May Remote Volunteer Highlight: Lee Ann Timreck

Published on May 26th, 2020 by Enrichmond Foundation

We’re highlighting the stories of some of our volunteers for East End and Evergreen Cemeteries who are working remotely while COVID-19 limits on-site volunteer activities at the cemeteries.

Our remote volunteers are doing work crucial to reclaiming information lost at the two cemeteries. Their roles include Biography Writer, Cemetery Research, and Record Transcription.

Lee Ann Timreck
Role: Biography Writer

Biography for Lee Ann Timreck

Lee Ann Timreck moved to the Richmond area in 2016, following a long career in Northern Virginia as a business consultant for the international consulting firm, Booz, Allen & Hamilton. Ms. Timreck is currently busy working as an independent folklorist and historical researcher. In 2016, Ms. Timreck completed George Mason University’s Graduate Certificate in Folklore Studies, and has continued her professional development through graduate courses in history at Virginia Commonwealth University and presenting at professional conferences. Ms. Timreck is also researching a book on the emancipation-themed sculpture of nineteenth century African American artists Mary Edmonia Lewis and Meta Vaux Fuller.

How did you come to volunteer at Evergreen?

I was inspired by the wonderful work being done to reclaim Evergreen from the ravages of time and neglect, as well as my personal interest in African American history. On my first trip to Evergreen, I had volunteered to help locate and document grave markers. What I discovered was a landscape filled with stone memorials – from the smallest flat slab to etched marble, some barely visible, others broken and scattered – each representing a good life lived.

Why did you want to write biographies?

In documenting the physicality of the remaining grave marker, I really wanted to know more about the Evergreen community. As an avid historian, I had lots of questions about African American life in Richmond, as well as the personal narratives of the individuals buried here. Where had they lived and worked, what was life like in the community, who had they left behind? Researching and writing their bios allows me to answer the questions and tell the forgotten stories of the departed.

Why Shirley Williams?

The first biography I chose to work on was Shirley Carter Williams for two reasons; first, because he had lived in Richmond throughout the turbulent post-Civil War era (in fact, he lived almost his entire life within the Jackson Ward area), and second, because of the intriguing inscription on his gravestone that suggested he held a very senior position within the Freemason organization. The pieces of his past that I discovered are fascinating, giving me a personalized glimpse into nineteenth century life, and I hope it will be of value to others.

On a personal level, conducting this research has given me a greater appreciation for the resources available through the Library of Virginia, Virginia Museum of History and Culture, as well as various on-line resources.