Sandra Hargreaves Luebking Passes

I’ve posted a lot news releases in my time, but not many cause me to break out in tears… This one does just that. This morning, Thomas MacEntee sent out the FGS news release telling us that our dear friend, Sandra Luebking, has passed away.

I first met Sandra when she was teaching at the National Institute on Genealogical Research in June of 1982. As usual, the Institute was held at the National Archives in Washington D.C., and for two weeks I was privileged to take classes from a number of great genealogists. Many have passed on… Milton Rubincam, John Coddington, Lorraine Branning… and others. And now Sandra has joined that esteemed group. The 1982 Institute was the last one to run for a full two weeks. During that two week period, I got to know a number of the instructors quite well… And Sandra stands out as one who became a mentor, and a friend. She was one of the very first people to encourage my genealogy-related hopes and aspirations… and I will miss her something awful…

Sandra Hargreaves Luebking 17 February 2011 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) is deeply saddened to announce the passing of Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, noted genealogist and one of the genealogy community’s best leaders who died on Thursday, 17 February 2011 at Lemont, Illinois, surrounded by her family. Funeral arrangements are still pending at this time.

A nationally known author, editor, instructor, lecturer, and researcher, Sandra was the editor of the FGS FORUM for over 22 years. Known for her radiant smile and helpful ways, almost everyone who was a member of or worked with a genealogical society, or attended a conference knew Sandra. In nearly three decades as a professional genealogist, she presented over one thousand lectures.

Beginning in 1979, Sandra taught annually at Samford University’s Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) and twice accompanied their British Research tour. From 1990 to 2007 she was Course I Coordinator for IGHR. From 1994 until its close in 2005, Sandra was Intermediate Studies Coordinator for the Genealogical Institute of Mid-America (at the University of Illinois, sponsored by the Illinois State Genealogical Society). With Loretto Dennis Szucs, Sandra co-edited three award-winning books, including two editions of The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy; and The Archives: A Guide to the National Archives Field Branches. Sandra also wrote two chapters for Professional Genealogy (Elizabeth Shown Mills, editor) titled “Genealogical Education” and “Fee Setting.”

Helping thousands of people to find their Chicago/Cook County roots, Sandra conducted research projects for the Smithsonian Institute, numerous publishers and attorneys, and an international clientele from Australia, England, Finland, Germany and Sweden. She was a past trustee for the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and a volunteer research assistant at the National Archives—Great Lakes Region.

Sandra’s honors included the Professional Achievement Award from the APG (2008); the Rabbi Malcolm H. Stern Humanitarian Award from FGS (2008); lecturer for the Richard Slatten Lecture Series by the Friends of the Virginia State Archives (2003) and, lecturer for the Willard Heiss Memorial Lecture at the 79th Annual Indiana History Conference (Indiana Historical Society) (1999). She was a Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association (1996) and was named Outstanding IGHR Alumni by Samford University in 1995.

UPDATE: A memorial will be held on Saturday, April 2 at 10:00 a.m. It will be at Chapel Hill Gardens on Roosevelt Road in Oakbrook Terrace. – Thanks to Lou Szucs for this info.

8 thoughts on “Sandra Hargreaves Luebking Passes

  1. Sandy brought me into genealogy over thirty years ago. She was a charter member of the Lombard Suburban Genealogical Society, which is now the DuPage County (IL) Genealogical Society. She was a past-president and instrumental in organizing the early annual conferences. We will remember her at our 36th annual conference February 26. Her passing is a great loss to the genealogy community and to all of us who had the pleasure of knowing her.

  2. The National Archives is saddened to hear of Sandra passing. Sandra was one of the original Volunteers here at NARA when the program started in 1983. She was a wonderful Volunteer and also a true friend of many at the National Archives. Sandra we will miss your smile,enthusiasm, and knowledge. Thank you.

  3. Sandra was a wonderful and generous person. She donated many books to my library. She will be greatly missed by the genealogy community and her many friends. May she rest in peace.
    Kathy O’Leary

  4. Cannot beliee the shocking news of Sandra’s passing. As past president of the Illinois State Genealogical Society, I can attest to the fact that she was an active supporter of anyone doing family history research. Her 25 years editing the FGS FORUM magazine plus her teaching activities will be long-remembered. We’ve all lost a wonderful friend ant mentor!

  5. Sandra was one of the great gracious Ladies of Genealogy. She will be missed by all who knew her.

  6. I have only just discovered the sad news about Sandra’s passing. I live in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, England, and responded when she sought information about her ancestors the Spensleys of Swaledale in an item published in our local newspaper in 1974. We had been regular pen friends ever since – some thirty-seven years. About thirty years ago she visited Yorkshire with her husband and parents and I was privileged not only to take her to see the derelict farmstead where her ancestors used to live but also to meet her oldest living relation over here who was then in his nineties. Late last year, despite her illness, she contributed to a book about the people who left Swaledale for pastures new both here and abroad. If I ever find myself in the same position as Sandra I only hope I will manage to be half as brave as she was. I will miss her dearly and I send my condolences to her daughter Laura and her family.

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