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Friday, May 6, 2016

Saying good-bye

Monday, March 19, 2007

Always making time - Pat Ellerbroek always had time for her friends and patrons of the library.
This week, the community of Cherokee lost one of its biggest assets. Pat Ellerbroek passed away Saturday, after a hard fought battle with cancer. She touched so many lives here in Cherokee, and affected many generations. Whether it was her work with the library, or her years as co-chair of the "Survivors committee" for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, or, of course, all her years doing the Days Gone By feature in the Cherokee paper.

For years, whenever I picked up the paper the first thing I would look for was the Days Gone By section. It was comforting to know that week after week there was Pat's page, after all I was a fan of hers.

When I started here at the paper I couldn't wait to meet Pat but I soon found out that she was ill and at that time she could not continue with her work here. A few months went by and the editors here at the paper asked if anybody was interested in starting back up the Days Gone By page. I jumped at the opportunity to be involved, but soon I became nervous about trying to fill Pat's foot steps. First of all, I knew that I was not Pat and did not want to take away from all that she had done with her page. So I wanted something to separate her work from mine. So with a new name for the page, I was off to a new start.

After a couple of weeks and trying to get the hang of things I was working in the county archives when Pat came down for a visit. There she was in the flesh and I was star struck. She came over to me and introduced herself and told me how happy she was that I was continuing the time capsules and offered her services to me. Then she really dropped a bomb on me. She asked me if I would like to do a project together sometime and of course I said that would be a great idea.

Well like anything in life, we always think that we have the time to do what we would like to do but more often than not... we don't. I did not want our collaboration to be a memorial. Never the less here we are... I learned one thing about Pat that everybody who has ever met her already knew. Pat was many things to many people but the one thing I will always remember about Pat is that she was pure grace.

Going up? Pat Ellerbroek was the library director for the Cherokee Public Library for 19 years. One of Pat's many projects for the library was the installation of the elevator to make the library more accessible for everyone. [Click to enlarge]
In the last couple of days I've been talking to a lot of people about Pat, and all that she had accomplished in her life. Every one I talked to was star struck with her also. That is what our community has lost. Not just her knowledge or her compassion but having someone to look up to. Good-bye Pat, You will be missed by all.

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