IN MEMORIAM: Joseph T. Pudlo

Joseph T. Pudlo, age 86, passed away peacefully on May 12, 2018.  He was a partner with former NCRA President Sally J. Cochran and Secretary-Treasurer Richard B. Heilig, along with Jerome B. Sewell, John Jaroski, and Ken Kozlowski in Chicago.

“Mr. Pudlo,” as he became known to the legion of reporters he trained, was an avid story teller and mentor, and he left a significant mark on everyone he came in contact with. His high standards challenged every reporter to be the best and always “reach for the stars.”

Here is a recent photo with a small fraction of reporters he took under his wing when they were very young and now showing their respect almost 30 years later.

Everyone has a “Joe Pudlo story” that they could tell and would fill the pages of this Journal; but suffice it to say, he will be remembered fondly. In his honor we will always sing:



Sto lat Sto lat!
Niech zyje, zyje nam.
Sto lat! Sto lat!
Niech zyje, zyje nam.
Jeszcze raz! Jeszcze raz! Niech zyje, zyje nam.
Niech zyje nam!

100 years! 100 years!
They live, live among us!
100 years! 100 years!
They live, live among us!
Again, again! They live, live among us!
Live among us!


Ken Kozlowski
Marco Island, Fla.

IN MEMORIAM: Allen Edelist, FAPR, RPR (Ret.)

Allen Edelist on his ascension to the presidency of the California Court Reporters Association in 1993

Allen Edelist on his ascension to the presidency of the California Court Reporters Association in 1993.

The court reporting profession lost an icon last week: Allen Edelist, FAPR, RPR (Ret.), passed away on May 16, 2018, at the age of 67. Allen was a generous, loyal, and true colleague and friend who dedicated a great deal of his time to the advancement of the court reporting profession. He was an avid fan of the Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Kings, and he had season tickets for many years and hated to miss a game! And, of course, those who knew him were well aware of his “groupie side,” following the rock band Procol Harum all over the world to see them perform! Allen was also a long-term trustee of the Los Angeles School of Law and Paralegal Studies and a member and supporter of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles.

Allen’s career in court reporting began in the early 1970s when he enrolled at Clark Court Reporting College in Santa Monica, Calif. He passed the California CSR exam in 1978 and opened his deposition agency, A. Edelist Deposition Services, soon after in 1979. His greatest accomplishment as an agency owner was his devotion to mentoring students and reporters, new and seasoned, throughout his 40 years in the field.

Allen never missed an opportunity to get involved in court reporting association work as evidenced by time served as a board member and multiple officer positions of both Los Angeles General Shorthand Reporters Association and California Court Reporters Association (CCRA), ultimately serving as president October 1993-1994. He was an active member of the National Court Reporters Association for over 40 years, attending most annual conventions as well as firm owners’ retreats. Needless to say, he was extremely generous monetarily and spent an inordinate amount of time helping to produce legislation, continuing education, and public relations programs through these organizations. Allen received many awards throughout his extensive career highlighted by CCRA’s Distinguished Service Award and becoming a Fellow of NCRA.

As a leader and visionary in the court reporting arena, Allen continually strived to advance the profession as evidenced in the following excerpt taken from his CCRA presidential speech on October 9, 1993:

By virtue of the technological presentation we make, we are a unique breed. We are on the cutting edge of information management. The presentation of the spoken word that can be transmitted immediately through a computer and projected onto a screen or printed in braille, integrating the ingredients of litigation support, telecommunications, scanning of documents into the records and CD-ROM text is the future and the future is now.

In the 1970s, we were not unlike Orville and Wilbur Wright. We started by building a base for a product we could offer. Through rapid advancements by the computer industry, as well as futuristic thinking by our CAT vendors, we have continued to grow, now as realtime reporters. We can further our advancement by committing to a program of continuing education that will enable us to converse fluently as computer-literate reporters.

RIP, Allen. You have been an inspiration to many both personally and professionally. Your close friends and colleagues will miss you and your impact on what you once coined “this incredible profession.”

Michele Oken, RPR, CMRS (Ret.)
Sherman Oaks, Calif.

IN MEMORIAM: Kahryn “Queenie” Nix Wolfe

Surrounded by loving family, Kahryn “Queenie” Nix Wolfe lost her brief but valiant fight with cholangiocarcinoma on March 1, 2018.

Kahryn Nix

Kahryn Nix

Kahryn was born to James Pentecost and Renee (Pentecost) McNett in Detroit, Mich., on February 16. If I told you the year, Kahryn would return to this world and kill me.

Kahryn moved to Phoenix in 1964, after graduating from high school and the American Institute of Court Reporting. She started her court reporting career with Bartelt King in the early 1980s. In 1985 Kahryn opened Nix & Associates, later merging with Larry Driver’s firm and launching Driver & Nix. In 2017 she rejoined Bartelt to form Bartelt | Nix.

Kahryn was an active member and past President of the Arizona Court Reporters Association. She was a longtime member and supporter of the National Court Reporters Association and the Society for the Technological Advancement of Reporting (STAR). Kahryn networked with member agencies across the country and became known as “Queenie” to her friends. And there was, and always will be, only one Queen.

