Lorene Winchester was loved by many, many people. She was one of those people that after you met her she just touched your life with a little bit of joy. She loved people, she loved kids and she loved her job.
Lorene worked for Milford ISD for twenty nine years. Five years she worked as a kindergarten aide and the rest of the time as the school’s librarian. She loved her job. Marilee Byrne (principal) was told she needed to get the students TAKS test scores up. She went over the idea of the Accelerated Reading™
program(AR) with Lorene and Lorene was so excited she just took it over with lots of ideas. Lorene filled the library with lots of books. The students scored high on their AR tests and couldn’t wait to read their next book. Lorene loved her job and that is why the staff at Milford ISD decided to dedicate the library to her memory.
Wednesday night Milford ISD’s library was crowded with family, friends and Milford ISD staff that had all came to honor Lorene with the dedication of the school library. Everyone was there to share their memories of Lorene with each other. Brian Duke (Lorene’s grandson) had lots to say about his grandmother, “She was the kindest, most caring, loving person. She would give the kids her last dollar if they needed it. I am very proud that this will now always be her library, ‘The Lorene Winchester Memorial Library’ because she loved it so much.”
Marilee Byrne explained, “Lorene loved the students. She listened to their wants and needs and because of this when we would order books she knew just what books to order for which students, she knew what they liked. Her pride and joy was heading up the Book Fair, she just loved to get the students excited about reading. She was one of the kindest people but she had a feisty side to her too. One of the superintendents along the way decided we needed someone to over see the library, he would come once a week. Well, one day he was here and Lorene came into my office and said, ‘You will get that man out of my library or I will.’ And by golly, we got that man out of her library. We loved her and always will. She always knew what Milford ISD needed and wasn’t afraid to say it. She may be gone but she will never be forgotten.”
Brian Duke and Lorene’s husband John Winchester unveiled the plaque dedicating the library to Lorene. The plaque says it all:
Lorene Winchester Memorial Library
In memory of Lorene Winchester for twenty nine years of dedicated service to the students off Milford ISD as she opened young minds and hearts to the wonders of the world by encouraging them to develop a love of reading.
Lisa Phoenix has this to say about her mother, Lorene, “My Mom would be so humbled to know that they have named the library in her honor. I can hear her know saying, ‘Why in the world would they dedicate the library to me?’. She was loved by so many and she didn’t even realize how much she meant to everyone. She loved working in the library and she loved the kids. When there were times she couldn’t be there she would worry about how the students were going to check out books and she could tell you something about every author of every book. She loved to read so it was only fitting that she made a career working in the library. We cannot thank the Milford ISD staff and School Board enough for making this happen. I know that she is looking down smiling wondering what all the fuss is about.”
Lorene Winchester will be missed but never forgotten.