Liverpool (WSYR-TV) -- Friends and family are remembering Lori Bresnahan as a kind woman and devoted mother, who touched the hearts of countless children in her role as a school librarian.
She also inspired new teachers. Patrick Gilchriest fondly recalls his former Literature professor's incredible smile.
"A sunny personality who just really truly loved books. That's what the course was all about. The course was all about, how do we take books and put them in kids' hands and make kids excited to read?” Gilchriest said.
Bresnahan devoted her life to a personal passion. She studied childhood education at SUNY Oswego before earning a Master's degree at Syracuse University.
"Lori was an energetic, highly motivated student with a bright and contagious smile. She was a joy to teach," recalled Dr. Ruth Small.
Bresnahan shared that joy with elementary school students in Liverpool and Oswego, where she spent years as a librarian.
"Always had a smile on her face, just a wonderful, wonderful young lady, loved the kids, loved being a librarian and they all loved her,” said Oswego School District Spokesperson Bill Foley. “You hear about things like this, but you just can't believe they happen to somebody that you know and care about."
For those who knew her best, Bresnahan is remembered as an extremely devoted daughter, close to her mother.
"You never saw one without the other. Lori was the most easy-going and pleasant person you'd like to meet," said Mary Holland, Bresnahan's cousin.
Gilchriest is teaching his own students now. He recalls the day Bresnahan told him she believed that he would change lives.
"It was the first thing I thought of. It was the first thing I thought of and I thought that's what a legacy is, and that's what a teacher is, and if that is what she has done, and I know she has, then she has done a tremendous service,” Gilchriest said.
It’s a service he'll pass on to a new generation in the name of a beloved librarian with that unforgettable smile.
SU’s iSchool is in the process of establishing a scholarship in Bresnahan’s name, as well as organizing a children’s book drive for the Liverpool School District. Inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.