A member of the Philadelphia Branch for over 35 years, Martha Rosso (née Pamplin) was one of the Fellowship's most dynamic and best loved figures. She contributed unstintingly to its business right to the very end of her life.
In her work for the Fellowship Martha Rosso drew both on her love of Dickens and on her skills as a wordsmith. Having served as a secretary, first during the Second World War with the US Department of Defense and later at the University of Pennsylvania, she was able to bring a professional approach to the business of research, writing and editing that would surely have won the approval of Dickens himself. For many years, she was editor of the Philadelphia Branch's unique newsletter, the Buzfuz Bulletin.
When Martha began to make use of the Internet in the last few years of her life, she did so with characteristic energy and skill. One of her first tasks was to proofread pages of the Fellowship's website, a predecessor of this one. She saw the potential of the Internet to bring members of the Fellowship closer together. It seemed fitting, therefore, that a donation she made to the Fellowship in its centenary year, 2002, should be dedicated to the development of the Fellowship's Internet activities. The donation was one of three that she made to institutions which had meant most to her: her school and church of childhood in Indiana and the Dickens Fellowship - "each of the three having touched my life and transformed it profoundly through the years."