Saturday, June 2, 2007

Society Remembers Anne Copley

Anne Copley, who passed away on May 9, was remembered at a Memorial Service earlier today at Jenner’s Pond in West Grove PA, when friends and family gathered to honor her life. She was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1921, graduated from Tucson High School in Arizona, and Ohio State University in 1943. Anne volunteered at the Society for nearly 30 years, and served on the board for most of that time.

A tireless contributor, she worked in the library nearly every Monday helping family historians, old house researchers, and students discover the county’s legacy. She always put the organization first and supported new ways for doing things as we began reacting to changes taking places in special collections libraries, as far back as the mid-80s. During her decades with us, she helped usher in a wide-array of innovations, ranging from employing our first museum professional nearly two decades ago to adapting to computers and all that meant for the organization. Anne had a vision for improving the Society and she helped implement advancements as she worked on and supported many of the changes we’re benefiting from today.

I still recall in the early ‘90s as we began experimenting with offering lively, engaging programs focused on broader audiences, how she put together our first public workshop, one on researching the history of your old house. On that pleasant autumn Saturday morning, as we nervously waited to see if anyone would show up, the room suddenly filled with new students. Once everyone settled into a comfortable seat, Anne, Miss Taylor and a few others went right to work offering a fantastic seminar on mining data on the county’s past. As I write this now, I still recall that pleasant day so many years ago.

We are a much better Society because of her involvement and because of her strong belief in moving forward. When I talked to her daughter, Phyllis Machledt, soon after she passed away, she mentioned that the historical society was always very important to her mother and a few days before she passed away, she was talking about important matters concerning the future of the organization. Over the past three decades as we launched many steps to improve the institution, Anne was always someone I turned to for advice when we were assessing new initiatives for the Society. If we moved forward, she was there to help support the change and to work on the enhancement.

Anne, a major leader and contributor to the organization for three decades, will be missed, but her leadership, wise-advice, and her many hours of work will serve as a continuing example to those whom she touched and to a new generation of leadership that is beginning to guide the Society through the 21st century.

No comments:

Post a Comment