Wilson C. Flake, 70, the first U.S. ambassador to Ghana and a longtime Foreign Service officer, died Tuesday at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda after a long illness.
Born in Norfolk, Va., Mr. Flake attended Emerson Institute and Georgetown University before entering the Foreign Service in 1929 as an assistant trade commissioner assigned to Bombay, India.
After holding similar positions in Calcutta and Manila, he was named american consul in 1940 in Sydney, Australia, where he remained throughout World War II.
After the war, he served variously an assistant chief for the division of Foreign Service personnel in the State Department, executive director of the bureau of Far Eastern Affairs, and counselor of the U.S. Embassy in South Africa.
In 1957, Mr. Flake was appointed ambassador to Ghana when it became the first black African nation to gain independence. He held that position until 1960, and retired from the State Department in 1962.
After retirement Mr. Flake was active in the International Club and DACOR, and association of retired diplomatic and consular officers.
Survivors include his wife, Mary, of the home in Westmoreland Hills, a son, Glade F., of Potomac; a brother, Robert M., of Polkton, N.C., and four grandchildren.
The family requests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society or the American heart Association.