Library invites community to celebrate life of Mary Colgan-Bennetts

Jan. 19, 2019 — The Siuslaw Public Library will host a community gathering in memory of longtime Library employee Mary Colgan-Bennetts, who passed away at the end of November.

The Irish wake celebration will be held on Sunday, Jan. 27, from 1 to 4 p.m., at the main library in Florence.

A short formal remembrance will begin at 1 p.m. and last for approximately thirty minutes. This will be followed by an open house featuring light refreshments, music, fellowship and reflection.

The Library asks that you wear purple, Colgan-Bennetts’ favorite color, and bring a favorite memory. Also, if you have any memorabilia related to Colgate-Bennetts to share, such as a photo or art piece she made, they would be welcome for display at the gathering.

Those who knew Mary Colgan-Bennetts knew she had many interests and passions including the library, art, genealogy and her dog Max. Mary worked for the library for over 20 years and was instrumental in bringing the work of local artists into the library for all to see and enjoy.

As an extension of the art displays, she developed a hugely popular and successful public annual event known as demARTS where artists demonstrated their varied artistic talents and invited attendees to try their hand at new techniques.

At the October 2018 demARTS program, the library lobby art display area was renamed the Mary Colgan-Bennetts Gallery in honor of her commitment to bringing art into the public arena.

Colgate-Bennetts’ art was photography and superb crafting. She was adept at capturing contrasts between dark and light and colors and showcased this talent when she displayed her many photos of Oregon’s covered bridges at the library in 2017.

She generously shared her crafting skills and wares with friends and co-workers. 

Colgate-Bennetts also spent many years working on her family history and was a member of the Siuslaw Genealogical Society.

Note that the library will be closed for library business on Sunday Jan. 27.

For more information about the gathering, visit the library or its website at, or call the library at 541-997-3132.


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