In an announcement made at the WSGS Annual Meeting on 22 Apr 2017, Joanne Egbert Calhoun was awarded the WSGS President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement. The award, made by WSGS President Virginia Majewski, is designed to single out that rare individual, society or organization that has demonstrated exemplary service above and beyond expectations. And Joanne certainly exemplifies that.
Joanne has been a member of the Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society (WAGS) and its predecessor since 1945, and is often called the “glue” that has kept the society active and strong. Her willingness to serve as WAGS Treasurer for over 40 years, as well as president for three years, demonstrates exemplary service above and beyond expectations.
Over the years, Joanne has recorded and indexed cemeteries in Chelan and Douglas Counties, as well as indexed 38 years of society’s “Appleland Bulletin” (1972 – 2010). But a few years ago, she really stepped up her involvement, turning a community project that began with the observation, “somebody ought to…” into a full-time commitment. She identified and collected the histories of World War I veterans once honored in an American Legion Memorial Shrine located at the Veterans’ Memorial Hall, which, sadly, was abandoned when the Hall was destroyed by fire. In 2009, representatives of WAGS, the Wenatchee Valley Museum and the City of Wenatchee arranged for relocation of the memorial building to a place of honor in the Veterans’ section of the Wenatchee City Cemetery. Joanne’s extensive research and compilation of records included those whose identities had been desecrated or were missing from the monument. After completing four large notebooks containing records for all Chelan and Douglas County veterans serving in World War I, Joanne summarized her efforts, “I thought they shouldn’t be forgotten.”
In determining the award recipient, President Majewski said, “There were some great nominations for the President’s Award and all are certainly deserving, but Joanne stood out as demonstrating a lifetime of contribution to the community.” We honor her accomplishments.