Wednesday, January 4, 2012

D.J. Fusonie -- Long time SAHS trustee passes away

On December 29, 2011, Donna Jean "D.J." Fusonie passed away. Both D.J. and her husband Alan have been long time trustees and supporters of the Springfield Art and Historical Society and out student intern program. Together they worked behind the scenes to set up exhibits, organize receptions, and help with fund raising among many other things. D.J.'s experience in the library and museum world has been a great benefit to the SAHS over the years. Her boundless energy and wonderful sense of humor will be greatly missed.

The Fusonie's supported many other organizations in town such as the Springfield Town Library, the Springfield Humane Society, and the Lions Club.

Please see the obituary below from the Rutland Herald.

Donna Jean Fusonie

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"SPRINGFIELD - Donna Jean "D.J." Fusonie, 66, died Dec. 29, 2011, at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H.

She was born March 3, 1945, in Rochester, N.Y., the daughter of Karl and Pearl (Sanford) Mason. She attended schools and graduated from high school in Rochester, N.Y. She graduated from Hollins College in Roanoke, Va., with a bachelor's degree in English and French literature. She earned her master's degree in library science from Catholic University of America. She also completed courses for a master's degree in American literature and folklore at the University of Maryland.

She married Alan E. Fusonie on June 21, 1969, in Rockville, Md.

Mrs. Fusonie was the former director of the Reference Center for the Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, for 10 years. She retired in November 1994 to work the 46-acre farm that she shared with her husband and to write children's books.

Prior to her position with the Economic Research Service, she served on Capitol Hill as special assistant and caseworker to the late Congressman Gillis Long from Louisiana. Previous to her work in government, she ran her own business for several years that included legal abstracting; freelance editing; completing a project for the Smithsonian Institution Libraries as a rare book bibliographer; and transcribing, editing and indexing materials for the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress.

Before starting her own business, she was assistant head of the Humanities Reference Room in McKeldin Library at the University of Maryland for six years. She began her career as a children's librarian in the Prince George County public library system.

Mrs. Fusonie co-authored several bibliographies. She had been a member of the Associates of the National Agricultural Library serving as recording secretary from 1975 to 1978 and co-editor of the Journal of NAL Associates for over 10 years.

She and her husband were active volunteers in the program Progressive Equestrian Therapy, a riding for the handicapped program. She was a member of Vermont Folklife Center, the Springfield Art and Historical Society, Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences, Friends of Historic Deerfield, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the Vermont Historical Society, the Miller Art Center and the Lions Club. She was an active member of St. Mary's Catholic Church and a member of the church choir. She had worked part time as reference librarian for the Springfield Town Library.

She was a volunteer with the Springfield Humane Society for many years.

She is survived by her husband, of Springfield; nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents.

A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Springfield. The Rev. Peter Williams, pastor, will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Springfield Humane Society, 401 Skitchewaug Trail, Springfield, VT 05156.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Davis Memorial Chapel in Springfield.
Published in Rutland Herald on January 1, 2012

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