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Former EMU Librarian Dies

Posted on August 15th, 2007

Margaret M. Shenk, 88, librarian emerita at Eastern Mennonite University, died Aug. 11 at Oak Lea Nursing Home, Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community.

Margaret Shenk

Ms. Shenk served in a variety of roles at EMU’s Hartzler Library from 1950 until her retirement in 1984, including catalog librarian and assistant librarian. She was head librarian, 1961-1973. She served as librarian for a girls’ school in Izmir, Turkey, during a sabbatical year.

“Margaret was a hard worker and got a lot done – and done well,” said Lois B. Bowman, librarian in EMU’s Menno Simons Historical Library. “She was careful about details. Students she trained were well trained.

“Margaret liked to travel and enjoyed driving. I remember a trip to a conference in Atlanta with Margaret gladly taxiing a car full of librarians,” Bowman added.

Margaret Shenk working in EMU library

A 1949 EMU graduate, Shenk did graduate work at the former Madison College and at Goshen (Ind.) College and earned an MA in library science degree from George Peabody College for Teachers, Nashville, Tenn.

Shenk was born Feb. 15, 1919, in Elida, Ohio, and moved to Newport News, Va., at an early age. She is survived by four sisters, including Mary Florence Shenk, a former long-time assistant to the dean at EMU; a brother, John M. Shenk, a former member of EMU’s physical plant department; and many nieces and nephews, including niece Gloria Shenk Kniss, an administrative assistant at EMU at Lancaster (PA).

A memorial service was held Aug. 17 at Park View Mennonite Church where she was a member.

Memorial contributions can be made to the VMRC Compassion Fund, 1491 Virginia Ave., Harrisonburg, VA 22802 or to the Warwick River Mennonite Church, 250 Lucas Creek Road, Newport News, VA 23602.

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