Lori Holzworth Acton  August 14, 1957 – January 28, 2013

The hand written date on the back of this photo is 1959. Lori, the cute little blond in overalls, and myself were 2 years old.  We are cousins, 2 months apart in age.

Growing up as an only child, cousins were my surrogate siblings.  Because of our age, Lori and I were especially close.  

We shared a childhood of sleep overs, color books, mud pies, and dress up.

In our pre-teen years we shared the giggly crushes on the band members of the Monkees, Bobby Sherman and David Cassidy.

High school signaled our journey to adulthood.  We attended different schools and our times together became wedged between school activities, friends and boyfriends. 

Lori set out for college, I got married, and our lives transitioned.  Our times together became dependent on her coming to Colorado to see her parents and siblings.

Today is the one year marker of Lori’s unexpected, sudden death.  It still doesn’t seem real.  Her family and friends still grieve. 

She made a lasting impact on everyone she came in contact with.  She had a laugh that would fill a room with joy.  It was contagious and you couldn’t help yourself…you had to laugh with her. 

She was ever positive, encouraging and forgiving.  She drew people to her with her warm, engaging personality. 

She reveled in life and life reveled in her.  She adored her husband, Larry, and he adored her.  Lori opened her arms to Larry’s four children and raised them as her own.  She called them her “heart” children.

Lori earned a Masters in Library Science and guided the Laurel County Public Library as Executive Director for 28 years.    She orchestrated the expansion of the library, completed in 2004, from a small building to a first class facility.  

Deputy Director of the library, Peggy Mershon, said this about Lori in the local newspaper…
“The library was more than a job to Lori-it was her passion and she worked tirelessly to make the library a place everyone could come and enjoy and learn.  From babies to senior, she wanted this library to offer whatever it could to enrich their lives and the community.”

After her death, The House of Representatives and the Senate of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky honored Lori with a proclamation read in their respective chambers. Here are a few of the declarations they spoke to recognize her….

…a Colorado native but a Kentucky treasure.
…a prized jewel in her community.
…unmatched leadership.
…passionate dedication to literacy and learning.
…love for her community.
…an infectious laugh that could brighten any day.
…deeply devoted to her family.

That cute little blond girl in the picture grew up to be a successful, loving, passionate woman.  She became a leader and a visionary in her community.

I end this day with the same words of adjournment the House and Senate of Kentucky ended with on the day of Lori’s proclamation..

“When the House of Representatives/Senate adjourns this day, it does so in honor and loving memory of Lori Acton.”