Evelyn Schutty passed away.  Quite a few of us that started birding in the
late 60s in Kansas City will always remember the tall, thin, strawberry
blonde with the funny straw hat.  She drove a '66 Volkswagen van and was
ready to go birding any place, any time.  Evelyn was married to Clarence,
the keeper of champion tree records, and a retired railroader.  Clarence was
older, and passed away 20+ years ago.  I have fond memories of him leading
field trips to identify trees and plants - often with Lou Bottenberg - a
wonderful botanist and victim of the Hyatt collapse 25 years ago.  Clarence
and Evelyn were devoted to each other and a delightful pair to be around.
Whether it was growing on the ground or flying in the sky, they had a keen
awareness and fascination that was contagious.

The late 60s and early 70s were days when the three most popular field
guides - heck, the ONLY field guides! - were Peterson's, the Golden Guide
(with the buntings on the cover), and Richard Pough's series.  None of us
were 'instant' experts because David Sibley was just a child, and Kenn
Kaufman, Jon Dunn, and all the others weren't even old enough to drive.
Thank God there were people like Evelyn Schutty that would take a 12-13 year
old kid under their wing and encourage and support and nurture their
interest in birds and nature.  Evelyn, Dean and Elizabeth Cole, Josephine
Isenberger, Esther O'Connor, Rilla Hammett, Felicia Bart, and many others
associated with the 300-member Burroughs Nature Club of Kansas City, were
conduits for youngsters with a budding interest in birds and nature.  They
would happily crawl on all fours to get a bird's-eye view of a LeConte's
Sparrow at James A. Reed Wildlife Area, and marvel at how much better they
looked in real life than in the available illustrations of that time.  When
you were around people like that, there was no chance of losing interest.

Thirty-seven years later, I take a moment to reflect back on my early years
of birding and the people who kept me 'on track' and engaged, and I think
of, and owe 'thanks' to Evelyn Schutty.  There will be no funeral service or
no memorial.  She donated her remains to science in keeping with her
principals.  Forgotten by many, unknown by most, I'll miss her.

Chris Hobbs
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