By Tom Michael
Another pillar of early Standard Catalog of World Coins development passed away Sunday, Aug. 23. Merna Dudley worked as the SCWC’s coordinating editor during some of the years when listings were actively being built back in time from 1700 to 1501. Merna was a stickler for detail and worked tirelessly to bring more uniformity of style to the SCWC listings. Excellence in proofreading and data entry were Merna’s hallmarks, and her impact on the catalogs can be seen in the database even today, 10 years past her retirement.
Merna joined Krause Publications in 1988, working in data entry with Carolyn Borth. The close ties between the cataloging and data entry departments, combined with her great attention to fine detail, made Merna the perfect candidate to step into the difficult coordinating editor position. The many eccentric individuals working on the SCWC at the time could be daunting characters, but Merna always stood on firm ground in any discussion. Colin Bruce II, senior editor of the SCWC series, and Merna became close friends quickly and remained good friends long after each had left KP.
Merna was a generous hostess and invited many of the SCWC staff to join her and her family at holiday gatherings, particularly those who had no family in the area and might be alone. Christmas was Merna’s favorite holiday, and she celebrated it with great enthusiasm. As soon as possible, she cleared away fall decorations and set up her two full-sized Christmas trees and Hallmark ornaments.
In the summer, the catalog department often had a small pot luck dinner when longtime consultant N. Douglas Nicol was in town. Merna encouraged the whole staff to take the time to make Doug feel at home during his extended visits to build the German and Italian States listings for the SCWC. The relaxed setting led everyone to open up, and Merna always enjoyed that casual camaraderie. She’ll be missed by all of us who remain.