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03 October 2008

CGS Member Spotlight: Rick Sherman

As a past-president of the California Genealogical Society and Library, Frederick S. Sherman Ph.D., better known as Rick, is part of a small, special group of volunteers at the society. Calling him "a stalwart," recording secretary and board member Shirley Thomson shared this:

Over the fourteen years since I joined CGS, I’ve known Rick as a capable president, tireless head of research, generous financial supporter, willing speaker on various topics, enthusiastic participant in CGS events and workshops (note, for example, the publication workshop of August 9, 2008, when he was one of the attendees) and an invariably cheerful co-worker.

Rick's tenure with the society goes back even further, almost to the day he first joined CGS in 1980, and he has worn many hats over the years. After retiring as Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley in 1991, Dr. Sherman took his first position at CGS, as Library Chairman.

Rick followed out-going president, Mary-Lou Grossberg, in 1994 into the society's top position and held the post until 1996, when the society was still located in San Francisco. In 1996, still under Rick's leadership, CGS added an additional 600 square feet to the existing space at the Second and Brannan Street, San Francisco location, when the suite next door became available. Rick and Patricia Sherman made a significant monetary gift to the society to help underwrite the costs. The expansion provided more space in the office area and added another reading room to the library, which became known as the Frederick S. and Patricia M. Sherman Room in honor of the physical and financial contributions of President Rick and Pat.

Current president Jane Lindsey recalls that "Rick was the person who got in there when he was president and began developing the endowment and providing financial security for the society."

Since his term as president, Rick served the society for almost ten years as Research Director, a post he relinquished to Nancy Peterson. Rick continues to provide research for some of his long-standing clients. Rick recently lent his time and historical perspective to the Strategic Planning Committee. He continues to participate in the running of the library as a member of the Desk Duty Committee.

Rick Sherman at Lamb's Restaurant at the closing night celebration,
Salt Lake City Research Tour, April 19, 2008.

Member June Nash Lindquist notes: We all value Rick's sage advice, and cheerful and generous spirit. Rick is so knowledgeable on so many directions of research. We always appreciate his witty and wise conclusions to very knotty problems."

Thank you, Rick, for over twenty-five years of outstanding service to the California Genealogical Society and Library. Get well soon. We miss you.

Photographs courtesy of Jane Lindsey and Kathryn Doyle.