Washington State Genealogical Society
2017 President's Award
With great pride and deep appreciation, the Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society is pleased to nominate JOANNE CALHOUN for the WSGS President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement.  A charter member of WAGS since its inception in 1971 (formed as the Genealogical Society of North-Central Washington), Joanne Calhoun has maintained an active leadership role during the society’s entire 45-year history, serving three terms as president and over 40 years as an impeccable treasurer.  WAGS would not be the vibrant genealogical society it is today without the strong commitment, professional skill and exemplary leadership Joanne Calhoun has contributed for nearly a half-century.
Imagine the fortitude and perseverance required to initiate a genealogical society, draft the original charter, articles of incorporation and bylaws, and elect qualified leadership!  Then the huge undertaking to find storage space for the rapidly increasing collection of shared books, and each month transport heavy crates of books from various homes to a meeting site (all before the advent of the internet).  Soon, shelf space at the public library was warranted, along with the use of a basement meeting room (not handicapped accessible!)  Eventually, due to increased interest, opportunity was created for a shared room at the Wenatchee Valley Museum.  From these meager beginnings, Joanne Calhoun has been a guiding light, steadfast in her leadership and strong commitment for the ultimate growth and success of WAGS.
Few can match Joanne Calhoun’s knowledge, dedication and genealogical generosity. She has walked, recorded, and indexed a number of cemeteries throughout Chelan and Douglas Counties. She is one of WAGS’ most valued historians and researchers, often serving as our “go to” person for local history, upper Wenatchee Valley connections, and for those with Southern roots tracing to Wenatchee. While helping our society, she still finds time to diligently research and compile her own family’s lineages and those of her husband. And recently, Joanne voluntarily assumed the task of indexing the Society’s Appleland Bulletin, Volumes 1-38 (1972-2010), covering its entire thirty-eight-year history of publication.
Eight years ago, Joanne Calhoun turned 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 on property 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.”  We feel Joanne Calhoun’s lifelong commitment to genealogy should not be forgotten!
The Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society proudly nominates Joanne Calhoun for the Washington State Genealogical Society President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement.