Linda Biagi nurtured people and enjoyed ordering new books for the Whiting library.
"My mom always put others first," Amanda Biagi said. "She was a loving, caring and outgoing life-of-the-party type person. She loved books and was very dedicated to her job."
As head of technical services at the library, Biagi died in her sleep a few days before she was to be honored for her 40-year tenure.
"When someone just passes away so suddenly, it is rough. Time heals," her husban, John, said.
Biagi's prime delight was getting children interested in books early so they would become lifelong readers, John Biagi said.
Co-worker Mary Kershner called Biagi a valued employee.
"Linda was like a family member, and her passing hit us all hard," Kershner said. "She was a good friend and a sweet lady."
The Whiting High School alumnus graduated in 1973 with a bachelor's degree in English from Calumet College of St. Joseph.
In 1986, she earned a master's degree in library science from Indiana University.
The St. John the Baptist Church member was a huge opera fan and viewed "The Phantom of the Opera" numerous times, her daughter said.
Biagi was very proud of her 2-year-old grandson, Andrew Counihan, family said.
And she enjoyed the game show "Jeopardy."
"She was so smart, and if she had gone on that show, I am sure she would have won," her sister, Emma Garwood, said.
An avid collector of Thanksgiving pilgrims, Biagi also had more than 200 Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus pieces, which the Whiting Library displayed on two occasions, her husband said.