It was my good fortune to have been mentored by a group of women who worked at Fort Lewis College. I often called them “the gatekeepers,” as they supported faculty, staff and students through their work as secretaries.
These women often married young and did not have formal educations. Yet they were intelligent, dedicated to their jobs and had a work ethic that few could match today. Furthermore, they made lasting contributions to the college and often were unrecognized for their dedication and hard work. They were no-nonsense and were grateful for their jobs. I remain fortunate to have had their influences in my life.
One of these women, Annabel Stickle, passed away on Aug. 7. Stickle and Ned Wallace are primarily responsible for creating the Fort Lewis College Alumni Association. They worked through the college archives before computers were available to create a listing of all alumni, including the Old Fort Lewis graduates. Stickle later worked with alumnus Scot Koster to develop the annual Alumni Phonathon. Several other administrators used their model to raise money and maintain connections to the college's alumni. After Stickle retired, she continued to help with the Phonathon. Everyone loved Stickle and her devotion to faculty, staff, students and alumni.
Annabel would have turned 100 years old on Sept. 17. I encourage people to donate to a scholarship in her honor at FLC. Our community and FLC lost a person who truly made a difference for many people.
Sheri Rochford Figgs