Beloved Librarian Edith Nettleton Dies at 105

On Jan. 23, 1934, First Selectman S. Leslie Spencer hands the keys to the new library at 67 Park St. to Rev. William C. H. Moe, president of the Guilford Library Association. Looking on, from left to right, are Lena A. Shelley, from the library board of directors, Edith B. Nettleton, librarian, and Martha G. Cornell, library board of directors. Photo courtesy Patty Baldwin, Guilford Free Library (source link)

I visited the Guilford Free Library for the first time in December 2011, during one of our coastal Connecticut reconnaissance missions and well before we knew that this was were we’d choose to move (see visit post). During that first visit I learned about Edith Nettleton. At the time, she was 103. This past July she celebrated her 105th birthday.

Edith Nettleton passed away last week at the age of 105. She’d still been volunteering at the library and living an active lifestyle. She started her tenure as the director of the Guilford Fee Library in 1933. Upon retirement she became an active volunteer and served the library for 80 years. 80 years. Most of us will be lucky to live to 80, especially in such good mental and physical health. Read an article from today’s paper by Lisa Reisman here and her official obituary.

The week before she passed away one of my new neighbors, a man who retired at the end of last year, was telling me how he remembered her as a boy doing homework at the library. She was always so nice, he said, and spoke of her with a tone that people reserve for well-loved grandmothers or great aunts.

What a beautiful legacy she’s left behind. I’m sorry I never got to meet her.

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