Gary librarian taught students value of good books

2011-11-09T00:00:00Z Gary librarian taught students value of good booksBy Diane Poulton Times Correspondent
November 09, 2011 12:00 am  • 

Mildred Marie Gruenenfelder, 89, of Gary, who worked as a school librarian to age 75, loved to read and travel.

Her husband of 61 years, Jack Gruenenfelder, said his late wife worked for 30 years, first at Emerson High School and later at Beckman Middle School.

"She enjoyed being a librarian very much. One of the things she liked was introducing students to good books," Gruenenfelder said.

Gruenenfelder said his wife loved reading novels and being read to.

He jokingly suggested reading Tolstoy's "War and Peace" to her. She agreed and Gruenenfelder was in the process of reading it to her when she died.

The couple met at Notre Dame University where Mildred was a librarian in the biology department and Gruenenfelder spent many hours helping a disabled biologist friend with his work.

Mildred, who had a huge library in her home and never threw a book away, loved a wide range of novels and short stories.

"She was pretty high on her standards and read serious, artistic, very well-written novels by authors such as Flannery O'Conner, Willa Cather and Thomas Mann," Gruenenfelder said.

Gruenenfelder describes his wife as a loving and patient mother and uncomplaining wife.

She loved travel, having spent two years with her husband as he worked in Vienna, Austria, and making several trips back later in life. She happened to be in Times Square in New York City on V-E Day when World War II ended.

Mildred was a devout Catholic and devoted member of the Gary League of Women Voters.


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