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Library board appoints interim director, plans Saturday memorial service

January 23, 2019
JESSE MEADOWS ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

The Fort Myers Beach Public Library Board gathered last night for a somber monthly meeting.

Cletus Poser, the library's long-time reference librarian, was appointed interim library director following the untimely death of Dr. Leroy Hommerding on Sunday.

Ann Dalton was appointed interim attorney for the board, and two new board members were sworn in - Jan Fleming and Eric La Fave, the board's youngest member to date and son of Mark La Fave, who served on the board for the last 8 years.

Article Photos

Cletus Poser stands before the board while they discuss his appointment as interim library director.

Poser will serve as interim director on a month-to-month basis while they search for a permanent replacement.

President Sally Seabury said they put together an emergency agenda that would allow for public comment, but asked that no one speak on the investigation or the homeless population.

Many shared their thoughts and grief at the meeting.

"I don't know how we'll get along without Leroy, but I know we will," said treasurer Miffie Greer.

"From the (beginning), he had a vision. This part of the building we're in now was just going to be a parking lot.. but once we bought that, we knew there was more we could do. It was Leroy's library. And always will be," said Lorrie Wolf, a former board member for 16 years.

Library staff member Alice Mack recounted a small but touching moment.

"A few days ago, I came in and I was so cold...He took my hands and he rubbed them together and he made them warm. And I think I will always remember that," she said.

Fleming is in charge of planning the memorial service, which is planned for 1 p.m. on Saturday in the library's garage, and will be mostly standing room.

"If you need to be seated, we will have some folding chairs for people who cannot stand," she said, noting that they chose the garage to accommodate a large turnout.

They are reaching out to all the artists who have exhibited at the library and asking if they can provide work to display in the garage during the memorial.

Plans are also in the works for an intimate gathering after the service to give family, staff, and close friends time to grieve together.

"People ask, where can we send flowers? And the reply was, knowing Leroy, he would prefer a donation was made to the library," said Seabury.



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