Kathleen Emerson, one of the pioneers of local history studies in Ulster, passed away on Monday 26 July 2004. She undoubtedly held an Irish record for service to a historical society, as she served for forty-four years as Honorary Secretary of County Donegal Historical Society. Kathleen was a native of Doagh Island, Clonmany, and all through her life she was a marvellous ambassador for her native county, greeting and assisting visitors to the county from at home and abroad. Her husband, Lucius, was a founder member of the Society in 1946 and is a prolific writer and lecturer on local studies and together they were at the heart of the growth of County Donegal Historical Society to be one of the largest societies in the country. Kathleen Emerson was an outstanding administrator whose meticulous attention to the needs of members and to the affairs of the Society was appreciated by all who had the pleasure to come into contact with her.
She was especially proud that the Federation for Ulster Local Studies was founded in County Donegal in 1974 and indeed attended this year’s Annual General Meeting on the 19 June in the Ulster-American Folk Park, Omagh, when she was delighted to see Mr Eddie O’ Kane, a former President of County Donegal Historical Society, installed as new Chairman of the Federation. We will always remember Kathleen as a gracious lady of outstanding Christian principles, whose devotion to her family, her Church and County Donegal Historical Society were exemplary.
Due North Vol 1, Issue 10, 2004