Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs (WFSC)
Across the Fence Post Newsletter
2001 "Who's Who in the WFSC" columns

         This page includes The "Who's Who in the WFSC" columns from the 2001 issues of Across the Fence Post.

January issue

Member: Mary Ellen Daniel

By Robert J. Mather Waukesha County Philatelic Society

Mary Ellen Daniel lives in the city of Franklin with Sig, her husband of 40 years. They have two sons, Tom and Mike. Although the boys are now grown, the household is still very active with a cairn terrier named Mandy and a cat named Scooter.

As a stay-at-home mom, Mary Ellen was volunteered for room mother and den mother duty, the fate of many stay-at-home moms. Sig worked as an accountant for the General Motors A.C. Delco plant in Oak Creek during the days of the Apollo missile program.

Mary Ellen was a "rock hound" long before she became a stamp collector, and she and Sig are members of the Racine Geological Society. Rock collecting led to many camping and field trips for the Daniel family.

Mary Ellen became interested in stamp collecting through her son Mike. When Mike was young, she used to take him to various stores to buy stamps. (Remember Woolworth's and Gimbels?) Although Mike got away from stamp collecting, Mary Ellen was drawn to it.

She started out by collecting minerals on stamps. In 1977, the replica of the Lindbergh plane landed at General Billy Mitchell Airport. It was the 50th anniversary of Lindbergh's record flight to Paris and Mary Ellen and Sig went to the airport to attend the festivities. While there, they met Irene and Ray Orz, who were selling Milwaukee Philatelic Society covers. The Orzes convinced Mary Ellen to join the club and she has been a member ever since. She served as the group's newsletter editor from 1983 through 1993.

Although Sig is not a stamp collector, he is a MPS member, too, and they both also belong to the Polish American Stamp Club and the Czeslaw Slania Study Group. Sig is obviously very supportive of Mary Ellen's interest in the hobby and accompanies her on trips to first-day ceremonies, etc. (She bribes him with the promise of paying for lunch on such trips.) Mary Ellen additionally enjoys yard sales but here Sig is not so supportive and has been known to go in the other direction if he thinks one is coming up. They both enjoy library book sales.

Mary Ellen is primarily a first-day cover collector and has exhibited many of her collections. They include:

The Great Milwaukee Circus Parade Wisconsin First Days

America's Beautiful National Parks

The 50th Anniversary of Lindbergh's Flight AMERIPEX Revisited

There are more, as well as a number of single-frame exhibits. She has written articles on AMERIPEX and the U.S. 1979 Endangered Flora issue, which have been published in First Days, journal of the American First Day Cover Society.

In 1994, Mary Ellen was the recipient of the Greater Milwaukee-area Distinguished Philatelist award, so it is quite evident that her peers in the Milwaukee area appreciate her efforts on behalf of the hobby. She currently is in the process of creating a family history using used U.S. stamps to recap the places they have been and things they have done. It is turning into an ever-expanding effort.

We wish Mary Ellen all the best in the future and hope that her stamp collecting days are long and rewarding. 

May/June issue

Member: Rosemary Jahnke

By Robert J. Mather Waukesha County Philatelic Society

The city of Wauwatosa is home to Rosemary Jahnke and Ralph, her husband of 30 years. This couple have raised two boys, neither of who are stamp collectors. Ralph isn't a collector either and lets Rosemary do her thing when it comes to stamps.

Rosemary has worked for West Allis Memorial Hospital as a pharmacist for 28 years. Ralph has worked for Ball Corp.'s Beverage Container Division for 25 years. Rosemary and Ralph own 50 acres on the Mississippi River about midway between LaCrosse and Prairie du Chien. She enjoys the time spent hiking that area and the closeness to nature and peace that it affords. She also enjoys watching the Packers and the Badger football teams.

Rosemary became a stamp collector back in junior high school days when she came across a letter franked with several pretty flower stamps. They caught her eye and she started collecting any stamp that she could get her hands on. Like many of us, Rosemary learned the hard way when she used Elmer's glue to mount her first stamps in an album. Fortunately, Elmer's glue is water-soluble and she was later able to somewhat save them intact.

As a novice collector, Rosemary obtained stamps from any envelopes that she came across. She bought packets of stamps at Woolworth's and from the H.E. Harris Co. as well. She started out as a general collector but gradually settled on U.S. stamps, both mint and used. About five years ago, however, she stopped collecting mint U.S. as she realized she would never recoup her investment, and the cost was just too great to stay current. Now, her primary interest is used on cover and postal history, which she believes to be a much greater challenge.

