Tuesday, August 17, 2010

EWGS Presidents: Donna Ruth Potter-Phillips

This is the forty third in the series on the Presidents of EWGS leading up to the 75th anniversary in 2010. See the previous posts on Samuel Pool Weaver, Leora Cookingham Thiel, Susan Marie West Jack, Ruth Churchill Austin, Alfred Denman, Florence Ballou Brown, Harriet Jefferson Pinkham, Mary Elizabeth Dow Maltbie, Achsah Maltbie Rawlings, Lee DeGolyer Patchen, Susie Elliott Faubion, Edith Webb Nelson, Carrie Teats Lartigue, Guy Alfred Clumpner, Grace Ellis Woodward, Mabel Rue Frederick, Nell Hartman Peel, Edwin Allan Poole, Mabel Enid Rice Conrad, Helen Elizabeth Osborne Rowe, Dr. Herbert Hoover Osborne, Jane Merritt Logie Webster, Beatrice Cutler Mitcham, Marie E. Stone Larson, Lorena May Saylor Wildman, Raymond J. Fisher, Grace E. Kelso Garner , Catherine P. Cornehl Hyslop, Barbara J. Wirt Clarkson, Ruby L. Simonson McNeill, Jeanne J. Jones Holder , Jeanne M. Polumsky Coe , Maxine E. LeGrant Pence, Mary Kay McGlothlin Gant, Elizabeth Dale Hastin Smith, Bette Butcher Topp, Gordon Dean Clay, John R. Zeimantz, Shirley E. Penna-Oakes, Marvelene E. Roach Carney, Susan Beamer, and C. William (Bill) Hire.

Donna Ruth Potter-Phillips was EWGS President in 1991 and 1992 and is now in 2010 EWGS President again. Donna was born in Vicksburg, Michigan to Francis Harold Potter and June Magdalen Gurney and on September 21, 1961 Donna married John Charles Phillips in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

What can I say about Donna? She first appears in the EWGS member list in 1976; she is one of the original incorporaters of EWGS. Since she came along at that time she authored several surname booklets, including Gilbert Gallery, Potter Profiles, Oswald Outline, and Texas Queries. Donna has taught beginners' classes, and has probably gotten more people to join EWGS than anyone else. Donna has been program chairman and presenter at many seminars. It was her idea to run the multiple presentations at the same time for EWGS seminars like the national seminars. Donna wrote the Heritage Hunting column in the Spokane Daily Chronicle for years (Note: the Spokane Chronicle is online in Google News Archive so you can read her columns online).

Donna also wrote many articles for the Bulletin, as well as wrote the News Hotline column in that publication for years. I think Donna has also written articles for nearly every genealogical magazine published in the last thirty years. If you read the old Bulletin, you will see Donna donated many books and microfilms to EWGS and the library. She is listed as a co-author of one book in the Spokane Public Library, and has volunteered for nearly every call for volunteers including being a gene helper at the library. Donna has indexed records for the Washington State Digital Archives, and has been the FGS delegate for as long as I can remember. Donna is also the "mother hen" for the Annual Christmas Tour at Salt Lake City with Leland Meitzler. (If you ever get a chance to do the Christmas Tour, it is a wonderful way to visit the Family History Library).

For the Spring 1992 seminar EWGS hosted Dr. Brian Trainor from Ireland at Cavanaughs River Inn March 21, 1992, which cost $15.00. The October workshop was October 3, 1992 at Spokane Falls Community College, which cost $18.00.

The top picture is the one in the scrapbook of pictures of EWGS Presidents, the bottom one is Donna and Jeanne Holder, another EWGS President.

In the fall of 1990 my sister Jacque Lane and I took the beginning genealogy class offered by the Spokane Community College and the class was at Pines Junior High School. Donna was the teacher, and she told us about EWGS and said we should join, so we joined in 1991 (thanks for the advice to join, Donna!) EWGS has had wonderful group of people to befriend and so many very knowledgeable genealogists willing to share with newbies.

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