Remembering Carole Callard …

I paused this week to remember Carole Callard – she was a terrific genealogist, teacher, librarian and friend.

Carole passed away 3 years ago this week. Her obituary appeared in several newspapers including the Lansing State Journal (MI) – December 12, 2005

Carole Crawford Callard
Lansing, MI
Age 64, died December 10, 2005; born August 8, 1941 in Charleston, WV. Carole was a well-known and respected Librarian and Genealogist for many years, before retiring in June from the Library of Michigan. She is survived by her daughters, Susan (Martin) Philp of Tecumseh and Anne Cottongim of Northville and sister, Rosemary (William) Marquart of Hilton Head, SC. Memorial services will be celebrated Wednesday, December 14, 2005, at 10:00 a.m., at St. Mary’s Cathedral, 219 Seymour, Lansing, with the Rev. George C. Michalek officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church, as well as on Tuesday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at Gorsline-Runciman Funeral Home, 900 E. Michigan Ave, Lansing. Scripture Services will be held Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Those desiring may make contributions to the Carole Callard Endowment Fund, c/o Library of Michigan Foundation, 717 W. Allegan St., P.O. Box 30159, Lansing, MI 48909, in memory of Carole.
Copyright (c) Lansing State Journal. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Gannett Co., Inc. by NewsBank, inc., GenealogyBank.com

What the obituary doesn’t say is that Carole was a tireless worker – she lectured all over the country – instantly drawing in her audience, encouraging them and teaching them how to climb their family tree. She wore many hats in her career – she was one of the national GPO Documents Collection Inspectors, worked in Ethiopia to improve library services; Ann Arbor Public Library; University of Michigan Library; Allen County (IN) Library and the Library of Michigan.

There is an old phrase – “to waste and wear out your life” in a good cause. Carole did just that. For years she poured herself into indexing the 1870 census of Michigan – no doubt this contributed to her deteriorating eyesight. Carole didn’t let her limited vision slow her down – she was daily at her post assisting genealogists, attending every conference, giving every lecture – right up to the end.

Carole was honored in 1997 as the first recipient of the Abrams Chair of Genealogy at the Library of Michigan – one of the few endowed positions in librarianship and the only endowed chair in genealogy. She received the Filby Award (2003) and the Distinguished Service Award from the Library and Information Science Program at Wayne State University in June 2005.