In Memory of…

Alan Pickersgill – February 3, 2021

The Friends of the Guelph Public Library are sad to report the recent passing of our staunch friend, Alan Pickersgill. Alan passed away after a fight with cancer on February 3, 2021. From his obituary in Guelph Today, “Alan was a writer and photographer. He was a voracious reader and knew the value of public libraries to their communities.” Alan was also an Executive Member and Treasurer of the Friends of the Guelph Public Library for many years. He played a crucial role in making the annual book sales successful. Anyone fortunate enough to have known Alan will remember his ever-present smile, mischievous sense of humour, and deep commitment to social justice. The sympathies of the Friends are with Lynne and his family.

Marilyn Crooks – September 18, 2020

The Friends of the Guelph Public Library mourn the recent death of Marilyn Crooks. Marilyn was absolutely integral to the early book sales, among other things handling advertising and public relations for several years. Her involvement has been sorely missed since her illness precluded her continued involvement. We extend our condolences to her family.

Eileen Hammill – March 28, 2020

The Friends of the Guelph Public Library join hundreds in the city of Guelph and beyond in mourning the death of Eileen Hammill. Eileen was an honorary member of The Friends of the Library; but she had been a well-known and vocal advocate for the Library long before the Friends group was founded.
Eileen was a member of the Board of the GPL for nearly 30 years, and her outspoken passion for the Library never wavered. The Library was only one of several community institutions that benefited enormously from the prodigious energies and community spirit of Eileen and her husband Ken.
The loss of Eileen to the City and the Library is enormous. The Friends of the Library offer sincere condolences to Eileen’s family.

John Wood – December 25, 2018

“Mourning the loss of John Wood”, letter to the editor, Guelph Mercury-Tribune, Dec 28, 2018, Virginia Gillham

Together with the rest of the Guelph community, the Friends of the Guelph Public Library mourn the death of John Wood.
The generosity of the Wood family to the Friends of the Library in recent years has been extraordinary — and absolutely central to the group’s ongoing success in generating community support for the library and the concept of a new main library in Guelph.
Guelph has lost a kind and generous man and an outstanding citizen and community supporter.

Maxine Crispin – November 25, 2017

Maxine was a strong Library supporter. As a Friend of the Guelph Public Library she was an early contributor to the book sale organizing committee when the first book sales began nearly twelve years ago. Later on, she and Joan Goddard worked together to host the pre-sale volunteer appreciation evening. For more about Maxine’s long, productive and rewarding life, please read this Globe & Mail obituary notice from December 16, 2017.

Carl Jordan – May 29, 2017

A remembrance by the Friends of the GPL book sale Special and Antiquarian books Specialist, Sue Merritt:

For several years, I had the privilege – and, most particularly, the pleasure – of working with Carl Jordan in the Special Books section of the Friends of the GPL book sale. Carl very kindly took me on as his apprentice in pricing the hundreds, and then thousands, of vintage and antiquarian books that passed through our hands as the sale grew larger over the years. We spent many, many hours working together, happily chatting away as we sorted through the books piled in front of us. He was always generous in sharing his time, his expertise in antiquarian books, and in his unfailing good humour and courtesy. Among his many other talents and professional accomplishments (which he never happened to mention during all those lengthy chats), Carl possessed the gift of connecting easily and naturally to others. He will be remembered with great affection and respect by all of us who were lucky enough to know him.

Wendy Young – January 14, 2016

Wendy Young was a respected Teacher-Librarian with the Upper Grand District School Board, and one of the pioneer organizers of the Friends of the Guelph Public Library Book Sale. Beginning with the first sale ten years ago, and continuing for as long as her health permitted, she partnered with Val Morse to organize and superintend the Children and Young Adults collection. When she felt she could no longer make that level of commitment, she continued to volunteer as she could, and she was there for the monumental 2015 sale.
Wendy died, far too soon, on January 14, 2016 after an heroic 15 year struggle with Myeloma. She leaves her husband, Paul Young, her two daughters Erin and Julia, their husbands, and four granddaughters. Her gentle, positive nature and her immense knowledge of children’s literature will be missed by everyone who had the great pleasure to work with her.

Vionna Maye – December, 2015

Vionna Maye was a cheerful and invaluable member of the Booksale core committee for many years. She routinely contributed good, thoughtful ideas to committee discussions. All of the volunteers knew her as the person who fed us and generally made things pleasant. Vionna looked after hospitality for the sorting volunteers, and ran the Booksale cafe for a number of years. The committee missed her terribly when she stepped down after the 2014 sale. They were saddened to learn she was ill and shocked by her death in December of 2015.

Joan Goddard – October 18, 2014

The Friends of the Guelph Public Library mourn the passing of Joan Goddard an enthusiastic library supporter who assisted with several book sales, and with her husband, John, helped create the original membership data base for the Friends of the Library. A long time resident of Guelph, Joan was involved in local politics, and was a past president of the CFUW, Guelph chapter. Her passing is a loss to the community, to the Library and to the Friends of the Library.

Jon Wright – February 18, 2014

The Friends of the Guelph Public Library recently lost a staunch supporter and great friend, Jon Wright (1938-2014). Until a debilitating disease curbed his boundless energy, Jon had been a very involved member of the Friends’ Executive. For many years he was a strong supporter of the need for a new and expanded Main Library to serve the increasing population of Guelph. The Friends of the Guelph Public Library extend condolences to Jon’s wife, Janina, and his children Jennie, Ted and Peter.

John Goddard – September 6, 2012

John and his wife Joan have been strong Friends of the Library members and supporters for a number of years. John was the architect of the first computer-based Friends’ volunteer database which was one of the foundation pieces for the comprehensive database presently in use. We extend our sincere sympathy to Joan and the rest of John’s family.

Lynn Lipski – July 12, 2011

Lynn was a busy and enthusiastic volunteer in a wide variety of areas. Once she moved to Guelph with her husband in 1989, she contributed her energy to the Guelph Museum, the Guelph Spring Festival, the River Run Centre, Meals on Wheels for the Red Cross, and St. James the Apostle church. Lynn became part of the Book Sale organizing committee in 2006 at the time of the first sale, and her enthusiasm never flagged. She is sorely missed.