Eleanor Leiter Vallieres

Eleanor Leiter Vallieres, 84, World War II employee of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and admissions officer at American University Washington, DC, died on January 17, 2008 after a long illness caused in part by anuerysms and an autoimmune disease called Sjogrens Syndrome.

Mrs. Vallieres was born in Sedalia Missouri, the daughter of the late Ira and Fay Cole Leiter. In 1941 she graduated from Smith Cotton High School in Sedalia and attended Central Missouri State College (now the University of Central Missouri – Warrensburg).

In early 1942, responding to the call for wartime “Government Girls”, she applied for and secured employment in Washington, DC with the War Production Board (WPB). In 1944 she transferred to a position with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), assigned to X-2 (counter intelligence). She was initially scheduled to go the London Station of OSS but, because the situation in Europe was changing rapidly in late 1944, the assignment was cancelled and she remained in OSS Washington headquarters as administrative assistant and abstractor/indexer of counter intelligence records.

In 1946, she was transferred overseas as office assistant to the Shanghai, China Station of the Strategic Services Unit (SSU), War Department, the post war successor of OSS. She met her husband to be, Armand Vallieres in Shanghai. They were married in Sedalia, Missouri March 29,1948 after returning from China.

Mrs. Vallieres accompanied her husband on foreign assignments to Taiwan and the Philippines between 1949 and 1959. On return to the United states she spent several years as a volunteer in scouting and later as a volunteer counselor with the Family History Center in Kensington Maryland. In 1969 she was employed by American University, first in a project on research in social systems and later as admissions officer. Throughout this period of her life she maintained her lifelong interest in genealogy.

She and her husband traveled extensively throughout Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky and Missouri researching the Cole family history, updating the decades long researches of her mother Fay Cole Leiter, Mrs. Ferrie L. Cole and Anne Milburn Baker. In 1998 she coauthored an article with William H. Lyon (Professor of History Emeritus, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona, also a descendant of William Temple and Hannah Allison Cole). The article was published in two parts in the Boonslick Historical Society Quarterly under the title “Living on Hominy and Sweet Milk: The Cole, Allison and McClure Families on the Missouri and Virginia Frontiers”.

Mrs. Vallieres was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution for 59 years and a life member of the Office of Strategic Services Society. She is a direct descendant of Hannah Allison Cole who is recognized as the Pioneer mother of Boonville Missouri. She is survived by her husband of almost sixty years, an older brother in Sedalia, Missouri, four children and five grandchildren.

Her elder daughter, Ann, died of cancer in 1999. Her first-born son, Anthony, was born in Washington D.C. after she had to be evacuated from Taiwan in early 1950 with all women and children because of the threat of invasion by Chinese Communist forces. Two of her sons, Joseph and Lawrence, were born in Taiwan while she lived there with her husband on a second tour of duty. Joseph has the distinction of being the first child to be born in Taiwan of US diplomatic parents.

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