretaries of State and leading protection details for numerous foreign dignitaries and heads of state. Eventually he became Acting Special-Agent-In-Charge of the Los Angeles area prior to his retirement in 1975 after 39 years of Federal Service.
His fervent interest in U.S. Foreign Policy and military affairs was evident in his active membership in such organizations as the Council on America’s Military Past (CAMP) and attendance at Cavalry Association conventions. An avid reader and an accomplished bookbinder, he was a longtime member of the Guild of BookWorkers. He volunteered in the conservation lab at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California where his work was considered among the very best. A lifelong stamp collector, Mr. Padley was a 50-plus year member of the American Philatelic Society and devoted much of his private life to the writing of an extensive book on the history of American foreign policy through stamps, “Philatelic Diplomacy.”
Albert Frederick Padley, Jr. was married to the former Elizabeth Anne McNally, a fellow State Department employee, in the fall of 1952 in Hannibal, Missouri. She was a veteran as well, having held the rank of Sargent and serving in the European theater during World War II. They made their home in Pasadena shortly thereafter where they raised their five sons. Mr. Padley was a loving and devoted husband, caring for his wife whom he lost to cancer in 1985. He then met his second love, Mrs. Geraldine Curtan, of El Paso, Texas, herself the widow of a military officer, with whom he carried a long-distance relationship for twenty years.
Mr. Padley is preceded in death by his wife of 33 years, Elizabeth, a native of Hannibal, Missouri. He is survived by five sons, Terrance Anthony Fell; Albert Frederick Padley, III; Alan Marc Padley; James Sterling Padley; and Wayne Douglas Padley. He is also survived by four daughters-in-law, Judy Fell, Erin Curran-Padley, Dawn Padley, and Pamela Padley; seven grandchildren, Justin, Braegan, Iain, Drew, Maguire, Jean-luc, and Dante; and a great-grandson, Benjamin.
A Memorial Service will be held on Tuesday, May 28, at 11:30 a.m. at Riverside National Cemetery, 22495 Van Buren Boulevard, Riverside, CA 92518, followed by a reception and celebration of his life at the home of Dawn and Alan Padley. The address of the reception will be provided at the memorial service.