James Schlesinger, the nation's first energy secretary who also served as Atomic Energy Commission chairman, CIA director and Defense secretary who married in Springfield, will be remembered this weekend when friends and family gather for visitation on Friday.
At the time of his death on March 27, Mr. Schesinger, 85, was chairman of the MITRE Corp., a trustee of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a member of the Defense Policy Board, and a trustee of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, according to his obituary.
He earned bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in economics at Harvard. It was there he met his wife, Rachel Melinger, whom he married in 1954 on her family farm in Springfield.
A professor and author, Mr. Schlesinger also was instrumental in building a concert hall in memory of his late wife, who was an accomplished violinist. Throughout his life, he supported hundreds of charities including many birding organizations, as he was an avid birder. Friends and colleagues also endowed chairs in his name at Georgetown and Harvard.
Schlesinger, survived by eight children and 11 grandchildren, will be interred next to his wife at Ferncliff Cemetery in Springfield.
Visitation is 6 to 9 p.m. April 4, at Littleton & Rue Funeral Home, 830 N. Limestone St., Springfield. The funeral is 11 a.m. Saturday at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1801 St. Paris Pike, Springfield.
A memorial service will be 4 p.m. April 26 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center, 3001 N. Beauregard St., Alexandria, Va.