2023 Volunteer of the Year

Our Great Falls Genealogy Society Volunteer of the Year has belonged to our organization for many years and has served faithfully as a trustee. This volunteer has a wry grin, a thoughtful nature, is a careful advisor, and is always willing to help make our organization better.

A large on-going project for our Society is that of updating all of our County-wide cemetery records. When we began making databases of these cemeteries more than 40 years ago, we had little information and volunteers walked the cemeteries and recorded information from headstones by hand. While we did have a limited card catalog of burials, we knew it was incomplete; our first efforts were published in 1982.

Through the years after that, there’s been several individuals who kept at the task of updating a huge task. In the year 2012, GFGS published a monster-size all-in-one cemetery guide including all of our Great Falls cemeteries. At that point we knew that updates would need to occur separately for each cemetery.

Time passed quickly, and suddenly we realized in 2021 that almost a decade had gone by since we updated Highland Cemetery, which is our largest cemetery! Gary Campbell, a GFGS Board member, volunteered to singly take on this ginormous task; it meant going to the cemetery, working from cemetery records at the Highland office, and verifying the burials and memorials in Highland Cemetery for the 2012-2022, then, typing all of these records into a database. He finished that set of records early in 2023, and along the way became well-acquainted with cemetery workers, who also appreciate his efforts. He has also provided Highland with our update, and we have given Highland a copy of our database. Our friendship ensures that recordkeeping just keeps getting better. Congratulations, Gary Campbell, you are the Great Falls Genealogy Society’s Volunteer of the Year! Your volunteerism is much appreciated, and your cheerful, get-er-done attitude is awesome!