Elizabeth Noonan, 84

Co-founder, Friends of the Oak Park Public Library book sale

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Elizabeth "Liz" Rezac Noonan, 84, died recently in Los Angeles, Calif. Born in Wilmington, Calif. in 1928, she was an ardent defender of the English language and all well-written books, a lifelong lover of chocolate and, as she said, "never regretted a single martini." For over 50 years, she shared her love of reading as a children's librarian in the Washington D.C. and Chicago Public Library systems. Later she ran libraries at St. Edmund, Holy Redeemer, and Holy Family schools. While working at the Washington D.C. Public Library, she reviewed children's books for the Washington Star and developed a reputation as a gifted storyteller at the library and on the radio.

During this time, she met a handsome former Marine when they worked together at the DC Public Library. With a promising career ahead of her, she opted instead to marry him and raise a family. Though she never published again, she found greater joy in working directly with children and getting them excited about reading. She spent the 1960s pregnant, giving birth to six children and was active in the pro-life movement of the 1960s and '70s. She edited the St. Edmund Women's Club Cookbook and helped establish the first Friends of the Oak Park Public Library book sale. She loved golf, cooking, and collected many cookbooks.

Liz Noonan is survived by her husband, Joseph; five children; and her seven grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her son, Richard. Family and friends say they will remember her as a loving mother, wife, and friend.

Her ashes will be interred later in the summer in Crystal, N.D. Visit the online memorial book at www.cabotandsonsfh.com. In lieu of flowers, you may make a donation to the American Library Association — or better yet, read a book!

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