Memorial to Wyllie Thornton, former bookmobile librarian, by Dr. Miles Barnes
Wyllie Thornton, retired bookmobile librarian at the Eastern Shore Public Library, passed away recently. For a decade, I joined Miss Wyllie on her Wednesday bookmobile routes. I soon learned that she possessed an admirable work ethic, paid attention to detail, and considered service to the bookmobile’s patrons her first responsibility. She knew the reading interests of the clientele and, a reader herself, took pains to select books that they were likely to enjoy. Having formerly driven a school bus, she was comfortable behind the wheel of the bookmobile and understood the vehicle’s needs and crochets.
I relished my days bookmobiling with Miss Wyllie. We shared a similar attitude toward patron service and a similar sense of humor. We enjoyed traveling the Eastern Shore’s back roads and stopping in its small towns. We looked forward to greeting and talking with fellow readers. Our conversations while on the road or over lunch were punctuated by laughter. She was kind and generous, calm and philosophical. I hope that I never forget the time I spent with her.
After her retirement from the library, Miss Wyllie deepened her commitment to her church and to her community. She even served a term as mayor of Wachapreague. She maintained friendships with library patrons and staff. She was especially close to Colette Nelson, who also worked alongside her on the bookmobile. Colette and I and others who loved her mourn her passing.
Wyllie Thornton’s obituary is here: https://www.doughtyfuneralhome.com/obituary/wyllie-thornton