This isn't the conventional "X is a Wonderful WikiTreer" since Art Flegel didn't participate in WikiTree. But, as I recently discovered, he was nonetheless an extremely generous and prolific genealogist. Having only recently found and significantly benefited from his work, I was simultaneously dismayed to learn that I couldn't thank him personally. Alas, he had passed earlier this year at age 100.
So following the natural inclinations as a WikiTreer, I've added Art to WikiTree, along with a list of a few of his contributions, and ensured that he got an appropriate ID number. Go check out Flegel-100.
Art, along with his wife, Cleo, spent
many years' effort in accumulating and transcribing genealogical and historical information for publication in a book covering some 28,000 individuals which comprises about 6,000 families directly or indirectly related to the communities of Kulm, Leipzig and Tarutino in the former Bessarabia.
And he made several contributions besides that, including being a driving force behind the publication of what is known as "The Stumpp book", a quintessential reference for those with German-Russian ancestors.
The man acted like he had a mission from God, as it seems was his belief:
It is his firm belief that this is an innate part of God's plan for his life, and he offers his fervent hope and prayer that this work will be beneficial to many who desire to research and learn about their German-Russian connections.
It seems that his prayer was the answer to a good number of my genealogy prayers; his work has certainly helped me find pieces of information that I'd never have found otherwise. Moreover, much of his work is freely available as part of the database maintained by the Black Sea German Research group, where I first chanced to encounter it. And the more I look into the history and genealogy of the Black Sea Germans, the more his name has popped up.
So I want to acknowledge his hard work — the perseverance, the fastidiousness, the thoroughness, the massive effort which it was — and his generosity — making his research available to others through publications, through shared GEDCOM data, donating notes and correspondence to libraries, and more. Whether Art can hear it or not, Vielen Herzlichen Dank für alles.
And since today — Monday, August 6th — would have been his 101st, "Happy Birthday, Art!"