An avid traveler, Kahryn enjoyed regularly attending NCRA’s Firm Owners Executive Conference and STAR conventions. Although she may not attend all the seminars, you would always find her at the social events, including organized dinners with friends, on the dance floor, singing around the piano and pop-up live music, laughing with court reporter and firm owner friends. Kahryn loved a party, and she made each conference a party to remember.

Kahryn freely shared her knowledge of the court reporting industry, helping firm owners set up successful systems, explore new technologies, and sharing best practices. Her reputation for integrity and excellence attracted firm owners who were ready to turn over the business side of things to her. If you were a friend of Kahryn’s, she shared her strategy for merging with firms and acquiring businesses. Rule No. 1: Do what you say you will do, and then do more.

Her generosity was not limited to the court reporting community. In 1998, Kahryn became involved with and joined the board of the nonprofit group Phoenix Youth at Risk, now known as New Pathways for Youth. She was the driving force behind many of the fundraisers for this program that was vital to helping at-risk youth achieve a new set of goals that positively impacted their futures. In the late 1990s, Kahryn also began a clothing company called Kidz Blvd., which donated all profits to women in villages overseas to enable them to become more financially independent and purchase their own sewing machines and textiles. She was also a member of Arizona Legal Foundation for Services & Education, Women at the Top (WATT), the Rose Club, and Social Venture Partners.

Kahryn made sure she kept in touch with friends and made sure they knew how much they meant to her. In a moment that seems prophetic, last year she reached out to her longtime pal Larry Driver and commiserated about the friends they had lost, how much she missed them, and how they needed to stay in touch so that this didn’t happen to them too. In October, she picked up the phone and insisted they have lunch and catch up. That would be the last time these two old friends would see each other, but thank goodness they did.

Kahryn was a dear friend to many of us. We will especially miss her big heart, her wit, and her wicked sense of humor. I think she would approve of us sharing a few of her rules for life:

  1. Laughing burns calories.
  2. Update your haircut (and color choice) regularly.
  3. Earrings, bracelets, and rings – yes; necklaces — no.
  4. Black, not brown.
  5. Wine is diet food.
  6. There’s nothing wrong with looking.

The next time you are at a court reporter convention, tip a glass in her honor, get out on the dance floor, and always – always! — have fun. Cheers, Queenie.

Robin Nodland, FAPR, RDR, CRR
Portland, Ore.

Former NCRA Member Betty Armstrong Dole Passes

On May 12, The Enterprise reported that former NCRA member Betty Armstrong Dole passed away in Palo Alto, Calif. Dole was an official court reporter.

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Former NCRA Member passes away

Dorothy Nell Bayless, of Plano, Texas, passed away on March 2. She was an Oklahoma state court reporter in the Osage and Tulsa County Court Systems and was chosen Oklahoma State Court Reporter of the Year while she was a reporter in Tulsa County.

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NCRA member Brenda Bertram passes

NCRA member Brenda Jean Bertram, RMR, an official court reporter from Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., passed away on Feb. 23.

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Former NCRA member Maurice David West passes away

The Seguin Gazette posted an obituary Feb. 25 for Maurice David West, age 82 of Kingsbury, Texas. West was a retired official court reporter and past member of NCRA who passed away on Feb. 23.

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IN MEMORIAM: Bettye King Menck

The court reporting community lost one of their own on Jan. 15, 2018. Bettye King Menck of Shelbyville, Tennessee, was one of the last pen writers in the state — perhaps the country! She began her court reporting career after completing her training through a civil service program and began working for the federal government at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida to pay for her training. In 1965, she moved to Shelbyville to become one of the seven charter members of the official criminal court reporters of Tennessee.

A letter she received in 1977 from the executive secretary of the state reads, in part: “In 1965 you accepted the challenge of this post as an adventurer in an endeavor with an uncertain future. It was a new idea in Tennessee, one that was created by the application of the concept of ‘equal protection under the law.’ The members of the Supreme Court join me in extending our personal gratitude to you for your efforts in a job well done. It is our hope that you will continue your efforts for many years to come.”

When her judge retired in 1990, Bettye continued on as a freelance reporter until 2004 — when, at the age of 71, she laid down her pen for good. Not only did she serve the legal community well, she was also a mentor to many new reporters through the years. I knew the family from a young age, and in my senior year of high school, I went with her on career day to sit in on hearings in the criminal court; and, ultimately, changed my course of study. It was that day I decided I was going to court reporting school. I know of at least two other current court reporters that learned of court reporting through Miss Bettye. Not only was Bettye Menck my mentor, she was my former mother-in-law and my friend. Her impact on the court reporting community will not be forgotten by those of us who knew her.

Karyn Menck, RDR, CRR, CRC
Nashville, Tenn.

NCRA member Brenda L. Ray passes

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting,, JCR WeeklyNCRA member Brenda L. Ray, RPR, a freelance court reporter from Apopka, Fla., passed away on Jan. 17. Formerly from Wauwatosa, Wis., Ray owned and operated Ray Reporting in Milwaukee for 15 years before moving to central Florida in 2016.

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Past NCRA member Allan Liljehult passes

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting,, JCR WeeklyThe Hartford Courant reported on Jan. 16 that Allan Liljehult, West Hartford, Conn., a retired official court reporter and former member of NCRA, died Jan. 14 after a brief illness.

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