Retired Lt. Col. Adna G. Wilde Jr., former president, Board member, executive director, treasurer and parliamentarian of the American Numismatic Association, died on the morning of Nov. 17 in Colorado Springs. He was 88.
"This is a sad time for our Association," ANA President Barry Stuppler said. "Adna will be remembered as one of the most important leaders in our history. Everyone who knew him respected him for his kindness, professionalism, and service to his country. He was the finest gentleman I’ve ever known, and he will be deeply missed."
A member since 1947 (Life Member 232), Wilde served as executive director from 1968-72, governor from 1973-79, vice president from 1979-81, president from 1981-83 and treasurer from 1983-2008. He received the Farran Zerbe Memorial Award in 1985, the Medal of Merit and Exemplary Service Award in 1991, the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998, and Presidential Awards in 1994, 1998 and 2008. He received the inaugural award named in his honor, the Adna G. Wilde Jr. Award for Excellence, this October.
Wilde was elected to the ANA Numismatic Hall of Fame in 2002, was named ANA Numismatist of the Year in 2005 and received the Numismatic Ambassador Award from Numismatic News in 1995.
Wilde was born in Vicksburg, Miss., on Oct. 1, 1920, and graduated from The Citadel in 1943. After college, he joined the Army, and was wounded in combat in Italy during World War II. He moved to Colorado Springs in 1945 and served as an officer in the Army, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before coming to the ANA in 1968.
An accomplished numismatist, he was known most notably for his research of Lesher Referendum dollars and Stone Mountain commemorative half dollars. In his first year as executive director, Wilde and Ed Rochette were instructors for the first Summer Seminar. Enrollment the first year was 17 for the week-long educational event; Summer Seminar has since expanded to two weeks and attracts over 400 students each year.
"The ANA benefited from Adna’s expertise for 40 years," said Executive Director Larry Shepherd. "He inspired countless young collectors, and provided a steady hand through good times and bad. His legacy will help guide the Association for generations to come."
Wilde is survived by his wife, Joan. He will be buried with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. Information about memorial services and donations will be released when it becomes available. The ANA has created a memorial page on its Web site; all are welcome to post their thoughts, condolences and memories.
About the American Numismatic Association
The American Numismatic Association is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to encouraging people to study and collect money and related items. The ANA helps its 32,000 members and the public discover and explore the world of money through its vast array of education and outreach programs, as well as its museum, library, publications, conventions and seminars. For more information, call 719-632-2646 or visit www.money.org.
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