Library mourns Jami Rangel

Bilingual Outreach Specialist Jami Rangel teaching a beginner Spanish class at the library. She passed away July 10. (File photo)

Bilingual Outreach Specialist Jami Rangel teaching a beginner Spanish class at the library. She passed away July 10. (File photo)

Sedona Public Library uses this month’s column to remember Jami Rangel, our bilingual outreach specialist, who passed away unexpectedly on July 10. The loss of this dearly loved and steadfastly admired colleague leaves a hole in our hearts and our library community. We offer our deepest sympathy to her family, friends, and everyone in her bright circle.

Sometimes her hair was purple, sometimes it was blue. She dressed in bright colors and her smile was as big as her eyes were stunning. When she walked into a room, it was lit by her presence. Her kindness resonated effortlessly, and her quick humor made any situation easier. Giggles and song accompanied her wherever she went.

Her library impact was immediate and lasting when she began with us over a year ago. Her Spanish and ESL classes were a hit, and participants quickly shared their praise for her. When you walked by her class, you’d see her students laughing, completely at ease and comfortable. Her love of language was contagious, and people enjoyed when she shared stories, especially about living in Spain.

Below we share a few of the many kind notes we received for this tribute—from staff, volunteers, students, and patrons:

Jamie was kind the way I strive to be. She always had a smile, her bright blue eyes twinkling. She always had a kind word, making me feel so welcome at the Village Library. She spoke with such excitement of her plans to return to Spain this fall. She was tremendously helpful to me as I prepared for my own venture into a TOEFL course in Rome. I attended her Spanish language classes, too. She had an energy and gift for teaching that made learning FUN. My deepest condolences to her family and to the SPL family. Laurel

“Jami was my ‘work-sister.’ She and I crossed paths at another library years ago, and then not two months into my start here, she joined the team. It was great to have a Spanish-speaking colleague and friend to practice with. A favorite topic was her granddaughter, her milestones, and nonstop antics. Jami and I laughed at the same jokes—that wicked sense of humor. She was truly the kindest and most giving person I’ve known. I just miss my friend.” Jan

“Jami joined the staff six months after I did, so we learned together. We both loved teaching ESL and shared tools and ideas. Her students felt her enthusiasm and love of language. She made us laugh when she interjected her quick (and slightly wicked) humor into everything. Her warmth, love of people, and mesmerizing eyes will stay in our hearts always. Aurelia

“There wasn’t a day we worked together that we didn’t also laugh together. I will miss those moments that we’d share stories, laughter, and sometimes some sass and snark.” Marcy

The unexpected loss of Jami was a huge loss for all of us. Jami was a wonderful colleague and human being. She made an enormous difference at the Library and within the community. She served in many ways as a shining example, and we will sorely miss her. Dan

Jami was an extraordinary human being with a lust for life. She totally loved what she believed in and did with her life and career. Whether in her Spanish/Library mode or talking about her granddaughter/family, it was the totality for Jami. What a loss for all of us. I am thankful to have had a life experience with her. She was truly an asset to the human race. Tana

Every night before leaving, Jami would always—always—stop by to ask if I needed any help or if there was anything she could do for me. I would thank her and say, “No, go home and be with Conrad!” She’d tell me how much she loved the Library and her job (every single time!), and that she’d go home—as soon as she used the “tinkletorium.” She really was the most special person. I adore her, and I always will. Judy

And, in closing, perhaps there are no better words than these from one of Jamie’s students. “La profesora es fenomenal!” She was, and she always will be in our hearts and memories. Rest in peace, dear friend. We miss you.

Thank you for reading, and for all the condolences and kindness you have shared with our staff and with Jami’s family.

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