Nafziger Receives Service Award

The American First Day Cover Society has named Ralph Nafziger as the 2015 recipient of its Distinguished Service Award.

The Distinguished Service Award (DSA) is presented in recognition of outstanding service to the AFDCS. The award is presented from time to time and is not given each year. The award recognizes those individuals who have truly contributed an outstanding effort on behalf of the society. Only living AFDCS members in good standing and who have not previously received the DSA are eligible to receive the award.

The following, composed by Alan Warren, was read at the presentation of the award:

Our honoree is not only an accomplished philatelist and FDCer but he also had quite a distinctive career from which he is now retired. Before reviewing his philatelic side let’s take a look at his vocation. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin and then obtained a Ph.D. from Penn State in Geochemistry. I mean, we are talking about one serious dude here folks!

During his career as a research chemist and supervisor at the U.S. Bureau of Mines, he wrote many articles for conference presentations and for publication. As an example, in the book Research Techniques for High Pressure and High Temperature, he co-authored a chapter titled “Gaseous Buffering for the Control of Oxygen Fugacity at One Atmosphere.” He also holds several patents including one on “Steelmaking by the Electroslag Process using Prereduced Iron Ore Pellets.”

He is also a man of many other interests including astronomy, photography, antique car restoration, and he plays horn in the municipal band. He is also an avid hiker and climber. If sometimes he does not respond right away to an email, he is probably trekking in the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal.

Turning to his philatelic life he began collecting first day covers in 1948 and serviced his own covers during the 1950s and 60s. He joined AFDCS in 1977 and produced his first cachet the following year. He is a Life Member of the society.

He began writing articles in 1980 and they have appeared not only in First Days but also Mekeel’s & Stamps, Auxiliary Markings, and the Northwest Philatelic Library’s Book Reports. He authored the article “Mail Movement in Grundy County, Iowa, 1855 to the Present” for a Writers Institute session of an APS Summer Seminar. In 2006 he won the Philip H. Ward, Jr. award for best article and has also received honorable mention several times.

Our honoree is a superb exhibitor and has won numerous gold awards and the Americover grand award. He is current president of the Auxiliary Markings Club. In 2012 he was named Distinguished Philatelist by the Northwest Federation of Stamp Clubs. In 2013 he received the Glenn C. Michel special recognition award.

He previously served on the AFDCS expertizing committee, and on the board of directors 2010 to 2012. He has been a member of the Executive Committee and AFDCS Secretary from 2011 to date. He very likely knows more about U.S. stamps issued in Oregon, and Oregon cachetmakers, than anyone else on the planet.

In light of these achievements the AFDCS is pleased to bestow its Distinguished Service Award on Ralph Nafziger.

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