|Death: ||Aug. 21, 2002|
Gifted and renowned academic librarian with a profound depth of knowledge in many disciplines. At her death, she was serving as the first Special Collections Librarian of the Monroe Library at Loyola University of New Orleans. Born in Japan, she also lived in Kansas, Colorado and Massachusetts before moving to New Orleans in 1980 to become Serials Librarian for Loyola University.
She graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in art, and she received a Master's in Library Science (MLS) from Simmons College at Boston University. She had several articles published in library science journals. In 1987, she was awarded the American Library Association's Justin Winsor Award for excellence in Library History Research. A few of her most noted articles are:
-A Heritage Dismissed (1985)
-The Sexual Politics of Illness in Turn-of-the-Century Librarians (1990)
-The Progressive Librarians' Council and Its Founders (1990)
-Trouble in Big Sky Ivory Tower: The Montana Tenure Dispute of 1937-1939 (1997)
-A Century of Progress: Librarians at Loyola University 1913-1999 (1999)
She first found acclaim in her 1985 study concerning the negative stereotypes of librarianship being rooted in sexism and ageism.
She was a founding officer of the Carrollton-Riverbend Neighborhood Association, an uptown neighborhood where she and her husband made their home for many years. In 1998, she was honored by the New Orleans Preservation Resource Center as a neighborhood preservation hero.
Ms. McReynolds was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1997. Deeply spiritual as well as pragmatic, Rosalee went to Schoen Funeral Home, a citadel of New Orleans traditional funerary decorum, and left instructions for her funeral: champagne and strawberries. Schoen's predictably recoiled from such unorthodoxy, but Rosalee persisted and prevailed. Hundreds attended with notices coming from around the country from the profession to proclaim her accomplishments in the advancement of library science. In her eulogy, she expressed her passion for her work, a work that came to her quite by accident: she moved to Boston and after a long day pounding the pavements for a job, she rested on the steps of Boston University Library. The rest, she said, was history. "I have always loved being a librarian and I'm convinced that I couldn't have been happier doing anything else," she affirmed.
At the time of her death, she was working on a book about Philip and Mary Jane Keeney, librarians in the Library of Congress who lost their positions during the McCarthy era.
Family, friends and colleagues have created the Rosalee McReynolds Special Collections Endowment to populate and perpetuate the Loyola University Special Collections department that she started and in which she later flourished. American composer Stephen Dankner dedicated his 1998 Symphony No. 3 "Song of Solomon" to her.
Survivors include her husband, artist and educator Eric Sands; her father, Donald McReynolds of Denver; and two sisters, Hean Allardice of Mount Prospect, Illinois and Judith Blaha of Vienna, Austria. Other survivors include hundreds of colleagues and dear friends, including this writer and New Orleans soprano Ms. Debbie N. E. Sudduth, dear cousin to her husband, and the entire Nuss family.
--- K. Jacob Ruppert, New York/New Orleans.
Cremated, Ashes scattered.
Specifically: Ashes scattered at a favorite and meaningful location in Colorado
Created by: K. Jacob Ruppert
Record added: Jan 29, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 17742823
Rest in great peace and eternal happiness Mrs. McReynolds.|
W. R. L.
Added: Aug. 11, 2007
Added: Feb. 10, 2007
You remain one of the most profoundly intelligent, captivating and funny people I have ever met. I shall always miss you here with us.|
K. Jacob Ruppert
Added: Jan. 29, 2007