Rosemary has had some rather interesting finds. She discovered the earliest-known use of plate No. 4 of the 14-cent Iceboat from the Transportation series ... In her search for Doane cancels; she has found several earliest known ...some only-known... and some latest-known examples.

In 1999, when the American Topical Association Chapter No. 5 was being reorganized, she was looking for a new area of collecting and became interested in topicals. She started collecting teddy bears and joined the newly reorganized club. She now also collects mermaids.

In addition to ATA Chapter No. 5, Rosemary is a member of the Wisconsin Postal History Society and the Wauwatosa Philatelic Society. She joined the WPS about 15 years ago and was the youth leader for a time. She then served four years as vice president and another six years as president. Today, she serves on the board of directors.

Rosemary is also is a member of the Milwaukee Post Card Club. She became interested in this group while searching for cancels. The picture side of the cards piqued her interest to the point that she joined that club.

Rosemary has had some rather interesting finds. She discovered the earliest-known use of plate No. 4 of the 14^ Iceboat issue from the Transportation series, and the find has been certified. In her search for Doane cancels, she has found several earliest-known examples, some only-known examples, and also some latest-known examples.

Rosemary has these words of wisdom for other stamp collectors: "Keep searching until you find what pleases you. Don't give up, but collect what you enjoy."

We send Rosemary our best wishes and hope that she has many more years of collecting enjoyment. 

December issue

Member: Jay Bigalke

By Robert J. Mather Waukesha County Philatelic Society

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jay Bigalke for this column, and his enthusiasm and zest made it a most pleasant experience.

Jay is 19 years old and lives with his parents and a younger brother and sister in unincorporated Reedfield, WI, with a population of about 50 people. It is located 15 miles west of Appleton. His father is a truck driver with Schneider Trucking and his mother is a cashier at the New London Piggly Wiggly. Currently, Jay is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jay started collecting stamps in 1991 during National Stamp Collecting Month when he came across a batch of old postcards with stamps on them. He cut the stamps off and persuaded his parents to get one of each of the new stamp issues from the post office. This gradually evolved, as it did with most of us, to where he is today.

Jay recently joined the Badger Stamp Club in Madison and the Oshkosh Philatelic Society. He is also a member of the Reis Chapter of the American First Day Cover Society, a California-based group. This came about during a trip he took to California that included attending the Lucille Ball first-day ceremony.

Jay creates cachets, mainly for first-day covers. His first effort was for the 1999 Summer Sports issue, for which he produced 50 FDCs. He usually generates 25 to 50 covers for each issue but has done as many as 150 for such stamps as the Lucille Ball issue. He sells his covers on eBay with the proceeds being used to offset his college costs.

Jay has registered as a dealer for first-day canceling services done at the U.S. Postal Service's Kansas City facility. He also has an arrangement with a dealer to sell some of his covers. Jay identifies all of his cachets with the letters FPMG, which stand for "Future Post Master General."

Jay makes FDCs only for U.S. stamps. Joint issues are an exception and he is thinking about doing some Canadian covers in the future. He recently sent 50 of his cacheted covers to Italy for an Enrico Fermi issue. Although it is not a joint issue with Italy, the United States also will issue a Fenni stamp. He plans to get both stamps and cancels on his cachets, making this a rather unusual item.

At this early age he already has had a rather unusual experience. He bought 25 sheets of the Wisconsin Statehood stamp in 1998 and his father helped him put them on envelopes. After all stamps had been affixed, he discovered that one of the sheets was misperfed so that the 1998 was in the bottom selvage and was missing from the top row of stamps.

Jay identifies all of his cachets with the letters FPMG, which stand for "Future Post Master General."

He spends some time on the hobby every day. He plans ahead by designing cachets for future stamp issues even before designs have been released. As a result, he sometimes comes up with a cachet that is very similar to what is depicted on the stamp. This happened with the recent James Madison stamp and he was kidded about stealing the post office design. Jay designed the program and cancel for the James Madison second-day ceremony held in Madison on October 19. It is apparent that his talents are recognized and appreciated, and he is giving some thought to exhibiting in the not-too-distant future.

It was indeed a pleasure talking with Jay, and reassuring to know that the hobby has some very good days ahead with young people like him. We will be keeping our eyes open for FPMG cachets and wish him only the best in the future.


Latest update: June 14, 2005  

URL:   http://www.WFSCstamps.org/wfsc_atfp_whos_who_2001.shtml