The Oneida County History Center has named Joan Klossner the 2020-21 Volunteer of the Year.
Volunteers are essential to the daily operation and long-term care of the organization, and are an invaluable asset to the community. Klossner was chosen for her enduring contributions to the History Center by her co-volunteers, staff, and the Board of Directors.
Klossner has been a History Center volunteer for 14 years with contributions spanning from co-authoring books to identifying photographs. She started to volunteer after retirement from the Holland Patent Central School district, where she worked as an English teacher for 21 years. She decided to volunteer to help fill time and chose the History Center based on her family connections to the area. She thought the match was a good fit as a fourth generation Utican.
Klossner has contributed to almost every area of the History Center and has worked on numerous projects. Her first big task was to sort and organize the photo collection. Today, her volunteer to-do list includes chipping away at a group effort to date, identify, and organize the digital photo collection, along with processing memberships, writing weekly social media posts, and assisting visitors in the research library.
Klossner also has impacted the local history literature. She co-authored “Oneida County: An Illustrated History,” and is the author of three History Center publications including Utica Streets: A Stroll in History, South Utica: From Suburb to City, and Color Oneida County.
Aside from her obvious enjoyment of history, Klossner said she enjoys learning. She said she finds volunteering rewarding because she is constantly learning something new. Her favorite aspects of the job are the people she works alongside, and the process and discovery involved in her activities. Her other interests include painting, quilting, and spending time with her three sons, and four grandchildren.