Karen and Ron Russ joined the club in April 1997. She always had a love of nature and while she only had a point and shoot film camera at the time, she wanted learn more. Initially, Karen didn’t attend many meetings because the club met on Mondays and that was her work night. Although she did go on some early field trips that we had. But when the club changed meetings to Thursday night, she became an active member. She served on the nominating committee many times.

Since we were both librarians, we noticed that the club library was very small (just a crate or two). It was just made of donated books. Initially it was Tom and Debra Kienzle who managed the collection. After they left, we thought there was an opportunity to expand it and buy new materials. So Karen convinced the board to gives us $500 to do so. I’m thinking this was sometime around 2003, but I don’t recall the exact year. Anyway, we did buy new materials in all areas of interest. We also created a searchable catalog of our library books on LibraryThing. While we couldn’t show actual books checked out, at least people could see what we had. We also published lists of new titles in the newsletter and on the website.

Around 2006 or so when I became club treasurer, Karen became the sole librarian. Eventually the collection grew enough to need a cabinet. We couldn’t keep bringing them from home in crates anymore. That is part of the reason AOPC has cabinets today.

Besides the library, Karen was also involved in other club activities such as the club picnics or the annual Christmas Party. She also did several presentations for the club on our travels to Yellowstone & Grand Tetons as well as the Canadian Rockies. By then she had moved using SLR’s, first film and then digital.

While I wish I could show you the improvements over the years, the photos are not easily accessibleIn 2014 she was diagnosed with cancer and succumbed to the illness at the end 0f 2017. Even in her last months, she was thinking about photos to get together for a club meeting. But was never able to attend. She was 47.