Legacy of the Plains Museum is closed today, 2-16-16, to enable staff and volunteers to gather to remember a man who dedicated decades of his life to museum work, who many knew as a public face of the museum.
Charles Robert Fenster – Charlie – died on February 10 at the age of 96. Many people around the community, state, and world knew Charlie through his work in dryland agricultural research. Charlie’s passing was noted in the obituary section of our local daily newspaper, and in both in the opinion page and the farm and ranch section as well. But it was for his contributions to the development of Legacy of the Plains Museum that we write about him here.
Charlie was involved in both the precursor museums that led to development of Legacy of the Plains Museum. He served on the board of the North Platte Valley Historical Association / Museum, and he was a founding board member of the Farm And Ranch Museum. He continued to serve these merged organizations on the Legacy of the Plains Museum board.
Charlie served the museum as a hands-on volunteer as well, joining the ranks of dozens of super-dedicated volunteers who are the lifeblood of the organization. Every weekday, he came to work at the museum, where he had an office. Charlie provided valuable insights for museum development projects, having been a personal witness to decades of agricultural history. He contributed greatly to collections work, and he was present at every museum event possible: meetings, agricultural outreach days, festivals, fundraisers.
Many visitors to the museum would remember chatting with Charlie. He was an inveterate people-person who never knew a stranger.
He will be greatly missed.
Thank you, Charlie. For everything.