Diplomat Anne Gurvin was the face of the United States to many people in nations where she served with the U.S. State Department.

The former Olivia, Minn., teacher died March 4 in Gaithersburg, Md., of complications from cancer. She was 75.

Her brother George Gurvin of Arlington, Va., himself a former foreign service officer, said she was a natural at reaching out to people, and she enjoyed connecting people and institutions to get things done.

"She had a zest for life, and she was always engaging," said her brother. "She always found everything interesting."

Anne Gurvin was also a former Department of the Army employee and was cited many times for meritorious and outstanding service there and at the State Department.

After she graduated from high school in Adams, Minn., she earned her bachelor's degree in English and American studies from the University of Minnesota. She earned a master's degree in library science and Spanish at the U in 1957.

She taught high school English in Olivia for a couple of years in the 1950s. But Gurvin wanted to see the world, so she served with the Army's special services as a library administrator in Europe in the 1950s and 1960s.

In 1966, after a stint as an academic at the University of California at Berkeley, she accepted an appointment to the U.S. Information Agency, now a part of the U.S. State Department.

She served as a cultural affairs officer in many overseas assignments, in such places as the Hague, Paris, Stockholm, Lima and Buenos Aires.

Her mission was to promote American culture through lectures, speeches and events. She often served as a spokeswoman for the United States in newspapers and broadcasts, speaking the language of the nation where she served.

One career highlight was preparing for the visit of former First Lady Barbara Bush to the Netherlands. She also was proud of working on the Fulbright scholarship program, sponsored by the State Department.

Her brother John of Burnsville, who was 14 years her junior, recalled awaiting her postcards from Europe or South America.

"What we loved about her is that she was a great conversationalist who would scintillate the spirit, make you want to travel," he said.

Her breast cancer was diagnosed 15 years ago, and over the years the disease returned many times. "She persevered," John said. "She had tremendous strength."

Gurvin became interested in the care of cancer patients after medical treatment. She wrote about her experience, and it was used in a book about physical and mental therapy for cancer patients, published by Harvard University, said her brother.

When on assignment in Washington, she once was a leader in the Combined Federal Campaign, similar to the United Way.

She also was active in her church, Holy Trinity Catholic Church, as well as in voter registration and the Diplomatic and Consular Officers' retiree group.

She retired at the rank of senior foreign service officer in 1996.

In addition to brothers George and John, she is survived by another brother, Peter, of Bethesda, Md.

Services have been held in Adams, Minn. Another service will be held on April 14 in Washington.