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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Wyoming reporter Al Renneisen passes away

Al Renneisen, who worked for18 years as a court reporter, died Jan. 7 in South Park, Wyo. Renneisen worked with Judge Terrence O’Brien, who is now a circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit. He was also a former member of the Jackson Hole News & Guide partnership group, the news source that posted the notice on Jan. 10.

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IN MEMORIAM: Cathleen M. (Annis) Burnham

Cathleen M. “Cathi” (Annis) Burnham passed away unexpectedly at the age of 59 at her home in Warwick, R.I., on Dec. 24, 2017. Cathi was instrumental in organizing the Rhode Island Shorthand Reporters Association, keeping its members apprised of upcoming seminars and events. Following in the footsteps of her aunt, Beulah Dixon, Cathi became the owner and operator of Allied School of Court Reporting, where she taught many students from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. More importantly, though, Cathi was known for her big heart. Members became part of her family, and she ensured that each and every one knew that her door was open for advice, guidance, and support. Cathi was truly an integral part of the court reporting profession.

Maynard Peterson passes away

An obituary notice posted on the John Ireland Funeral Home website noted the passing of Maynard E. Peterson of Oklahoma City, Okla.

Peterson reported for 52 years, working in Kansas City, Mo.; Tulsa, Okla.; and Oklahoma City. He worked as both an official and a freelance reporter. He held, at one time, the RPR, RMR, and CRR. He was one of the earliest realtime reporters.

Peterson was the Associated Stenotypists of America (ASA) speed champion in 1963 and 1964, and he served as president of the Associated Stenotypists of America in 1967. (The ASA eventually merged with the National Shorthand Reporters Association (NSRA), the precursor to NCRA.) He also competed in many NSRA Speed Contests and placed second in the Speed Contest in 1975. He was named a Fellow of the Academy of Professional Reporters in 1976.

More than just a champion reporter, Peterson was considered by many to be the court reporter’s court reporter.

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NCRA member Eleanor Ross passes away

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting,, JCR WeeklyPast NCRA member Eleanor Ruth Hennessy Pinard Ross, of Westfield, Pa., passed away Sept. 4. Throughout her career, she worked for the Portland, Maine, bankruptcy courts, the federal court based in Baltimore, Md., and the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C. She is survived by her three daughters and their families.

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IN MEMORIAM: John T. “Jack” Loynd, Sr.

John T. “Jack” Loynd, Sr., who was an associate member of the National Shorthand Reporters Association (which became the National Court Reporters Association) for many years, passed away at the home of his daughter on March 25, 2017, in North Waterboro, Maine, aged 94. He was previously a nearly lifelong resident of Waltham, Mass.

Jack served in the Army Air Corps in World War II and then in the Air Force during the Korean conflict. He was for a time a hearings stenographer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and then Chief of Elevator Inspectional Services for the state.

He is best known to our members for his evening and Saturday speed classes, at which he would preside from his rec-room desk, which for the occasion would be covered with a dozen tape recorders belonging to his students. (Starting and stopping all these machines would be a full-time job in itself.) Those students will never forget finger-spelling “Harriet Z. Quackenbos.”

It is likely that nearly every Merit reporter in Massachusetts, as well as numerous RPR candidates, passed through Jack’s home at one time or another, with some hopefuls attending for years before finally attaining their certifications. Doughnuts and coffee were always included in the minimal price of admission.

Jack was an old-time Bostonian, with a huge fund of stories of State House politics and anecdotes, now gone out of fashion, about the Irish versus the Italians.

Jack had a true generosity of spirit. When one of our members was hospitalized for a week  and given a six-hour furlough to take the Merit exam, Jack went to the hospital and dictated to her every day of that week. She passed all parts! Jack refused any payment for this signal service, but did accept a certain amount of Irish whiskey, which was amortized over the ensuing years.

In 2009, the Massachusetts Court Reporters Association held a celebratory dinner – or, as we call it here, a “time” – for Jack at his favorite Waltham restaurant. Jack had for some years been using a printout of one member’s Case Catalyst dictionary as a source of short forms in his classes. On this occasion, he was honored by Stenograph Corporation with a free Catalyst license (probably the only one ever granted) which, together with a donated laptop, enabled his students to look up words on their own.

Jack was predeceased by his wife, the former Margaret McGlone, who ran a dance studio through which passed (in parallel to Jack’s classes) probably every little girl in Waltham and surrounding towns. Her studio’s production of “Annie” is legendary. Jack is survived, as well, by six children and their spouses, and about 36 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Expressions of sympathy may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital of Memphis, Tenn.

He will be missed.

Jonathan Young, FAPR, is a CART captioner based in Waltham, Mass. He can be reached at