Services June 20 for Karen Cornett, former Pasadena Library staffer
Funeral services for retired Pasadena Public Library employee Karen Cornett are scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, June 20, at South Avenue Baptist church, 605 Preston in Pasadena.
Cornett, 54, died June 11, apparently as the result of a fire at her Pasadena home, said Library Director Sheila Henderson.
A native of Pasadena, Cornett was well-known to the community for her 28 years of service at the central library, 1201 Jeff Ginn Memorial Drive, where she answered the phone and helped patrons with reference questions. She retired in 2006.
Born with spina bifida, Cornett had used a wheelchair since age 10, leading an active life despite her condition.
In a 2003 interview, Cornett told the Chronicle she liked rock and roll music and enjoyed shooting pool at a local ice house.
The library was like her second family, Cornett said before her retirement.
One thing she liked about working at the reference desk was that she learned so much answering patrons' questions. And she said she met a lot of people, many of them children needing help with homework.
One such youngster grew up to become a Pasadena police officer, who one day pulled Cornett over after she did a rolling stop at a stop sign.
When he saw who it was, he said, "I can't believe it's you," and let her off with a warning, Cornett said.
The officer told her he wouldn't have been able to sleep if he had written her a ticket, she said.
A few years before she retired, Cornett said she was at a Louisiana casino and ran into someone who greeted her with a familiar question:
"Don't you work at the library in Pasadena?"
The library has established a memorial fund for a Karen Cornett special collection.
"Donations are already coming in," Henderson said June 18.
Cochran Funeral Home is handling arrangements and has posted an online guest book for condolence messages.
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