Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Katharyn Wunderley's Mentoring

Katharyn L. (Huss) Wunderley was a pint-sized bundle of energy! Katharyn was a fixture in the genealogy section of the library where I have worked for many years. Just by the nature of her being there so often, it turned out that Katharyn answered hundreds of genealogy questions for library patrons, because she was right there in the heart of all the genealogy books and microfilmed copies of local newspapers. She also answered questions by telephone and mail, and almost never received any payment for  her efforts. She would go to the courthouse, library, or cemetery in any weather conditions. More than once I ran into her at the Erie County Probate Court, and we would both be wearing our raincoats. Katharyn was the author, co-author, editor or compiler of several genealogy books and publications:

In my early years of learning how to do genealogy research, Katharyn Wunderley helped me learn many things about doing genealogy. She taught me to write down the reel number of any microfilm reel I consulted for an obituary or news article, in case I had to go back and re-trace my steps. She taught me that when an obituary stated that someone had been "one of the community's best known citizens," it could have been the case that the newspaper headline had been somewhat exaggerated. Katharyn told me about the books of Banns at the courthouse, which held announcements of upcoming marriages of couples who belonged to the Catholic church, that may not have been recorded in the ledgers of the Probate Court. When a close relative of mine had a baby out of wedlock, Katharyn told me to encourage that young mother, and to just love both the mother and the baby with all my heart! (It turned out to be very wise advice!)

Katharyn L. (Huss) Wunderley died on September 14, 2003. Her obituary, which appeared in the September 17, 2003 issue of the Sandusky Register, stated that Katharyn had been a member of the Toledo Colony of the Descendants of the Original Signers of the Mayflower Compact, the Robert Scothern Chapter of Colonial Dames of the XVII Century of Seneca County, Ohio. She was also an active member of the Erie County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society for several years, and she volunteered many hours at the library of the R.B. Hayes Presidential Center in entering names in the early years of the Obituary Index, now the Ohio Obituary Index. I will never forget Katharyn's positive attitude, her willingness to teach beginners about genealogy, and her generosity in sharing her time, talent, and energy with others. On one or two rare occasions, I was actually able to assist Katharyn in finding some out of town addresses and phone numbers. Overall, Katharyn helped me incredibly more than I ever was able to help her! Katharyn Wunderley was laid to rest next to her husband, Richard Carl Wunderley, at the Toledo Memorial Park.

Thank you for your many years of mentoring, Katharyn! You are incredibly missed!


Linda Hughes Hiser said...

A very fitting memorial for your colleague and mentor.

Dorene from Ohio said...

Thank you so much Linda! You would have so enjoyed Katharyn!