On behalf of The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, it is with deep regret and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Harold "Hal" Pilcher. Hal passed away on Saturday, March 30, at his home in Fort Myers. He is survived by his wife Marguerite and grandson Derek, of Annapolis, MD.
Hal was a dedicated member of a small group of founding volunteers with the Museum, having served since its opening in November 1995. He assisted the Museum for almost 18 years, both as a Great Hall Docent and as a Collection Assistant.
Hal enjoyed his different volunteer duties equally: "The two are symbiotic," he said, "because I learn about shells upstairs and I can relate to them down here [in the Great Hall]." His wife, Marguerite, joined him in service to the Museum in 1996 as a Collection Assistant. Together, Hal and Marguerite managed the global School Shell Kit Program for many years.
A retired Air Force Colonel, Hal attended the Naval Academy in Annapolis. He moved with Marguerite to Sanibel in 1992 from Bowie, Md. After their move to Sanibel, Hal became an avid sheller and joined the Southwest Florida Conchological Society (Fort Myers). More recently, he was an active member and past board member of the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club. Hal's love and dedication to the Museum were emblematic of the best that volunteerism can elicit from people.
In all that he did in his multi-faceted activities, Hal became a true asset to the Museum and will be sorely missed and remembered fondly.