The Kentucky Historical Society staff are mourning the loss this week of Dr. Anne S. Butler. Dr. Butler connected with KHS in so many ways, a list may be all but impossible to compile. Past Governing Board member, ardent advocate for Kentucky history, educator, enthusiastic researcher, mentor, life-long learner, and, of course, everyone's best friend. But we will remember her best as someone who prized engagement in community, whether that community was a physical place or a group of people with a shared mission.
Today at her memorial service, there were so many heartfelt stories told by an audience enriched by family, students, church members, faculty and others collected, touched and changed by their association with a very special person. One community member paraphrased a Chinese proverb to describe Dr. Butler's commitment to ensuring that future generations not just hear the stories but become involved in the history of their surroundings: "Tell me, I'll forget. Show me, I'll remember. Involve me, I'll understand."
For those not able to attend the memorial, here is the text of the Resolution of the Kentucky Historical Society honoring Dr. Anne S. Butler:
THE KENTUCKY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Whereas, renowned African American and Kentucky Historian, Dr. Anne Butler dedicated her professional career to helping ensure that Kentucky’s African American heritage was preserved and shared for the benefit of all ; and
Whereas, Dr. Butler’s selfless leadership as a member of the Kentucky Historical Society’s governing board from 1998-2001 helped ensure the successful construction and opening of the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History; and
Whereas, Dr. Butler’s passionate advocacy on behalf of education and Kentucky history led to her support of and involvement with such major Kentucky Historical Society initiatives as publication of “Community Memories: A Glimpse of African American Life in Frankfort, Ky., the creation of the Kentucky HistoryMobile’s Civil War exhibition “Torn Within and Threatened Without: Kentuckians in the Civil War Era,” and the exploration and celebration of Kentucky State University homecoming traditions at the 2007 Kentucky Folklife Festival; and
Whereas, her lifelong work as an ambassador, scholar, educator, and founder of the Center of Excellence for the Study of Kentucky African Americans (CESKAA) left an enduring legacy at the Kentucky Historical Society, Kentucky State University, and throughout the commonwealth;
Therefore be it resolved, that the members, staff, and governing board of the Kentucky Historical Society wish to extend their sincere and heartfelt condolences to Dr. Butler’s children, grandchildren and extended family. Her life was one of purpose and meaning and all those who cherish Kentucky’s history are saddened by the passing of such a passionate and articulate champion.
Done this day of Wednesday, May 08, 2013.
Sheila Mason Burton, President, Kentucky Historical Society
Kent Whitworth, Executive Director, Kentucky Historical Society