Since February of 2019, our Library has been missing a little piece of its big heart. Doris Dean with her sparkling eyes, her quiet wisdom, and ever serving spirit may have left this Earth, but her legacy and the impression she made upon the Athens-Limestone Public Library will live on forever.
Doris was an active member of the Friends of the Athens-Limestone Public Library and the Athens-Limestone Public Library Foundation Board for over a decade, attending meetings and events religiously until months before her passing. She was an integral part of the fundraising for the new library and an advocate for the library and its services. Not only did she put her heart and soul into the projects, events, and activities of the library, but she was a generous and recurring contributor to the Athens-Limestone Public Library Foundation’s fundraising efforts. If there was an event- she bought a table for her family and friends to attend with her. If there was a campaign- she was the first to ask how she could give.
Just months after Doris’ passing, our annual Cooking for Books event was to be held. Doris had attended and reserved tables for this event since its inception in 2015. Even in her absence, we were touched to have her daughters, Mary Kay Crawford and Jennifer Bunnell at an “In Memory of Doris Dean” table with their dear friends.
One of the most amazing things Doris and Tom Arlin Dean did for the Athens-Limestone Public Library Foundation was to become one of the founding members of the Southard Society. Inspired by the large estate gift left by Shelby Southard to the Athens-Limestone Public Library, the Southard Society is made up of contributors and community members who wish to remember the Athens-Limestone Public Library in their estate planning.
On a beautiful Monday afternoon on June 3rd, Mary Kay and Jennifer hand delivered Tom and Doris’ last gift to the Athens-Limestone Public Library with the money bequest in their wills. Even in her absence, Doris is carrying out her cause. Because of her gifts, children can continue to immerse themselves in books and story times, adults can take free computer classes in hopes of acquiring skills necessary for jobs, those who cannot afford computers or internet will have free access to both, and teenagers will have a safe place to refine their writing skills or study with their peers.
If you’re going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased.”
And that’s just what Doris did. She left a mark on the Athens-Limestone Public Library and this community that will be seen and felt for years to come.
If you are interested in leaving a legacy like Doris, you can do so by supporting the Athens-Limestone Public Library through our monthly giving program, the "Cottonseed Coalition” or joining our “Southard Society” estate planning program, click here or contact Anna Clem at 256-232-1233. We would be humbled to have you as a partner so to better our community and those who live in it.
Athens-Limestone Public Library