2018 Luff Awards to Barwis, Stotts and Youngblood

The American Philatelic Society’s annual award season is upon us. The society’s highest awards for living collectors are the Luff Awards. This year’s recipients are John H. Barwis, Denise L. Stotts and Wayne L. Youngblood. The awards will be formally presented August 11 at the Celebration Banquet at StampShow / National Topical Stamp Show in Columbus, Ohio. Tickets can be reserved at stamps.org/stampshow. The awards are named for John N. Luff, who was president of the APS from 1907 to 1909.

John H. Barwis
John H. Barwis

John H. Barwis, of Holland, Michigan, is the 2018 Luff Award recipient for Distinguished Philatelic Research. Barwis co-founded and serves as president of the Institute of Analytical Philately. The organization offers research grants and holds symposia. The conferences have been held in conjunction with the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, Chicagopex and the Royal Philatelic Society of London.

Barwis has studied and researched 19th-century stamps and postal history of Victoria’s first postage stamps. He plated Victoria’s first issue 1-penny stamp of 1850, which had never been done in the 160 years since the stamp’s first printing. Using scientific equipment, his cutting-edge examination of the shades, papers and inks of the U.S. banknotes was landmark.

Regarding Philadelphia postal history, Barwis wrote and maintains a database of date ranges for postmarks used on Philadelphia foreign mails. He has compiled sailing tables for the monthly packets between Philadelphia and Liverpool from 1822 to 1875 by using newspaper archives in the United States and Great Britain.

Barwis has been a stamp collector for 59 years. His exhibits have won national and international gold medals, as well as grand awards in the United States and Great Britain. He is a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London and past president of the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society. He won the 2011 Champion of Champions competition.

Barwis retired in 2003 after 25 years with the Royal Dutch/Shell Group. His career comprised a range of technical and leadership positions, including stints as a chief geologist, exploration manager and manager of geological research, as well as technical director and member of the board of Shell U.K. While serving as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers he conducted research in sedimentology and hydrodynamics at the Hydraulics Laboratory of the U.S. Waterways Experiment Station. Prior to military service he managed an Arctic drifting station owned by the Office of Naval Research, spending more than 15 months on the North Polar ice pack. He has contributed more than 50 articles and government publications to the geological literature in coastal geomorphology and hydrodynamics, sedimentology, stratigraphy, as well as petroleum exploration and production. He holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in geology.

Denise L. Stotts

Denise L. Stotts, of Houston, Texas, is the recipient of the Luff Award for Exceptional Contributions to Philately. Stotts has been an active and tireless philatelic leader and volunteer at the national, state and local level for more than 25 years. 

A lifelong philatelist, she served as director-at-large for the American Philatelic Society from 2007 to 2011. She has also served on the APS Chapter Activities, Ethics and Election Review committees, the Young Philatelic Leaders Fellowship Advisory Board and as local committee chair for APS AmeriStamp Expo 1998.

Stotts has been on the Garfield Perry March Party show committee since 1988 and served as show chair for the Greater Houston Expo from 1994 through 2016. She is a founding member of the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors and Women Exhibitors and has been a director for the Texas Philatelic Association and Houston Philatelic Society. She has served as awards director for the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors, the United States Stamp Society and Women Exhibitors. She also was the assistant director of volunteers for the Washington 2006 World Philatelic Exhibition and helped managed the bin room for World Stamp Show-New York 2016.

Stotts also is a gold medal award-winning philatelic exhibitor. She has staffed booths for the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors, United States Stamp Society, Women Exhibitors and other organizations at numerous shows. She has even served organizations such as the Ohio Postal History Society, for which she was not even a member. Philately has benefitted tremendously from Denise’s leadership, guidance and service.

Wayne L. Youngblood

Wayne L. Youngblood of Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, is the recipient of the Luff Award for Outstanding Service to the APS. Youngblood is a lifelong stamp collector who began at age 8 and never stopped.

Youngblood has served three terms on the APS board as director-at-large and two terms as secretary. He has served as an expert for the American Philatelic Expertizing Service since 1990, providing opinions on about 2,500 items. He has been a columnist for The American Philatelist since October 2004. He has served as an APS Summer Seminar instructor all but one year since 1990.

Youngblood is the current editor for numerous philatelic journals including The American Stamp Dealer & Collector magazineThe Collectors Club PhilatelistTopical Time and Duck Tracks. He is also the past editor of Posthorn and Across the Fence Post, 2005-2012. In addition to The American Philatelist he also is a columnist for Linn’s Stamp News and Philatelic Exporter. Youngblood has served as president of the Errors Freaks and Oddities Collectors Club and the Los Alamos Stamp Collectors Association, and served on the boards of the American First Day Cover Society and Arizona Philatelic Rangers. He has been a member of the St. Louis Stamp Expo Show Committee and is a Boy Scouts Stamp Collecting Merit Badge counselor.

Wayne began his professional involvement with the hobby as an editor at Linn’s Stamp News, became editor of Scott Stamp Monthly then as editor-publisher of Stamp Collector newspaper and, more recently, as vice president at Regency-Superior Auctions. Wayne currently divides his time between his family and freelance writing, editing, dealing and exhibit work. He is author of 10 books (including Stamps that Glow and All About Stamps) and has written thousands of columns and features over the years. He speaks extensively on the hobby to both philatelic and non-philatelic groups.