Commissioner remembers felled historian and Genoan
October 23, 2001
Last Saturday, Linda and I were honored to attend a memorial service in Genoa Town Hall, with about 350 others, in tribute to a woman who epitomized “History” in Carson Valley.
On Oct. 8, 2001, Shirley Trimmer Giovacchini of Genoa passed away. Shirley was a friend of mine and a bright and shining star in Carson Valley. She had a wonderful, sweet smile and an uplifting and hopeful, positive way about her that made you happy that you could know someone like her. She had a sweetness and an inclusive manner, and she worked tirelessly in service to our community, never seeking recognition.
I was proud to hear that the docents of the Genoa Courthouse Museum had put together a plaque in tribute to Shirley’s long service, and had a luncheon planned to honor her. I also intend to place on the county commission’s agenda a resolution honoring Shirley for her unselfish community service.
Shirley was raised in Genoa, attending elementary school in the old Genoa Courthouse. She graduated from Douglas High School and attended Graceland College in Iowa. Shirley spent 13 years as the director of the Genoa Courthouse Museum. It was one of the great pleasures of her life. When she was let go, it almost broke her heart. A little kindness at that time in her life would have gone a long way.
The fallout from this caused many of the docents and some trustees to also leave their positions. It was a sad episode, and my telephone still rings with calls from people remembering it.
The overwhelming community response that I received pays great tribute to Shirley. Shirley also served two terms on the Genoa Town Advisory Board and two terms on the Genoa Historic District Commission. If you are familiar with Genoa, you know that these are monumental accomplishments.
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We are blessed to have Shirley’s children and their families, and Shirley’s grandchildren living in Carson Valley. We will miss Shirley’s sweet smile, her kindness, and her special wealth of knowledge about the traditions and history of Genoa and Carson Valley. Shirley was a part of our history.
n Bernie Curtis is chairman of the Douglas County Commission. He represents District Three.