This week, the community of Watertown lost an integral part of its reading education community.
Linda Bauman spent decades bringing her passion for reading and children together as a librarian across the county. She died, Tuesday, at the age of 62.
Linda worked as a librarian for the City, the Bookmobile around the county and often visited schools to talk about reading programs. For those of us who didn't have the chance to know Linda, the legacy she leaves behind is something we can all take with us as we continue ours.
In life, there are people we meet who just make a difference without even realizing it. Linda Bauman was one of those people.
"She was an inspiration to the students, gentle, kind, loving, kids wanted to be around her," friend and Immaculate Conception Principal Carol Dagel said.
She inspired kids with reading, most notably in the county bookmobile, stopping in communities and school across Codington County.
"She had a very gentle way of inspiring kids. She just knew the buzz words that would respond to them and they would respond to. I will always remember that," Dagel said.
From those who knew her well to those she had just met, Linda left an impact.
"Her life was like a storybook that literally would end happily ever after because she made everyday count whether it was children on the floor listening to her story, her husband, family, people from the outside, she looked at the bright side of things," Pastor and friend Jim Biswell said.
Before she passed away, Linda asked her family to have books donated, in lieu of flowers, to keep the power of reading strong. Piles around the community just keep growing.
"We've been honored that people are so close to her and our family and have reached out to make her dream come true," daughter Chrissy Peiker said.
Colon cancer was a disease Linda knew could take her life, but that didn't stop her from living or doing what she loved.
"It was really touching to see all the children in the community that knew how sick she was with her cancer but still showed up the most positive individual I've met to make sure each child benefited," Peiker said.
Though she's gone now, Library Linda will always be with young readers in Watertown.
Linda leaves behind her husband Galen, her three children and three grand children.
A celebration of her life will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, at The Wesleyan Church in Watertown with Pastor Jim Biswell as celebrant.
The family asks that books be donated to the Immaculate Conception School in Watertown or to her husband Galen Bauman at 1003 22nd St NE Watertown, SD 57201.
For more information, e-mail Alissa Bauman at email@example.com.
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