Summit County Genealogical Society honors Green volunteer
By Maria Lindsay
GREEN — April 21 was Lois Noirot’s day — literally.
Noirot, a resident of Green, was recognized by the Summit County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society (SCGS) as the Volunteer of the Year, and in her honor, Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic issued a proclamation declaring it “Lois Noirot Day.” Noirot received the awards at a ceremony at the Akron-Summit County Main Branch Library in Downtown Akron.
“Lois brought new life to the chapter and helped us to reorganize at a time when members were retiring,” said Donna Wurm, chapter president. “She has devoted her time and her talents to the goals of the society.”
Wurm described Noirot as a “strong viable leader.”
“Lois is the poster child for volunteerism and has managed to accomplish remarkable things for us,” said Judy Davis, cemeteries chairperson for the SCGS.
Noirot is married to Collin, a mother of five, grandmother of 11 and a great-grandmother-to-be, with the first and second members of the next generation expected in September and November, respectively.
She also works full time as a secretary for Summit County Probate Court Judge William Spicer. And for the past 10 years, she has volunteered at the SCGS.
“Lois manages to find more than 24 hours in a day,” Davis said.
Noirot has held every major office, from secretary to publications chair, newsletter editor, vice president and president in the organization during her 10 years of service, according to Davis.
“I started attending meetings because I thought I could learn something to help me as I researched my family background,” Noirot said.
She admits she became fully engaged shortly afterward, partly out of interest and partly because there was a need.
“No matter what I get involved
in, I do it to the best of my ability,” Noirot
Davis said Noirot works tirelessly for the society, without any expectations for a reward or thanks.
Wurm reported Noirot was nominated for Outstanding Chapter Volunteer of the Year for the Ohio Genealogical Society conference in Columbus April 12-14.
“We were very disappointed when she was not selected to receive the award,” she said.
Back at home, society members worked quietly to organize a local recognition ceremony to honor Noirot.
“The largest number of people kept the biggest secret for the longest time,” Davis said. “I have never seen her speechless, but she was when we presented the awards to her.”
Noirot admits she was surprised to receive the award and the proclamation. She also received a booklet containing the
nomination letter, signed by 22 individuals, and other submissions for the state award.
“It was a total shock,” she said. “I was so busy planning for the meeting to honor three charter members, I did not see it coming.”
Noirot said her involvement in the organization has helped her trace her family roots back to the 1700s and a relative in England. That accomplishment was topped when her children gave her and her husband a trip to England for their 50th wedding anniversary and the two visited the home of and the church where the relative was baptized in October 2005.
Over the years, Noirot has used a genealogical computer program to create one bookshelf of data for each of the four branches of her family. She likes genealogy because it combines a personal interest in history with family.
“This is a fun hobby that
keeps you focused on your family,” Noirot said.
Green resident Lois Noirot also
received a proclamation from Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic,
who declared April 21 “Lois Noirot Day.”
Helping Noirot, shown third from left, display the awards
are, shown from left, Noirot’s daughter Melodi
Johnson, her 18-year-old granddaughter Danielle Johnson
and her husband Collin. All are from Green.
Photo: Krista Galloway