A Tribute to Norma Mikesell
This past week the Hillsboro Library lost a beloved, steadfast library friend when Norma Mikesell passed away at the age of 93.
Norma regularly attended Hillsboro Library Friends meetings and was never shy about expressing her ideas and opinions. Her direct and no-nonsense approach to decision making was refreshing, and her dry wit enlivened more than a few dull moments.
Norma is best known for the beautiful quilts she provided to hang on the walls in the children’s area and Community Room of the library. She was justifiably proud of the last quilt she made for this purpose, a brightly rendered creation featuring images of the animated Disney portrayal of the Indian maiden Pocahontas.
As an active member of the Cranberry Piecemakers Quilt Guild, Norma participated in sewing the guild’s annual raffle quilts, the proceeds of which benefit the Hillsboro and McClintic Libraries where the guild meets.
Norma jokingly referred to herself as “the bag lady” for the literally hundreds of cloth tote bags she made for various organizations. The library was fortunate to be the beneficiary of large book-sized totes with pockets on which “Hillsboro Library” was embroidered. These were sold to support the various programs of the Library Friends. Norma annually made Halloween-themed totes for students at Hillsboro Elementary School. These totes were subsequently used as book bags by the children when their classes came to the library.
The collection display case at the library was another of Norma’s ongoing projects, supported by the Hillsboro CEOS Club of which she was a longtime member. Every few months Norma would personally change the contents of the case, primarily utilizing items from her own collections. From ceramic birds to unique teapots, dinosaurs to native American artifacts, it was always Norma’s intention to educate and delight the youngsters who visited the library. It was fitting that her last display was of angels.
One of Norma’s lesser known talents was her expertise in the word game “Scrabble.”
Last year she took home the trophy from the annual Hefner Family Mill Point Scrabble Tournament, the first non-family member to win the prize. To honor her, the Hillsboro Library Friends will host the first Norma Mikesell Scrabble Tournament at the Hillsboro Library on Sunday, February 10, beginning at 2 p.m. Participants are asked to bring a Scrabble game if they have one.
An avid reader, Norma was generous with sharing her books. The last one she loaned this writer was subtitled “Memories of a Life Well Lived.”
Surely her life will be so remembered.