In Memoriam

Ann Watts 2022

Longtime CamNats member Ann Watts died on September 1, 2022, at the age of 84. She had been an English professor at Rutgers University-Newark for many years prior to her retirement. She read extensively: literature, poetry, history, biography and memoirs, and on language, nature, travel, and art. She was a lifelong gardener and in retirement became an accomplished naturalist. She was an avid birder, a member and volunteer for the New Jersey Audubon Society's Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, a member of the National Association of American Butterflies, North Jersey Chapter, and participated in many bird and butterfly counts. With other CamNats members she helped lead field photography workshops on the Delmarva Peninsula for New Jersey Audubon. She was an avid traveler, accompanying other CamNats members to Central and South America and Africa. She was an active correspondent with friends and family who delighted in the many cards she sent with her photographs of polar bears, leopards, moths, damselflies and dragonflies, herons, wildflowers, and more. She was a warm, caring woman who never had a bad word to say about anyone and was always willing to help others, and she will be missed.

Mary Liddle 2022

Mary Liddle was proud to be a member of Camera Naturalist Photo Club and also of Cranbury Digital Camera Club. Throughout her life, her love of visual art expressed itself in painting, photography and sculpture. Mary studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She loved sailing, traveling, and plein air painting. Mary thoroughly enjoyed a trip to Florida in early 2022, her last before she passed away on July 3, 2022, age 92, in the loving presence of her daughter Susan and her son-in-law Tam Stuart. Mary is pictured at D & R Greenway, where her painting of a barn at Mercer Meadows Reed/Bryan Farm was juried into an exhibition.

Ben Venezio 2020

Ben Venezio started his passion for photography in the US army. Upon returning to the states, he joined a camera club. He was a camera club member for over 50 years with about 30 of those years as a member at CamNats. Over the course of those years at various clubs, he served as president, vice president, nature chair, pictorial chair, NJFCC rep., as well as other countless positions. Always welcoming to new members to the club he also mentored countless other photographers over the years, building the NJ photographic community and passing on his goodwill and spirit. Winner of every award in NJ imaginable including the NJFCC citation, he was truly humbled to be part of the Nature’s Best award as top camera club in the country with one of his images hanging in the Smithsonian as part of the winning image exhibit.

Married to his wife Barbara for 66 years, with 4 children (who often were his models on family vacations), he passed away at 88 years old, still a proud member of CamNats.

His teachings and welcoming spirit still remains at the core of CamNats and other clubs, and for that, we should all be grateful.

Rob Haitmanek 2020

We met Rob when we took our first Africa Trip in 2014 – after that we went on 2 more Africa trips with him and a trip to Alaska with him and some other photography friends. Butch & Rob also went to Iceland together. We developed a great friendship with Rob during this time period. Besides these bigger trips, we also did a lot of more local photography outings with him. When we first met him, he appeared a bit “tough” in demeanor. Rob was quiet until he got to know you better, and then watch out . . . To our pleasant surprise, Rob was a very caring person, talented photographer and fun to be with. He had some health issues, but was always “gung ho” and ready for any adventure. He was extremely funny and always up to something – whether it was a prank on a friend, a funny way of accomplishing something, talking about his daughters and grandchildren, or just while hanging out. This photo of Rob was taken in Alaska – we were photographing a beautiful scenic area and he sat among these flowers to get a lower angel. He looked so cute and was having a great time. Sadly in the spring of 2020, Rob passed away – he called us that morning and told us what good friends we were to him. He also said he was not feeling well and would be going to the hospital. After that we never heard from him again. His daughter called later that day and advised us of his passing. We were devastated and saddened; but, we have lots of great memories, especially from when we were photographing together.
Butch and Linda VanSeters

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