in Letters to Editor by

Remembering Joanne Leschak

Joanne Leschak died Wednesday, April 7. She leaves behind her daughter, Rachel Hart, Ph.D., son-in-law Bobby Hart, one grandchild, her father William Leschak and siblings.

She was a great mother, grandmother, and person. She was funny, smart and best of all – she was kind. She worked as a title abstractor and her office was off Ribault Rd. next door to the late Lucille Culp, who had photographed many historic and significant events and people in Beaufort.

Mrs. Culp was elderly and bedridden, and Joanne would walk across the lawn from her office and check on her frequently. Joanne would shop, cook and run errands for Ms. Culp and was there for her when needed – always with a kind word and or humorous remark.

After Ms. Culp passed away in 2007, Joanne asked Ms. Culp’s only surviving relative – a niece in Charleston – if she would be willing to donate her Aunt’s collection of hundreds of wonderful pictures to the Beaufort County Library. The photos were taken in Beaufort over many years prior to all the growth and development we have witnessed in recent times.

After some consideration, the niece graciously agreed to Joanne’s request. Joanne worked with then Councilman Skeet Von Harten and County Administrator Gary Kubic to move the massive collection forward to the library for all to enjoy.

Beaufort County residents have been enriched through this addition to our library and this gift which will forever document the history of small-town Water Festivals, parades, construction of landmarks such as the Naval Hospital and MCAS, as well as visits by historical figures such as Strom Thurmond. The photos are beautiful, of professional quality and go back to 1939.

If you are interested in Old Beaufort, before the spurts of population growth that led to so many roadway expansions and other modern changes, view the 300 images carefully chosen by the Library’s special collections staff to honor the town’s 300th anniversary in 2011. Find the selected images online in the “Lucille Hasell Culp Collection – A Celebration of Beaufort, South Carolina” found at http://bit.ly/2kFjRsP.

The Library’s long partnership with the Lowcountry Digital Library ensures that the images will be preserved and available to all well into the future.

When you visit, remember Joanne for her quiet but dynamic contribution to our community. I am sure it is just one of her many unsolicited, unknown kindnesses.

– Suzanne Larson, Retired Beaufort County Public Information Officer

– Grace Morris Cordial, MLS, SL, CA, Senior Librarian, Beaufort District Collection Manager