Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Requiem for Genealogists

In the last two weeks or so, two of my really good friends and genealogists passed away suddenly. One was 88 years old and we kind of expect that sort of thing. The other, one I worked with almost every week for the past eight years, passed away in one day without warning at the age of 62. The older of the two had worked regularly at the Mesa FamilySearch Library for over 37 years. The other had been an LDS Ward Family History Consultant for as long as I had known him. Because I saw both of these fine men regularly, I will mourn their passing for a long time. The older of the two was LeRoy Andersen. The younger was Russell Jorgensen.

It is thought provoking to realize that there are many unsung, almost unknown, dedicated genealogists who teach and serve others day after day for years without worldly pay or recognition. Neither of these fine genealogists had any online presence, although the younger of the two had more computer experience, both were up to date on the technology and programs. Both spent many years of their lives dedicated to expanding their own family history and helping others find their own ancestors.

LeRoy Anderson was a Certified Public Accountant and Russ Jorgensen was an anesthesiologist. Both were highly competent in their chosen profession and both had served me in their professional capacity as well as being friends and fellow genealogists. LeRoy's wife had predeceased him, but Russ leaves a widow. Both had married and unmarried adult children and a number of grandchildren.

I will miss more than words can tell.

I have recently begun wondering what kind of a reception genealogists receive on the "other side." I have decided the reception likely depends on the nature and quality of their genealogical research and service. I am sure that both of these men received a royal welcome. For my part, I was privileged to know both of them for as long as I did.


  1. I am so sorry for the loss of your friends.

  2. James,

    My sincerest condolences to you for the loss of your friends and deeper sympathies to the families of these fine men. I have had the please of meeting all three of you at one point or another at the Mesa FHC, and while I have not been there in about a year, I still hold all the memories of you three gentlemen assisting me at one point or another in locating more resources for my Italian heritage.

    Once more, my sincerest condolences to you.

    With Respect,

    Vincint Zangari