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Ardath A. Danford, 83, of Zanesville died at 1:30 a.m. November 22, 2013 at the Helen Purcell Home in Zanesville.
She was born February 11, 1930 in Lima, Ohio to Howard G. and Grace R. (Klug) Danford. Ms. Danford is survived by her brother, Dr. Harold Gene (Patricia) Danford of Appleton, Wisconsin, niece, Lisa Viator of Lubbock, Texas, nephew, Dr. David Danford of Omaha, Nebraska and a number of great nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and close friend, Miriam Bixler.
Ardath moved with her family to Zanesville in 1933 and graduated from Lash High School in 1947. She earned her BA and MA in Library Science from Florida State University.
Her life’s work was leadership in public libraries in Ohio. Her first job was serving as a bookmobile librarian at the Lima Public Library. She ventured out of state in 1955 to work at the University of Maryland Medical Library in Baltimore but jumped at the opportunity to come back to Ohio and work at Lima Public Library again as Head of Technical Services less than two years later. She became the Director of the Way Public Library in 1960 and served there ten years. She began in 1970 as Head of Adult Services, then Assistant Director and finally Director of the Toledo-Lucas County Library retiring after 33 years of library service in 1985. Under her leadership Toledo-Lucas County Library became the fourth largest system in Ohio. The Ohio Library Council named her Librarian of the Year in 1985 and inducted her into the statewide librarians’ hall of fame in 1993. She is recognized for preparing the library for the computer age. Toledo-Lucas County served as a test site for online circulation which became the norm for public libraries in the 1990’s. She came out of retirement in 1989 to oversee the building project and computerization of the John McIntire Library and served as Director there until 1991.
Following a request to write a pamphlet to handout during the Perrysburg sesquicentennial, she wrote and published the book, The Perrysburg Story 1816-1966. She revised and updated the 1966 edition in 1993 and published Perrysburg Revisited.
She and her friend Miriam Bixler built a home and moved to Zanesville in 1996. She enjoyed flower gardening, mowing her glorious 5-acre lawn, playing cards, community theater (especially shows involving her best friend, Alice Mauk), and dining with her many friends.
She was active in United Methodist Women and Central Trinity United Methodist Church, the Helen Purcell Foundation Board, and the Genesis Health Care Foundation Board. She also served on many boards in the Toledo area including serving as President of the Toledo Community Foundation. During her library career she served on many state-wide committees and boards including that of President of the Ohio Library Council.
A kind and generous heart, Ms. Danford lived life to the fullest and contributed much to her community and mentored several young, aspiring professionals throughout her life.
Bryan and Snider Funeral Home, 2318 Maple Avenue is handling arrangements for a caring cremation. There will be no visitation or services. A memorial service will take place at a later date.
Friends wishing to memorialize Ms. Danford may do so by donating to the Helen Purcell Home, 1854 Norwood Blvd, Zanesville, OH, 43701, the Genesis Health Care Foundation, 1135 Maple Avenue, Zanesville, Ohio or Central Trinity United Methodist Church, 62 South Seventh Street, Zanesville, OH 43701.
A note of condolence may also be given to the family at: www.BryanSniderFuneralHome.com