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Fare thee well, friend

Today, we are told, is the first day of the rest of our lives.

LouSzucsAnd The Legal Genealogist joins the rest of our community today in wishing the very best to one of our very best as she begins the rest of her life.

Today, you see, is the very first day that Loretto Dennis Szucs, known as Lou, will be officially retired from Ancestry, where she has served for nearly 30 years, most recently as Vice President of Community Relations.

And for every one of those years, Lou has been Ancestry’s best ambassador to the genealogical community — the very best that company has had to offer.

At the same time, she’s worked tirelessly, quietly, powerfully, to be the genealogical community’s best voice to the corporate types at Ancestry.

First and foremost a genealogist herself, Lou is the author or editor of books you and I use — or ought to be using — on a daily basis:

The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy, with Sandra Luebking;1

Finding Answers in U.S. Census Records, with Matt Wright;2

Ellis Island: Tracing Your Family History through America’s Gateway;3

They Became Americans: Finding Naturalization Records and Ethic Origins;4

And The Legal Genealogist‘s favorite, with my German ancestors settling there in the Windy City, Chicago and Cook County Sources : A Genealogical and Historical Guide.5

For this work, and for so much more, she has been honored repeatedly, by the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE) as the first recipient of the Myra Vanderpool Gormley Award of Merit, by the Utah Genealogical Society with its Silver Tray Award and as a Fellow of that Society, by the Federation of Genealogical Societies with its David S. Vogels Jr. Award, by the Illinois Genealogical Society, by the National Genealogical Society… by so many others.

And even all that isn’t enough to begin to say thank you for all Lou has done. So much of it behind the scenes, out of the limelight. She has been an archivist, a genealogical society leader, a spokesman for genealogists and to genealogists, at the same time she has been a wife and a mother and a good friend — a hero, in Megan Smolenyak’s words6 — to so many of us.

Thank you, Lou.

And fare thee well, friend, as you begin your journey today into the rest of your life.


SOURCES

Image: Juliana Szucs, Ancestry.com.

  1. Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, editors, Finding Answers in U.S. Census Records (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2006).
  2. Loretto Dennis Szucs and Matthew Wright, Finding Answers in U.S. Census Records (Orem, Utah: Ancestry, 2002).
  3. Loretto Dennis Szucs, Ellis Island: Tracing Your Family History through America’s Gateway (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2000).
  4. Loretto Dennis Szucs, They Became Americans: Finding Naturalization Records and Ethic Origins (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1998).
  5. Loretto Dennis Szucs, Chicago and Cook County Sources : A Genealogical and Historical Guide (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1986).
  6. See Megan Smolenyak, “Lou Szucs: Genealogical Hero,” Huffington Post Blog, posted 31 March 2015 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/megan-smolenyak-smolenyak/ : accessed 31 Mar 2015).
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