Janet R. Klug (1950-2023)
The American Philatelic Society is saddened to report the loss of former APS president Janet Klug. Janet, a lifelong collector from Pleasant Plain, Ohio, first joined the APS in 1978 and remained an active member until her passing on June 16, 2023 at the age of 72.
Janet first joined the APS Board of Directors in 1997, where she served as secretary until 2001. She served on the Board of Vice Presidents from 2001 to 2003 and became the first woman to serve as APS President from 2003 to 2007. Including her service as past president, Janet served on the APS board for sixteen consecutive years.
“As the first woman president of APS, Janet provided a welcoming personality to the entire membership. Janet loved philately and the people in our hobby,” said longtime friend and APS President Cheryl Ganz, “She promoted philately everywhere she went.”
From 1999-2003, Janet served as chair of the APS Committee on Accreditation of National Exhibitions and Judges. She also served on the Society’s Finance, Long Range Planning, Awards, and Chapter Activities Committees. Her leadership also led to the creation of the Campaign for Philately to increase contributions to the American Philatelic Society and American Philatelic Research Library.
Janet’s service extended beyond the APS to the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, as a member and chair of the Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee, founder and editor of the Tonga & Tin Can Mail Study Circle, an officer of the American Philatelic Congress, president of her local stamp club, and as a prolific author and exhibitor.
Janet served as vice chair of the Council of Philatelists of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum from 2003-2007 and chair of the National Postal Museum’s New Initiatives Committee from 2009-2013.
In 2010 Janet was appointed to the Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC), the group established with the responsibility for recommending proposed subjects and designs for United States postage stamps. She served as chair of CSAC from 2014 until her retirement from the Committee in 2019.
“Janet was a remarkable woman and a tireless believer in the APS and stamp collecting. Despite all her accomplishments, she always had time to talk with any collector and became fast friends,” said Scott English, Executive Director, “She represented the best we have to offer any stamp collector, and I hope we can continue her legacy of warmth and friendship for years to come.”
Klug’s philatelic recognitions include the Philadelphia National Stamp Exhibition Lifetime Achievement Award (2007), the APS Writers Unit Hall of Fame (2010), the St. Louis Stamp Expo’s Elizabeth C. Pope Award for Lifetime Contributions to Philately (2011), the Luff Award for Outstanding Service to the APS (2014) and the Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award (2019).
Past APS president and current Board secretary, Dr. Peter P. McCann said, "Janet Klug was one of the most remarkable philatelists this country has ever produced. I first met her in the 1980s. She had a wonderful collection of Tonga that she turned into a Grand Award-winning exhibit and was the basis of her perennial email handle of 'TongaJan.'"
As noted in the 2014 citation for winning the APS Luff Award, “For two decades Janet [did] more than virtually any other [APS] member to support the APS and organized philately.” Aside from her leadership, writing, and exhibiting, Janet would often lead APS members in song at APS events around the country.
McCann went on to say, "She succeeded me as APS President, the first woman to be elected, and was remarkably successful in handling many of the hot potato issues the Society had to deal with in that period. Janet’s final service to the APS came in 2016 when as Chair of the Luff Award Committee, I asked her to serve as one of its members. She said she would do it for me as long as she didn’t have to be the 'Chair.'"
Cheryl Ganz added, “As a collector, exhibitor, judge, author, and leader, Janet excelled at everything—always with a smile and song.”
Janet once said, “Collecting stamps and letters from bygone days is a way for me to connect on a very personal level with people and events from those times. History is not just about famous people and events. It also encompasses ordinary people doing ordinary things, overcoming the challenges that happen in their lives, surviving, and thriving.”
Before retiring, Klug managed computer departments for several corporations. Condolences are extended to her long-time husband Russ, who, though not a collector himself, supported Janet in all her endeavors and accompanied Janet to many shows and philatelic events.
More about Janet Klug’s Contributions to Philately
Klug’s Smithsonian Guide to Stamp Collecting was published in 2008 following the publication of 100 Greatest American Stamps, which she co-authored with Don Sundman, in 2007. The Catalog of Tin Can Mail Cachets of the Tonga Islands was her first book-length philatelic publication in 1984.
Klug was also a prolific author of articles and columns, many of which were aimed at beginners. Her “Refresher Course” and “Stamp Excursions” columns began in Linn’s Stamp News in 2002. She wrote a “Down Under” column for Scott Stamp Monthly from 1999 to 2010 and the “Starting Point” column for The American Philatelist from 1998 to 2003. She also wrote for Stamp Collector and Global Stamp News.
Klug had a great interest in history and specialized in British Pacific and military postal history. Her more specialized philatelic articles included research on Tonga’s Queen Salote definitives published in the 1992 American Philatelic Congress Book and her paper on “Picking Up the Pieces: The Aftermath of Hiroshima” included in the Winton M. Blount Postal History Symposia Select Papers, 2006-2009. Other specialized articles appeared in the Military Postal History Society Bulletin and the Society of Australasian Specialists/Oceania Informer.
A collector from the age of 6, and a nationally accredited judge since 1991, her specialized exhibits of Tonga, Samoa, Malaya, and Japan under Australian occupation won a World Series of Philately show grand, a grand prix national in Australia, and an international one-frame gold. Notable exhibits included The De La Rue Engraved Definitives of Tonga, 1897-1953; Australian Occupation of Japan, 1946-1952; Terror in the Jungle: Counter-Insurgency during the Malaya Emergency 1948-1960; I’ll be Seein’Ya: Five Years as Prisoner of War in Stalag VIII-B, Samoa’s Hut Definitives, and The 2d Queen Salote Definitive Stamp of Tonga 1919-1953. She was also known for her philatelic exhibit of Bare Males.