The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 11, Number 47, November 23, 2008, Article 7

ADNA G. WILDE JR. (1920 - 2008)

The American Numismatic Association published this press release on the passing of numismatic researcher Adna Wilde, best known for his work on Lesher Referendum dollars. -Editor
Adna Wilde 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."

To read or leave comments, see: Adna Wilde Memorials (

John and Nancy Wilson write:
It was with heartfelt sadness that we learned of Adna's passing. Adna G. Wilde Jr. was one of the most honorable numismatists we have ever known. During our entire terms of service on the ANA Board from 1987 to 2005 we were privileged to have Adna as Treasurer and Parliamentarian of the Association.

This knowledgeable and thoughtful man helped us greatly during our terms of service to ANA. When he recently stepped down as Treasurer and Parliamentarian of the ANA, that was a very sad day for us. No one looked after the ANA in regards to finance and procedure as he did. When Adna talked, Board members listened and almost always agreed with him.

He was a close friend who we always asked for advice in Board meetings as well as other times. He was a leader who served as an example to all of us. His service to our Country in the U. S. Army was also commendable where he achieved the rank of Lt Col. This coin club officer and worker, collector, author, speaker and exhibitor will always be remembered by everyone who crossed his path.

All of our prayers and thoughts to his wife Joan and their family. We have made a donation to ANA in his memory. Rest in Peace Adna, as your passing will be mourned by those of us who loved him so much. With deepest sympathy, John and Nancy Wilson, Volunteers and Life Members of ANA

Howard A. Daniel III writes:
He always had a smile on his face and a kind word whenever we met, no matter the circumstances. He came from the "old school" of always being an officer and a gentleman and he carried that into civilian life and the ANA. I know there will be a welcoming salute for Adna in that part of heaven reserved for old soldiers. Goodbye for now old friend.

I have met Adna on multiple occasions, for the last time at this year's ANA convention in Baltimore. He was a fixture at the ANA for decades, and will be missed. -Editor

Wayne Homren, Editor

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