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Her story, remembered

by: Stover E. Harger III REMEMBER —Left to right: Karen Van Swearingen, Dee Rotto  and Patty Pribyl, friends of the late Patricia Johnston, present Scappoose Public Library Director Dan White with a memorial plaque honoring the late Scappoose woman’s enthusiasm for reading.

For a woman who read almost every book she could get her hands on, what better place for a memorial than the local library?

Known for her enthusiastic love of reading - in all forms - Patricia 'Pat' Johnston, who died at the age of 84 on May 29, was honored by her friends with a plaque that will be on display permanently in the Scappoose Public Library.

Johnston, who worked for years as a special education aid at Scappoose High School, was a passionate supporter of reading and the Scappoose library in its many incarnations.

'She absolutely loved this library,' said longtime friend and library supporter Patty Pribyl. 'I think she read every book in the library.'

Her friends say she was working on a written history of the library when she died. They hope someone will take on Johnston's project and finish what she started.

Library director Dan White, who in his year working at the library became well aware of Johnston's library patronage, was thinking about some way to honor the woman when he was approached by Pribyl, Karen Van Swearingen and Dee Rotto about the plaque concept.

'I didn't even have to ask,' he said.

Along with the plaque, six of Johnston's friends chipped in to give a donation to the library so it could beef up its collection in hopes of continuing to build a new generation of readers.

A quote featured on the plaque, which will be displayed in the entrance hall by the meeting room, sums up the ethos of Johnston very well, her friends say.

It reads:

'May blessings be upon the head of Cadmus, the Phoenicians or whoever it was that invented books.'