Well known postal historian David Straight passed away on Saturday, October 13, after suffering a massive stroke earlier in the week. David was an advocate for establishing this blog and was a regular contributor. He introduced himself on the blog shortly after it was established. David and I were both librarians before our retirement, and I first met him as a result of his interest in my philatelic exhibit on library history. From 2003 to 2011 David wrote an immensely informative column for the Philatelic Literature Review on forthcoming and in-progress publications and research which he called “Colophon”. When he decided to spin off the philatelic library news component of the “Colophon” column, he recruited me to write the new column on library news. His encouragement was the main reason that I became a trustee on the board of the American Philatelic Research Library. David was a huge proponent of cooperation among philatelic libraries and worked actively to accomplish this. I’m sure that you will read much more about David’s many contributions to the philatelic world in the days to come. He will be greatly missed by all of us.
9 thoughts on “David Straight”
Thank you for posting this, Larry. David was very helpful to me as a librarian and a philatelist during my first couple years at the APRL. He will be missed.
The St. Louis Dispatch published an obituary.
David was instrumental in the implementation of the Postal History Symposium, an annual event to bring philatelists and academics together. He was an expert on pneumatic mail and post office forms. He was an exhibitor and an instructor for our annual Summer Seminar.
He also was very involved in the St. Louis Stamp Expo and their efforts to encourage scouts to earn the stamp collecting merit badge.
He will be missed in many ways.
David and I became friends as Directors at Large on the APS board when I joined in 2005. In 2007, we became running mates along with Steven Rod for the Board of Vice Presidents. During the rough and tumble times, we three grew closer.
David was a highly principled man with a quiet demeanor. Underlying that calm, he was passionate about his family, the Society and the hobby. Stamp collecting has a hole in it right now which can only be filled by others with the dedication possessed by our friend. I loved David and will miss him dearly.
If you needed a factoid about some obscure aspect of postal history, David was your guy. If you couldn’t remember the author of a book you read 20 years ago, David was your guy. If you needed a volunteer to do something that would benefit the hobby, David was your guy. If you needed a pal to have dinner with, David was your guy. If you needed a shoulder to cry on or a little encouragement, David was your guy. I treasured our friendship and will miss my buddy so very much.
David was one of the most pleasant people I have met in philately. Always positive and upbeat, a pleasure to talk with and be with. A tireless worker for philately. He will be missed by many.
David was one of the most effective APRL board members we have had, advocating a real vision for our library. He was a genuine force in meetings and passionate about modernizing the APRL and improving services to APS members. Outside of meetings, he was a gem: kind, thoughtful, and generous with his time. Sharing a meal with him during StampShow was a delight for me. I am another one of those folks who will miss him.
Prior to 2009, I knew of David, but had not spent much time speaking with him. This changed when I was appointed to the Board of Vice Presidents to complete the term of Wade Saadi who had become President upon the death of Nick Carter. For the next three years, David, Steven Rod and I spent many hours together at meetings and on phone calls. Although most people will remember David for his work for and dedication to the APRL, he was invaluable as a member of the BVP. He treated every party involved in a complaint with professionalism and courtesy. He was always well versed in the facts of each case and his opinions and judgments were always right on point.
During our BVP days, we established a procedure to have a conference call at 10 PM on the second Tuesday of each month to discuss any pending BVP business. Once we finished with the business portion of the call, we talked about stamps, family, and anything else we could think of. After our BVP time together ended, we continued to have our second Tuesday phone call, but now there was no business to discuss and we just enjoyed speaking together about every subject under the sun. Unfortunately, David suffered his stroke during the afternoon of the second Tuesday in October before our regular phone call. I will truly miss David and not a second Tuesday will go by without me thinking of him.
What Steve Schumann wrote above. I will miss David especially at APS Summer Seminars. Thanks for sharing your philatelic knowledge, David.
I met David at APRL in a meeting that created the Memo of Understanding that became the nucleus of the Union Philatelic Catalog. He has visited us in Tucson, and spent many hours with our archives of postal forms and documents.
This man was taken from us far too early, and he will be missed by philatelists of whatever specialized interest.
Paul Nelson, Postal History Foundation, Tucson
Comments are closed.